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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:

satire

10 Articles

El Tripero

Hand-drawn semi-erotic, satirical playing cards by Lautaro Fiszman ‘El Tripero’, 2002.

El Tripero

Cartes à Rire

Transformed playing cards featuring satirical caricatures of political figures then in the ascendant, Paris, c.1819.

Cartes à Rire

Tarot de l’An 2000

“Tarot de l’An 2000” designed by Pino Zac, 1981, satirising 20th century life.

Tarot de l’An 2000

The Simpsons™

The official ‘Simpsons’ playing cards produced by Winning Moves Games, 2003.

The Simpsons™

Polit-Poker 1984

“Polit-Poker” designed by Bubec (Lutz Backes), 1984.

Polit-Poker 1984

Mr Punch’s Playing Cards

Mr Punch’s Playing Cards, 1896.

Mr Punch’s Playing Cards

Peter Flötner, c.1545

Seven cards from a satirical pack produced by Peter Flötner of Nuremberg, c.1545. The suit symbols are acorns, leaves, bells and hearts. The block-cutter and publisher was Franz Christoph Zell.

Peter Flötner, c.1545