Astronomia Playing Cards (1829) via The Public Domain Review [Shared]

Astronomia Playing Cards (1829)

Astronomia Playing Cards (1829)

Hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades — every player (shark or not) is familiar with the four suits in a standard deck. But dig a little deeper into the discard pile of history and you will soon draw up cards adorned with cups, coins, clovers, acorns, and more. For shuffling enthusiasts, there is a distinction to be made between standard and nonstandard packs. The Cary Collection at Yale University holds hundreds of each variety, but it is the latter kind that catches the non-specialist eye, representing the effort to craft “an original pictorial conception”, according to William B. Keller. Forget queens and kings and instead imagine cards painted onto tan hides by Apache tribes and aces inscribed with moralizing mottos such as “use but don’t abuse me”.

Read Astronomia Playing Cards (1829) via The Public Domain Review 

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