Dating vintage playing cards
In the 16th century the French playing cards began to take on a more modern appearance with the use of kings, queens, and jacks.
The ace was usually considered the lowest card in the deck until the French Revolution when it was common to play cards "Aces high." This promoted the ace to the highest spot, symbolizing the rise of the lower classes over royalty.
Playing cards evolved from a variety of gambling games established in the Middle East and Asia, including chess and backgammon.2,700 black and white illustrations, 324 color illustrations." If you are a collector of playing cards you will, of course, want a copy for yourself. Another book I'd recommend getting your hands on is Catherine Perry Hargrave's A History of Playing Cards: And a Bibliography of Cards and Gaming.This is a reprint of an older work, so there's no up-to-date information in it; but it is a very informative work, and has the added advantage of being remarkably inexpensive. If your deck says "Dondorf Spiel," search on Google for Dondorf Spiel.Collectors collect playing cards in a variety of ways.The collector who collects complete decks may be interested in collecting from a particular historical period or attempt to collect cards from each major period.
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By the last decade of the 14th century card use had become common throughout the European countries. Only royalty and the very wealthy could afford to own hand painted cards by local artisans.