The World of Playing Cards Logo

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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Draeger Frères

8 Articles

Jean Borin

‘Cartes de Luxe’ with artwork by Belgian artist and designer Jean Borin (1907-1997).

Jean Borin

Classique

“Classique” by Draeger Frères, Paris, c.1949 with designs reminiscent of early French cards.

Classique

Ciel de France for Miro Company

‘Ciel de France’ published by Miro Company (Paris) featuring designs by Jacques Branger, c.1950

Ciel de France for Miro Company

Salvador Dalí

Based on the standard French ‘Paris’ pattern, Dalí composed his playing card figures out of geometric shapes, like a surrealist tapestry, but retaining the traditional aspects of playing card design.

Salvador Dalí

Cancan

Lightly risqué luxury playing cards published by Éditions Philibert of Paris in 1956.

Cancan