Playing cards, 15th century

Playing cards dating to the 15th C. are rare and the decks that have survived are fragmentary.  By studying incomplete decks and fragmentary playing cards of this period, the historical illuminators at Black Letter and game historians Gothic Green Oak have filled in the gaps.  By creating new illustrations carefully designed to matching the artistic style and date as period decks, they have produced a reconstructed 52 card French suited deck.

In this deck, the pip cards follow patterns known in the 15th C.  The court cards follow conventions laid out in decks of playing cards of the 1460s with the Kings and Queens crowned and seated with the kings holding swords and the queens holding scepters. The knaves stand and hold a variety of weapons.

The colours used for the court cards are vermillion, verona green and a yellow extracted from weld. Blue colours were expensive and were rarely used for ephemeral items such as playing cards.  15th C. playing cards would have had the black outline of the pictures on the court cards printed from a carved woodblock and then the colours stenciled on top.  The pip cards would have been stenciled. Care has been taken in reproducing the colouring, look and 'feel' of historical cards. 

52 buff coloured printed cards come packaged in a tan cardboard box. Cards are 2.25” x 3.5” approx.

Produced by Gothic Green Oak / Black Letter, Great Britain. All images @Black Letter 2010. Published in Britain by Gothic Green Oak. All rights reserved.

Historical Accuracy Rating


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  • Model: SL-GG01
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25lbs

This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 25 November, 2010.