There's an Art to It!
The Art of Playing Cards
Next to the game of Bridge, all other forms of human endeavour shrink to insignificance.
- General George S Patton
Playing cards have the top half upside down to help cheaters.
- David Byrne, Talking Heads
In the modern pack of playing cards, there are four suits of 13 cards each; clubs and spades are printed black; hearts and diamonds, red. It is supposed that the
figures in the various suits were originally intended as symbols of the different classes of men. Hearts represented the gens de chæur, that is, the ecclesiastics,
or choir men; espada, a Spanish word for sword and indicating nobility, has become spade. Clubs represented the trefoil and symbolised the peasantry, while diamonds
represented square tiles, symbolical of the merchants. This symbolism is lost today as it's no longer relevant.
You are prohibited by law from taking more than one set of playing cards into Turkey when visiting.
- Originally at http://www.travel.com/customs/cus_tr.htm, though
I'm sorry I have not learnt to play cards. It is very useful in life; it generates kindness and consolidates society.
- James Boswell, 1773
Click on an image below...
...for a larger picture and for information about the artists, who are all British. (You can click on the first card and navigate through the rest by clicking "Next" at the bottom of each page if you'd like to see them all.) These cards were developed without collaboration, yet notice the similarity between the ace and three of hearts, the six and eight of hearts, the ace and nine of diamonds, the eight and ten of diamonds, and (more-or-less) the two and ten of spades.
All face cards except the King of Clubs and Jack of Spades plus the 7 of Hearts, the 3 and 10 of Clubs, the 4 and 8 of Diamonds, the Ace, 2 and 3 of Spades and the Jokers display
unusual cards from other decks as well.
Source: Andrew Jones Art, 2A Weiss Road, London SW15 1DH (at least that was the address in 1979...)
Miscellaneous Additions from Various Other Decks...
These cards are found at the bottoms of pages above to which they correspond. Click to view a larger image.
Sources: Various places which are stated on each card's corresponding page
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