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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.

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All Sports

58 Articles

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games MFG Co., Ltd, London S.E.11

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games

The ‘Rinker’ Snap

The ‘Rinker’ highly amusing snap game, c.1910.

The ‘Rinker’ Snap

Corrida de Toros

Bull fighting card game publshed by Naipes Comas, 1969.

Corrida de Toros

Aventuras de Sport-Billy

The Adventures of Sport-Billy by H. Fournier, 1981.

Aventuras de Sport-Billy

Boxing Greats

Boxing Greats published by KickarseCards, a compilation of boxing icons in history.

Boxing Greats

Race-Cardo

Race-Cardo published by C.W. Faulkner & Co Ltd, c.1925.

Race-Cardo

Pocket Size Bowling

Pocket Size Bowling card game by Warren Paper Products, c.1960s.

Pocket Size Bowling

Papita Sport Kwartet

Papita Sport Kwartet by Nederlandse Spellenfabriek, c.1975.

Papita Sport Kwartet

Card Golf

Card Golf published by Pepys Games, c.1960.

Card Golf

Goal Fußball Spielkarten

“Goal” Fußball Spielkarten manufactured by Ferd. Piatnik & Söhne Wien, c1930s.

Goal Fußball Spielkarten

Olympia Sport Quartett

Olympia Sport Quartett designed by Siegfried Riediger, 1953.

Olympia Sport Quartett

Fox & Hounds

Fox & Hounds card game published by C.W. Faulkner & Co., c.1899.

Fox & Hounds

Goal!

Goal! (1st edition) published by Pepys games, 1960.

Goal!

It’s a Goal

It’s a Goal was registered to Castell Bros in July 1939.

It’s a Goal

BMW Promo Top Trumps

BMW Promo Top Trumps produced as a promotion for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

BMW Promo Top Trumps

Penalty

Penalty was invented by Ernesto Scola of Milan and published in the UK by Pepys in the 1960s

Penalty

Waves From Around the World

Waves From Around the World playing cards with photography by Aaron Chang.

Waves From Around the World

Kargo

Kargo or Card Golf published by Kum-Bak Sports Toys & Games, c.1930.

Kargo

Fussball Quartett

Fussball Quartett by Bielefelder Spielkarten GmbH, c.1958.

Fussball Quartett

Les Sports

Les Sports quartet game designed by Paul Ordner, c.1960.

Les Sports

Volleyball European Championship ’83

Volleyball European Championship Rummy, 1983, designed by Klaus Hennig.

Volleyball European Championship ’83

Uback

Uback horse racing game patent specification, Chad Valley Co Ltd, 1922.

Uback

Desafio Football Caricatures

“Desafio” playing cards with football player caricatures, c.2000

Desafio Football Caricatures

World Cup ’98

World Cup ’98 football team pack for Paradigma Consulting Group, 2000.

World Cup ’98

Armchair Cricket

Armchair Cricket by ex-professional County Cricket player Don Arnold was first marketed by Norfolk House Enterprises in 1983.

Armchair Cricket

Angler Skat

Angler Skat manufactured by VEB Altenburg, c.1981

Angler Skat

Four Days of Walking Event

Dutch playing cards promoting the annual International Four Days of Walking Event held in Holland, 2016

Four Days of Walking Event

90 Minutes Playing Cards

90 Minutes Playing Cards by IPC Magazines 1993.

90 Minutes Playing Cards

Derby Day

Derby Day race game published by Parker Games’ English subsidiary at Ivy Lane, London, from 1908 to around 1920.

Derby Day

Hunter’s Bridge

“Hunter’s Bridge” playing cards by ASS depicting animals and associated symbols of hunting, c.1976.

Hunter’s Bridge

D’Ye Ken John Peel

“D’Ye Ken John Peel” by Greta Games, Carlisle, c.1920.

D’Ye Ken John Peel

Selección Nacional de Fútbol

‘Selección Nacional de Fútbol’ playing cards published in Mexico by Novelty Corp de México S.A. de C.V., 2002.

Selección Nacional de Fútbol

Club Nacional de Football, Uruguay

100th anniversary of the Club Nacional de Football, Uruguay, 1999.

Club Nacional de Football, Uruguay

Kargo

Kargo golf card game manufactured by Castell Brothers Ltd for Pepys Games, c.1936.

Kargo

Barajitas Futbolísticas Golazo, 1973

Figuritas Golazo collectible football cards from Argentina, 1973.

Barajitas Futbolísticas Golazo, 1973

Kikit

Kikit is an indoor football game made by De la Rue, c.1920.

Kikit

Wimbledon

Wimbledon card game published by Pepys (Castell Bros Ltd), 1959.

Wimbledon

Skid-o

Skid-o motorcycle card game by Pepys, 1951.

Skid-o

Roberts Brothers Ltd, Gloucester

Roberts Brothers Ltd, Gloucester (Glevum Brand) ‘Old Maid’ card game, 1920s.

Roberts Brothers Ltd, Gloucester

Olympics 2012

Each card features a representation of a different sport at the London 2012 Olympic or Paralympic games.

Olympics 2012

Rivers Edge Products

Rivers Edge Products for the outdoor enthusiast include magnificent artwork on playing cards.

Rivers Edge Products

Chad Valley ‘Sporting Snap’ c.1895

Chad Valley ‘Sporting Snap’ card game designed by Max Pollock c.1895.

Chad Valley ‘Sporting Snap’ c.1895

Crickette

“Crickette” card game manufactured by Woolley & Co., London, c.1890.

Crickette

Motor Handicap

‘The Motor Handicap’ card game published by Philpott & Co. Ltd, Surbiton, 1920s.

Motor Handicap

Tops and Tails

‘Sports Tops and Tails’ No.290 manufactured by Ferd Piatnik & Sons, Vienna, c.1950s.

Tops and Tails

Ataque

“Ataque”, a card game simulating football manufactured in Buenos Aires by Vigor S.R.L., 1958.

Ataque

Spielkarte für Schützen

“Spielkarte für Schützen” deck designed by Karl Heinz Lanz, published by Rudolf Bechtold and Co., c.1966

Spielkarte für Schützen

They’re Off

“They’re Off” horse racing card game by Pepys, c.1940.

They’re Off

Deportistas Guipuzcoanos

Guipuzcoa’s best athletes of the twentieth century, playing cards sponsored by El Diario Vasco and Euskaltel, manufactured by Heraclio Fournier, 1999.

Deportistas Guipuzcoanos

Badische Spielkartenfabrik

Sports-themed playing cards published by Badische Spielkartenfabrik, Baden, c.1930

Badische Spielkartenfabrik

Grand Prix Champions

“Grand Prix Champions” printed by Offason.

Grand Prix Champions