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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.

European Naval Powers

“XVI Century European Naval Powers” deck illustrated by Isabel Ibáñez de Sendadiano and produced by Heraclio Fournier in 1981

“European Naval Powers” deck illustrated by Isabel Ibáñez de Sendadiano and produced by Heraclio Fournier in 1981. The court cards depict prominent personalities from four XVI century European navies, whose names are printed along the side of each card. The four aces show crowned wreaths with the coats of arms of the respective countries.

European Naval Powers deck illustrated by Isabel Ibáñez de Sendadiano and produced by Heraclio Fournier in 1981 European Naval Powers deck illustrated by Isabel Ibáñez de Sendadiano and produced by Heraclio Fournier in 1981 European Naval Powers deck illustrated by Isabel Ibáñez de Sendadiano and produced by Heraclio Fournier in 1981

Above: European Naval Powers double deck illustrated by Isabel Ibáñez de Sendadiano and produced by Heraclio Fournier in 1981. 2 x [52 cards + 2 jokers + extra card] in box.