This section focuses on "Woodblock (Xylography or Block Printed) Playing Cards". Originating in 9th-century China and later appearing in 14th-century Europe, these cards represent significant historical and cultural shifts. The prominence of woodblock printing increased in the 15th century. This list showcases examples of these card packs, along with several articles detailing the woodblock printing process.
A facsimile of an early 19th century French-suited deck from the collection of F.X. Schmid.
This is a presentation in a more straightforward fashion of the work done by Paul Bostock and me in our book of the same name.
A presentation of the main characteristics of the wood-block courts of the heart suit.
‘Calcio Storico Fiorentino’ by Costante Costantini is based on an early form of football that originated during the Middle Ages in Italy.
Cards produced in Rouen during the sixteenth century. It was cards like these which were imported to England and are the ancestors of the modern 'Anglo-American' pattern.
Out of an apparent void, a constellation of references in early literature emerge pointing to the sudden arrival of playing cards, principally in Belgium, Germany, Spain and Italy around 1370-1380. Discover the early history of playing cards in our timeline from 50AD to the 15th century.
Hand-made replica 17th century English playing cards, based on museum originals.
‘La Cour Galante’ playing cards with erotic images by Costante Costantini, Italy, 1979.
Lilian Caillaeud lino-cuts his version of the tarot by Nicolas Rolichon of Lyon c.1600
The quality of playing card designs often deteriorates with time…
Cards from an early version of a Russian standard woodblock and stencil pack of circa 1820.
Around 1987 I decided to make a pack of playing cards from woodblocks and coloured with stencils. I imagined I was carrying out my 'apprenticeship'.