Antique Playing Card Images

While poking about the Beinecke Rare Book library at Yale, the online version at least, I found this interesting item. There are hundreds of examples of playing cards through the ages, stretching back 500 years. The link below leads to a very dull discussion of the archive. Read it if you want some background on the archive. Skip it if you want to look at the cards and go to the next link.

The Cary Collection of Playing Cards

This is the fun link, which takes you to the search engine for the archive. Be warned, the search engine is a little rough to use. You have to enter something in the first line or it will not work. Once you get the hang of it, there are an assortment of interesting cards to check out. The art alone is worth it, but the fact it was used for gaming makes it even better, at least to me.

The Cary Playing Card Archive Search Engine

Here are a couple of cards in the archive I found interesting. There are literally hundreds more.



I just wish I could get some of the older sets. They are far more elegant than the set I have with bicycles on the back. 🙁

Trask, the Last Tyromancer



Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.