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Woodblock (Xylography or Block Printed) Playing Cards


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.

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“Deck with French suits”

“Deck with French suits”

A facsimile of an early 19th century French-suited deck from the collection of F.X. Schmid.

70: Woodblock and stencil : the spade courts

70: Woodblock and stencil : the spade courts

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.

71: Woodblock and stencil: the hearts

71: Woodblock and stencil: the hearts

A presentation of the main characteristics of the wood-block courts of the heart suit.

Calcio Storico Fiorentino 1978

Calcio Storico Fiorentino

‘Calcio Storico Fiorentino’ by Costante Costantini is based on an early form of football that originated during the Middle Ages in Italy.

Early Anglo-French Cards

Early Anglo-French Cards

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.

Early History of Playing Cards & Timeline 1370

Early History of Playing Cards & Timeline

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.

Hewson Replica Pack

Hewson Replica Pack

Hand-made replica 17th century English playing cards, based on museum originals.

I. Schenck, Nuremberg 1790

I. Schenck, Nuremberg

I. Schenck, Nuremberg, late XVIIIth century

Jeu “Gerente” 1983

Jeu “Gerente”

Jeu “Gerente” - published by Moncar in 1983 in the “Cartes de Fantaisie” series.

La Cour Galante 1979

La Cour Galante

‘La Cour Galante’ playing cards with erotic images by Costante Costantini, Italy, 1979.

Lilian Cailleaud’s Tarot Project

Lilian Cailleaud’s Tarot Project

Lilian Caillaeud lino-cuts his version of the tarot by Nicolas Rolichon of Lyon c.1600

Minchiate Fiorentine, 17th C.

Minchiate Fiorentine, 17th C.

17th century Minchiate cards reprinted from the original woodblocks.

Regarding the designs of playing cards

Regarding the designs of playing cards

The quality of playing card designs often deteriorates with time…

Reynolds c.1830 1830

Reynolds c.1830

Woodblock and stencil playing cards, produced by Reynolds & Sons c.1830-1850.

Russian Standard Playing Cards 1820

Russian Standard Playing Cards

Cards from an early version of a Russian standard woodblock and stencil pack of circa 1820.

Venus et Cupidon 1985

Venus et Cupidon

“Venus et Cupidon” from Costante Costantini in his distinctive woodcut style.

Woodblock and Stencil Playing Cards 1987

Woodblock and Stencil Playing Cards

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'.

Xilografías de Mallorca

Xilografías de Mallorca

Spanish National pattern re-printed from original woodblocks which are preserved in the monastery at Valdemosa, Mallorca, c.1960.