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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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Edoardo and Raffaele Pignalosa

6 Articles

Piedmont Pattern

The Piedmont pattern is a very close relative to the French 'Paris' pattern. The courts are not named, however, and are divided horizontally (rather than diagonally).

Piedmont Pattern

Lombardy (or Milanesi) pattern

The origins of the Lombardy pattern probably lie in the early 19th century when it was a full-length design. It has some affinities with the French Provence and Lyons patterns which are now obsolete.

Lombardy (or Milanesi) pattern

Trevisane pattern

The double-ended version of the ‘Trevisane’ pattern originated in the early 19th century.

Trevisane pattern

Florentine Pattern

Originally one of several designs which emerged during the nineteenth century, the Florentine pattern has several distinctive features.

Florentine Pattern

Small Tuscan Pattern

Small Tuscan Pattern

Small Tuscan Pattern

Brescia pattern

The Brescia pattern contains elements which come from a past age.

Brescia pattern