Card Collecting: History

Mamluck Playing Cards

Playing cards are sets of cards with different motifs used for card game-play. Playing cards have quite a fascinating history which dates back to around the 9th century. Take note that the history of playing cards is at some point far-fetched since no records actually exist to tell the actual story.

The Collection of Miscellanea at Duyang

The origin of playing cards dates back to Ancient China. This is close to the 9th century where it is associated with papermaking. The Collection of Miscellanea at Duyang is considered to be the pioneering playing cards that were created by SU E of the Tang Dynasty during ancient China. The cards tell the Story of Princess Tongchang, the Emperor’s daughter playing the leaf game with members of her husbands family,  the Wei family.

At that time, cards were not printed with the popular clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades or numbers, but were designed in such a way that would tell the player instructions or game penalty. During that era, cards were in money paper form.  Money paper was regarded as the bet and tools for the game.

Mamluk playing cards

This pack of playing cards is estimated to have emerged in the 15th century and originated from Egpyt. It believed that the pack is not a complete set but a set of 3 different set meant to substitute the missing ones. The cards were labelled the Topkapı pack. It contained 52 cards with 4 different suits which are the polo sticks, cups, coins, and swords. They contained 3 court cards (King, Queen, and jack of suits) and 10 pip cards (designed with a symbol and number for ranking purposes).  Playing cards evolved and spread around Europe and the world to become what they appear to be today.

Standard 52-card deck

The Standard 52-card Deck is the most popular in the world. It is of French origin and contains 3 face cards (King, Queen and Jack of suits), and 10 pips, that is, Aces through to 10s. The other reason why they are famous could be that they include the Queen card in them.