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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.

Éditions Dusserre, Paris

Éditions Dusserre, Paris.

Éditions Dusserre are now a part of Carta Mundi. Their cards were previously printed by Maitres Cartiers Boéchat Frères.

the game of the Order of the Golden Fleece

Above: the game of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Jeu Romantique de Nanteuil

Above: “Jeu Romantique de Nanteuil” based on an original set published by Mantoux in 1838.

Key card with list of games

Above: Key card with list of games.

Jeu Napoleon 1er

Above: Jeu Napoleon 1er based upon historical paintings of Napoleon.

Jeu Roman

Above: Jeu Roman.

Jeu Renaissance

Above: Jeu Renaissance.

drawings of suits of armour and costumes from time of Charlemagne to Louis XIII

Above: suits of armour and costumes from the time of Charlemagne to Louis XIII.

Tarot des Pompiers de Paris

Above: Tarot des Pompiers de Paris.

“Gayant, 1793” published by Éditions J.C. Dusserre (Maitres Cartiers Boéchat Frères)

Above: “Gayant, 1793” published by Éditions J.C. Dusserre.

Première Guerre Mondiale 1914-1918

Above: “Première Guerre Mondiale 1914-1918” playing cards published by Éditions J.C. Dusserre (Maitres Cartiers Boéchat Frères).

“Jeu des Provinces de France” published by Éditions J.C. Dusserre (Maitres Cartiers Boéchat Frères), 1979

Above: “Jeu des Provinces de France” published by Éditions J.C. Dusserre (Maitres Cartiers Boéchat Frères), 1979.

“Alcatel” published by Éditions J.C. Dusserre (Maitres Cartiers Boéchat Frères), 1970s

Above: “Alcatel” published by Éditions J.C. Dusserre (Maitres Cartiers Boéchat Frères), 1970s.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996.

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