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June 20, 2018 5:30 AM   Subscribe

"The World of Playing Cards is a living encyclopaedia of the history and visual art of playing cards." Follow playing card history or see notable designs; or browse by way of countries of origin or card manufacturers. There is also a blog and a shop. (Previously: i, ii, iii).
posted by misteraitch (10 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
Great! Very much to my interest as I have a small collection of decks. I'm not a true collector because I actually play with my purchases, but after all, that's what they're for. Thanks for this.
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:57 AM on June 20, 2018

I recently rediscovered my collection of playing cards. Batman Returns! Trolls! The Official Playing Cards of the Year 2000! I was hoping to sell them on ebay but it's too much trouble.
posted by goatdog at 7:40 AM on June 20, 2018

I also collect playing cards and I've thought about having some talented person advise me on how to have some favorites framed so I can look at them more.

This post also reminds me of a deck I used to play with at an older relative's house when I was a kid. The relative worked in the funeral industry and the backs were decorated with caskets and the face cards were odd and compelling. I wish I knew what happened to them.
posted by pointystick at 8:22 AM on June 20, 2018

Nice! Thanks.

What with magic (seemingly) being on the rise and "cardistry" (within magic) remaining popular, there's a wide array of swell new card designs being made all the time. Places like Expert Card Company, Ellusionist, and Art of Play have created, sourced, or collaborated to come up with some pretty lovely (and nice to handle) cards.

Having a great historical database adds all sorts of context and examples.
posted by Wink Ricketts at 8:55 AM on June 20, 2018

Batman Returns! Trolls! The Official Playing Cards of the Year 2000!

My retirement grease!
posted by thelonius at 9:31 AM on June 20, 2018

There's also the wonderful Musee Francais de la Carte a Jouer & Galerie d'Histoire de la Ville just a couple Metro stops outside Paris. Focuses on European cards, understandably, but there are collections from many countries. I was fascinated by the propaganda cards from the French Revolution, but there are several floors worth to look at. On a recent Friday afternoon there was only one other visitor. They also exhibit some of the tools used to produce playing cards, documentaries about card games, etc.. And in the other building there are a number of Rodin castings because he used to live in town so why not. Admission was a whopping EUR5.05.
posted by wnissen at 10:01 AM on June 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks for posting this! It makes me want to get off my duff and learn how to play Bridge. Also I just learned that Germans used to have leaves and acorns as suits which I wish were still a thing because that is quite charming. (And easily appropriated to California boosterism.)
posted by kendrak at 10:58 AM on June 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Idlly looking about my room, I focused on a piece of art on the wall. Damn, I said, that's that proof sheet of Erte playing cards I bought in London in 1993. I'd go take a pic of it except for the computer and the cat pinning me down. It's beautiful to look at.
posted by MovableBookLady at 1:31 PM on June 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

This is super cool, thank you.

I keep about a dozen different decks featuring different designs on hand at any given time. But that's just for Nerts.
posted by duffell at 5:41 AM on June 24, 2018

The WOPC contains one of my favorite card decks from the early 90's, the Key to the Kingdom.
posted by JDC8 at 12:01 PM on June 25, 2018

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