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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.

Browsing manufacturer:

Woolley & Co

15 Articles

The firm of Thomas Woolley lasted for many years from 1836-1904 in several different guises.

58: Woolley & Co.

The firm of Thomas Woolley lasted for many years from 1836-1904 in several different guises.

58: Woolley & Co.

Heraldic playing cards

Reproduction of Richard Blome’s Heraldic playing cards, 1684, presented to lady guests at WCMPC Summer Meeting in 1888.

Heraldic playing cards

66: Adverts and related material 1862-1900

Some further material relating to cards from nineteenth and twentieth century periodicals.

66: Adverts and related material 1862-1900

58: Woolley & Co.

The firm of Thomas Woolley lasted for many years from 1836-1904 in several different guises.

58: Woolley & Co.

52: The Isle of Man

The Isle of Man has always been a tax haven within the British Isles and it has also had some interesting packs of cards.

52: The Isle of Man

Funny Families

“Funny Families” card game manufactured by Woolley & Co, 1890s.

Funny Families

Sefite card game

“Sefite” card game, Woolley & Co,. Ltd, London, c.1905

Sefite card game

Woolley & Co: “Second Harrys”

Woolley & Co produced a range of different quality playing cards, and these “Second Harrys” are towards the cheaper end of the range.

Woolley & Co: “Second Harrys”

Roberts Brothers Ltd, Gloucester

Roberts Brothers Ltd, Gloucester (Glevum Brand) ‘Old Maid’ card game, 1920s.

Roberts Brothers Ltd, Gloucester

Woolley & Co: “Eurekas”

Woolley & Co: “Eureka” playing cards with rounded corners, small index pips and decorative back design, c.1880-1885.

Woolley & Co: “Eurekas”

Crickette

“Crickette” card game manufactured by Woolley & Co., London, c.1890.

Crickette

Tut=Tut

“Tut=Tut; or a Run in a Motor Car” published by Woolley & Co Ltd, early 1900s

Tut=Tut

Oosehe

‘Oosehe’ animal card game published by Woolley & Co, c.1900.

Oosehe