Friday, August 16, 2013

The History of Playing-Cards: Hand-Crafted Art, Gutenberg, and All That

"A Concise History of Playing-cards"
The World of Playing-Cards

"Playing Cards have been around in Europe since the 1370s. Some of the earliest surviving packs were hand painted works of art which were expensive and affordable only by wealthy patrons. But you can play card games with any old pack so as demand increased new, cheaper methods of production were discovered so that playing cards became available for everyone...

"The history of playing cards in popular art is fascinating and has a long tradition. This section is an online tutorial covering the early history of playing Cards...."

It's an "online tutorial," but the Lemming had fun with The World of Playing-Cards' "Concise History. Your experience may vary.

The title is accurate, by the way. Their history is a quick shuffle through Europe's encounter with playing cards. Apparently they showed up in Europe about two decades after the Black Death, which may explain some of the more colorful playing card art.

After reading this and other histories of playing cards, the Lemming is quite certain that they came from the Middle East or somewhere else.

The World of Playing-Cards - good grief, that's a long name. Let's call them WoPC. Where was the Lemming? Playing cards. History. Really long names. More history. Right.

WoPC takes you through the social, economic, and artistic sides of playing cards: which isn't as boring as you might think.

These things started as one-of-a-kind handcrafted playthings of the aristokrater. That didn't last. New technology, woodcuts and Gutenberg's movable type, let new players deal in: starting near the end of the 14th century. Breakthroughs in printing tech eventually led to mass produced Harlequin romance books and Hoyle playing cards.

By now, just about anybody in Europe or North America can get their hands on a deck of playing cards. Or, in the case of the Lemming, paws.

There's more to WoPC's history:
And, if you just can't get enough of this sort of thing, IPCS has a history, too:
IPCS says playing cards must have been invented in China, because that's where paper was invented. They may be right. On the other hand, paper isn't papyrus or vellum, which has nothing much to do with Velcro.

The Lemming needs to get more sleep. Definitely.

Nearly-related posts:

No comments:

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle online store

Pinterest: From the Man Behind the Lemming

Top 10 Most-Viewed Posts

Today's News! Some of it, anyway

Actually, some of yesterday's news may be here. Or maybe last week's.
The software and science stuff might still be interesting, though. Or not.
The Lemming thinks it's interesting: Your experience may vary.
("Following" list moved here, after Blogger changed formats)

Who Follows the Lemming?


Family Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory