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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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9 Articles

72: The Ace of Spades

In standard English packs the Ace of Spades is associated with decorative designs. This is a historical survey of why this should be.

72: The Ace of Spades

66: Adverts and related material 1862-1900

Some further material relating to cards from nineteenth and twentieth century periodicals.

66: Adverts and related material 1862-1900

Australian Excise Duty

Excise Duty was introduced on Australian playing cards in 1932

Australian Excise Duty

Taxation on Spanish Playing Cards

Taxation on Spanish Playing Cards.

Taxation on Spanish Playing Cards

Impuestos Internos Sobre Naipes

Duty was first introduced on playing cards in Argentina in 1892, as part of the Internal Duties law, and in 1896 the first duty labels were printed to be used on packets of 1 gross packs.

Impuestos Internos Sobre Naipes

Argentina Tax Stamps on playing cards 1895-1968

Argentina Tax Stamps on playing cards 1895-1968

Argentina Tax Stamps on playing cards 1895-1968

Impuesto de Timbre para Naipes

EL CONGRESO DE COLOMBIA. LEY 69 DE 1946, por la cual se elevan las tarifas de algunos impuestos indirectos y se dictan otras disposiciones.

Impuesto de Timbre para Naipes

Estanco de Naipes del Perú

In October 1888 the Republic of Peru Congress passed Law no.26 establishing taxes on playing cards, whether imported or locally produced, according to the quality of the cards.

Estanco de Naipes del Perú

Uruguay playing card tax

In 1806 the Council of Concepción del Uruguay imposed an 8 Peso tax on card and billiard tables on account of “the detrimental effect on poor and innocent people”

Uruguay playing card tax