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. Their popularity is undoubtedy due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Latest Articles

Trades People Happy Families

Posted by Rex Pitts •  July 04, 2020 at 02:37pm

Happy Families card game depicting trades people from 1920s. Read more →

La Mariée du Mardi-Gras

Posted by Rex Pitts •  June 29, 2020 at 07:37pm

La Mariée du Mardi-Gras, published by Jeux et Jouets Français. Paris, early 1900s. Read more →

A Royal Game

Posted by Rex Pitts •  June 23, 2020 at 02:16pm

A Royal Game featuring Queen Victoria’s children and extended family, published by A. Collier, London, c.1896. Read more →

Fancy Dress Ball

Posted by Rex Pitts •  June 21, 2020 at 09:21pm

Spear’s “Fancy Dress Ball” card game with children dressed in period costumes, 1930s. Read more →

Parkinson’s Happy Families

Posted by Rex Pitts •  June 19, 2020 at 07:15pm

Parkinson’s Happy Families published by Parkinson’s of Doncaster, confectioners established in the early nineteenth century. Read more →

Biff! Bang!! Wallop!!!

Posted by Rex Pitts •  June 18, 2020 at 09:22am

Biff! Bang!! Wallop!!! family card game published by H.P. Gibson & Sons Ltd, 1939. Read more →

Leather Card Case Patent Application

Posted by Matt Probert •  June 06, 2020 at 01:02pm

In 1932, a patent was granted to Colin Hart and George Franklin for a leather case in the form of a book cover for playing cards. Read more →

Corner Indices

Posted by Simon Wintle •  June 05, 2020 at 07:23pm

Corner Indices Read more →


Posted by Rex Pitts •  June 05, 2020 at 01:49pm

Spy card game published by Valentine’s Games, c.1915. Read more →

Sister Susie Snap

Posted by Rex Pitts •  June 04, 2020 at 08:30pm

Sister Susie Snap published by Valentine & Sons Ltd, c.1915. Read more →

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