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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Browsing keyword:

royalty

37 Articles

Dynastie Royale de Belgique

Dynastie Royale de Belgique by Mesmaekers, 1934.

Dynastie Royale de Belgique

A Royal Game

A Royal Game featuring Queen Victoria’s children and extended family, published by A. Collier, London, c.1896.

A Royal Game

Crown the Queen

Crown the Queen card game invented by Elaine Burton, c.1953.

Crown the Queen

Kings & Queens of England Misfitz

Kings & Queens of England Misfitz, c.1918.

Kings & Queens of England Misfitz

Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots and other Tudor period dignitaries, published by Piatnik, 1990.

Mary Queen of Scots

Queen’s Silver Jubilee 1977

Queen’s Silver Jubilee playing cards designed by Susan Rae for John Wadddington Ltd, 1977

Queen’s Silver Jubilee 1977

Hide & Seek with the Kings & Queens of England

Hide & Seek with the Kings & Queens of England by John Jaques & Son, c.1875.

Hide & Seek with the Kings & Queens of England

Rois de France

Cartes des Rois de France (1644) facsimile edition by Edizioni del Solleone, 1986.

Rois de France

August der Starke

‘August der Starke und seine Zeit’ designed by Günter Schmitz, 1985.

August der Starke

Lapin Brothers

Reprint of Lapin’s Historical Belarusian playing cards.

Lapin Brothers

Royal Pavilion at Brighton

The Royal Pavilion, also known as the Brighton Pavilion, is an Asian-style palace built for King George IV when he was Prince of Wales.

Royal Pavilion at Brighton

Sovereigns of England

Sovereigns of England published by Jaques & Son, c.1875. .

Sovereigns of England

Prince of Wales National Relief Fund 1914

A two-pack patience set produced by Thomas De la Rue on behalf of the Prince of Wales National Relief Fund in 1914.

Prince of Wales National Relief Fund 1914

Pack of Royals

Willie Rushton’s “Pack of Royals” featuring caricatures of the Royal Family, 1995.

Pack of Royals

Carel de Wagenaer

Facsimile edition of cards first published by Carel de Wagenaer, Amsterdam in c.1698

Carel de Wagenaer

Peterhof

“Peterhof” deck manufactured at the Leningrad Colour Printing Plant in 1999.

Peterhof

Glorious Russia

‘Glorious Russia’ playing cards made in France by Grimaud, c.1995

Glorious Russia

Kaiser Jubiläum

Kaiser Jubiläum Imperial playing cards made in Austria by Ferd Piatnik & Sons, Vienna

Kaiser Jubiläum

Habemus Boda, 2004

“Habemus Boda” deck celebrating the royal wedding of Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain with cartoons by Sir Cámara

Habemus Boda, 2004

Cartes Imperiales et Royales

‘Cartes Imperiales et Royales’ published by B. P. Grimaud & Cie representing imperial rulers and consorts from Austria, England, France & Russia, mid-19th century

Cartes Imperiales et Royales

Our Kings and Queens

An historical & educational card game designed and published by Mazawattee Tea Co., Ltd, London, c.1902

Our Kings and Queens

Królewskie

‘Królewskie’ playing cards with Slavic style courts, printed by KZWP-Trefl, 2002.

Królewskie

Royal Old Maid Game

This antique card game features English kings and queens from William the Conqueror to Queen Victoria, along with their spouses or consorts.

Royal Old Maid Game

Rowley & Co - “Monarchs of Europe”

In around 1775 Rowley & Co attempted to reform the traditional court cards to portraits of the kings and queens of England, France, Spain and Russia.

Rowley & Co - “Monarchs of Europe”

Quits

Jaques' Quits card game, c.1880-85, with portraits of monarchs inside suit symbols in red, blue and yellow, designed to assist in the education of school children in British history.

Quits

The Game of Four Queens

In 1988 the Danish School of Design set the examination project to design a pack of playing cards. Thomas Damkier designed this royalty deck, called “Dronningespillet” (Game of Queens).

The Game of Four Queens

Christian IV Anniversary

King Christian IV anniversary pack, designed by Thora Fisker and printed by L. Jevison Junior, 1988.

Christian IV Anniversary

New Bond

The New Bond Fabric Finish Playing Cards, made by the Universal Playing Card Co. Ltd.

New Bond

Royal Playing Cards, 1890s

Royal Playing Cards, 1890s

Royal Playing Cards, 1890s

King Christian of Denmark

In 1935 a souvenir pack of playing cards to celebrate the King's 65th birthday was commissioned from the British firm of De La Rue.

King Christian of Denmark

Jagiellonskie

Jagiellonskie Playing Cards with Polish Kings and Queens, made in Poland

Jagiellonskie