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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Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland

5 Articles

Zwanenberg’s Kwartetspel

Zwanenberg’s Kwartetspel printed by Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland, 1938.

Zwanenberg’s Kwartetspel

British American Tobacco patience

Patience deck for British American Tobacco printed by Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland c.1940

British American Tobacco patience

Hollywood Stars

Hollywood Stars by Maple Leaf B.V., Amsterdam, 1957

Hollywood Stars

Royal Dutch Mail

Elegant “Nieuw Neerlandia” pattern designed by M.A. Koekkoek and produced by Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland, c.1930s

Royal Dutch Mail