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Published April 05, 2002 Updated August 07, 2022

Translucent Playing Cards, c.1850

Cards from a translucent pack. Erotic images are concealed in the middle layer of the card and become visible when held up to a light.

France Erotic Translucent 1850

Translucent Erotic Playing Cards, prob French, c.1850

To the unsuspecting viewer the cards look like normal 19th century French playing cards... until they are held up to the light.

Warning: you must be over 18 years of age to use your mouse on this page. Viewers may find these cards offensive; they are shown here as an example of mid-nineteenth century Parisian playing card manufacture.

Queen of diamonds Jack of clubs Seven of hearts

2 of hearts

Queen of hearts

Above: Five cards from a translucent erotic pack. When the cards are held up to a strong enough light, a whole orgy is revealed…  the erotic images are concealed in the middle layer of the card and become visible when held up to a light. (Do not hold your laptop up to the light, just move the mouse over a card!)   See page 2.

Cards courtesy of Udi from California.

Looking from our age of Internet-facilitated sexual disinhibition and freedom of expression these mid-nineteenth century French erotic playing cards were no doubt aimed to titillate if not actively arouse the libidinal forces of nature. On the other hand, they might be offensive to some viewers, even today.     See page 2

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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. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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