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Uncut Sheet of Printed Playing Cards
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Uncut Sheet of Printed Playing Cards

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Playing cards were invented in China 1,000 years ago but were unknown in Europe before the mid-14th century. It is believed that cards as we know them were introduced to Spain from North Africa when both areas were under Muslim control. French cards, such as those displayed here, are the closest visually to those we use today. These paper cards have yet to be cut and were never used, but the final product would have been fairly affordable.
Date Description Narrative
  • Splendor in Books. Grolier Club, New York; The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1977-1978.
  • The Power of the Press: Revolution in Communications, 1450 - 1600. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1990.
  • Checkmate! Medieval People at Play. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2010.
Provenance Dr. Richard Ettinghausen, Washington D.C. [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, January 1959, by gift.
Credit Gift of Dr. Richard Ettinghausen, 1959

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paper with ink
Accession Number
H: 11 1/8 x W: 8 1/4 in. (28.3 x 21 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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