• Collecting Antique and Vintage Playing Cards People are often surprised when we tell them we collect playing cards. They all know how to play games with cards and have all held them in their hands before, but they've never realized that ordinary playing cards come from a long history of ancient patterns, in Europe dating back as far as the 14th century. Local standard patterns appeared, disappeared or evolved over the centuries and different…
  • Collecting Modern Facsimiles of Historical Playing Cards Collecting facsimile playing cards can be an interesting window onto the world of historic and antique playing card decks. In a recent article dealing with fortune telling cards, I wrote approvingly of facsimile decks and most of the decks featured, were in fact facsimiles. I thought a few more words on the subject along with some further examples might reinforce the point. Webster’s Ninth Coll…
  • The Evolution, History, and Imagery of Playing Cards For over six centuries - apart from its functionality as a number game - the playing card has been chosen as a medium for artistry, aesthetic endeavour and ornamental design, ranging from hand-painted and engraved cards for medieval patrons, to the chromo-lithographic delights and transformation cards of the nineteenth century, and the designer and art packs of the twentieth and twenty-first centu…
  • Selling Soap and Smokes With Victorian Trade Cards How did I start collecting Victorian trade cards? In the late 60s I was a bottle collector, early American bottles and flasks. I started noticing there were colorful trade cards that advertised the medicines, often with preposterous claims about their curative powers. You could pick these cards up for 10 cents or so, so I started collecting them with the bottles. I just became more and more intere…
  • 19th-Century Tobacco Cards Dave Campbell contacted me after reading a post on The Baseball Card blog. He's been collecting baseball cards non-stop since 1981. He has recently created a collection of 19th century Allen & Ginter cards. I talked with him at length about how he got interested in these cards and what it took to assemble the collection. : What prompted you to begin collecting 1880's Allen & Ginter card…
  • The Force of Collecting Star Wars Cards I was 10 when the movie came out and I went to the store and bought a couple of packs of Star Wars cards. But I ended up trashing all the cards I had when I was a kid, and in my collection today I have none of the cards that I had then. They all went to the garbage, but later on down the road, seven or eight years ago, in my early 30s, I started collecting them again. I still like Star Wars and th…
  • Hitting a Home Run with Baseball Cards I started collecting in 1986. If you’re in Boston and you’re a baseball fan, the Red Sox may take over your life. They take over your life in a way that other teams don’t. With the Red Sox, I was so used to everything being terrible. They’d get your hopes up and then they crush your will to live. So collecting cards grew from that appreciation. It became an easy way for me to harness OCD and my lo…