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.
‘Ganjifa’ playing cards made in Sheopor in the North of Madhya Pradesh province in Central India. The Ganjifa game probably developed from 13th century games played by Mamluk immigrants from China.
Nã'ib, the game of lieutenants... these cards are amongst the earliest Arabic playing cards extant.
When playing cards have titles or legends these reference a written/literary tradition of some form. It connects the image to a wider cultural sphere, extending the visual impact.
Playing Cards have been around in Europe since the 1370s. Some early packs were hand painted works of art which were expensive and affordable only by the wealthy. But as demand increased cheaper methods of production were discovered so that playing cards became available for everyone...