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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:

theatre

16 Articles

Panto People

Panto People published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.

Panto People

Story Magazine

Dutch singers, TV and theatre artist playing cards for “Story” magazine, 1978.

Story Magazine

Stage

‘Stage’ card game © 1904 C. M. Clark Publishing Co. Boston, Mass. with portraits of popular actors and actresses.

Stage

Cartes à Rire

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

Cartes à Rire

Esquire Magazine

Promotional deck produced by the British gentleman’s magazine “Esquire” c.2002.

Esquire Magazine

Russian Opera Scenes

Russian Opera & Theatre Scenes playing cards first published by the Colour Printing Plant (USSR, Russian Federation) in 1973

Russian Opera Scenes

Tales from the Stage

"Tales from the Stage" - an article about theatrical playing cards by Rod Starling

Tales from the Stage

Craddock Soap Stage Souvenir

The deck is described on the box as “a portfolio of photographs of the leading lights of the stage”

Craddock Soap Stage Souvenir

Pantomime Snap

Clifford Series “Pantomime Snap”

Pantomime Snap

Schiller deck

Schiller deck made by Conrad Ludwig Wüst, Frankfurt/Main, ca. 1834.

Schiller deck