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

Tonalamatl

Posted by Rex Pitts •  August 14, 2020 at 07:23pm

Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript. Read more →

Le Jeu de la Guerre

Posted by Rex Pitts •  August 13, 2020 at 09:05pm

Facsimile of “Le Jeu de la Guerre” designed by Gilles de la Boissière in 1698. Read more →

Menuette

Posted by Rex Pitts •  August 12, 2020 at 09:20am

Menuette published by Pepys Games, 1947. Read more →

Cow & Gate ‘Snap’

Posted by Rex Pitts •  August 12, 2020 at 08:53am

Cow & Gate ‘Snap’ featuring Cow & Gate Baby Milk Food, 1935. Read more →

Schwarzer Peter Der Wald und seine Leute

Posted by Rex Pitts •  August 11, 2020 at 08:31pm

Schwarzer Peter the Forest and its People, illustrated by Liesel Lauterborn, 1955. Read more →

Wie Wird das Wetter

Posted by Rex Pitts •  August 10, 2020 at 02:12pm

Wie Wird das Wetter, a Black Peter game about the weather created by Gunter Eckhardt, published by Rudolf Forkel,1952. Read more →

Märchenquartett

Posted by Rex Pitts •  August 10, 2020 at 10:02am

Fairy Tales quartet designed by Annemarie Gramberg, published by Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten-Fabriken AG, 1955. Read more →

Naval and Military Families

Posted by Rex Pitts •  July 30, 2020 at 08:00pm

Naval and Military Families produced by Prince and Princess Louis of Battenberg, printed by Ernst Nister of Nuremberg, c.1905-10. Read more →

Ups & Downs

Posted by Rex Pitts •  July 27, 2020 at 09:28am

Ups and Downs humorous card game published in UK by A. N. Myers, c.1885. Read more →

Avilude or Game of Birds

Posted by Rex Pitts •  July 26, 2020 at 10:37am

Avilude or Game of Birds published by West & Lee, Worcester, Mass, c.1880. Read more →

back to top