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:
- Where did playing cards come from?
- The Social Context
- Card Games
- Other uses besides Games
- What did the earliest European cards look like?
- How did Suit Systems evolve?
- Different methods of production
- Sources of imagery
- The Renaissance influence
- Standard National Patterns
- History of Blackjack
- "History of Playing-Cards"
The International Playing Card Society
The Lemming needs to get more sleep. Definitely.
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