Playing Cards Auction

Playing cards are highly collectible, easy to store and more varied than you'd ever imagine. Stroud Auctions have offered substantial private collections of playing cards at auction ranging from Cries of London dating from circa 1754 which sold for £4,200 all the way to transformation playing cards such as the Tiffany & Co. Harlequin cards sold for £400, where the suit symbols are used in entertaining pictures on each card. The market is truly worldwide and rare examples, even if incomplete or in poor condition, are highly sought after by collectors.

Playing cards had many different suits over time. Suits from Egypt included cups, coins, swords, and polo sticks. When playing cards traveled to Europe, suits went through several evolutions until the French developed the clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades of today.

The oldest surviving vintage playing cards today date from the 15th century and depict pictures of animals, plants, flowers, and birds. These early cards were hand painted. Cards were made from rough paper stock that contained linen until after World War II, when plastic-coated cards were produced. Collectors often seek out playing cards with specific advertising logos or picture themes.

Mark Rozelaar

Mark RozelaarBA Hons

Silver, Transport & Motoring Specialist

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