Luxurious playing cards from the 15th and early 16th centuries, including two tarocchi decks, are on exhibit at the Cloisters in New York City until April 17, 2016. This is a unique opportunity to see Visconti Sforza and Visconti (Carey Yale) cards side-by-side. If you can’t make it to New York, you have alternatives for seeing these cards. Read more
In the fifteenth century, playing cards were a novelty. Italian aristocrats commissioned hand painted, gilded trionfi decks from their favorite artists, while their counterparts farther north were doing the same with one-of-a-kind playing card decks.
Guinevere’s Games offers four fifteenth-century playing card decks through Gamecrafters. Three of these decks were hand painted luxury items, while the fourth is a basic black and white deck. These are not collectible facsimiles. They are printed in rich colors on smooth paper and could be easily shuffled and used for game playing. Each deck is housed in a tin and accompanied by background information. Here are details on each deck. Read more
I’ve just discovered an association for aficionados of antique and collectible playing cards called 52 Plus Joker – The American Playing Card Collector’s Club. (How about a tarot club called 21 Plus Fool?) Their beautifully illustrated quarterly magazine, Clear the Decks has plenty to keep a tarot historian happy. I’m very impressed with the level of scholarship in their articles – this isn’t just a hobbyist magazine. Read more