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News 2016

News 2016: (US) Smithsonian.com Article: "Lavishly Illustrated Medieval Playing Cards Flouted the Church and Law" (by Marissa Fessenden, 01 Feb 2016)

Contributed by admin on Feb 14, 2016

"Much changes over the centuries—customs, costumes and food spring to mind. Games from centuries past have also evolved; though intriguing, most of the time, ancient games prove unplayable if you don't know their rules. This is not the case with card games, however. While the painted images on early cards might look different, the game itself is familiar, as an exhibition at the Cloisters in New York, shows. ...

"The World in Play: Luxury Cards, 1430-1540," which is on view until April 17, features carefully crafted cards from the only decks that have survived from the late Middle Ages.

"To be good at cards requires more skill than dice but less than chess, both of which were well established by the 14th century when card-playing came to Europe (from Egypt perhaps, or the Middle East)," the Economist's "Prospero" blog reports. People from all classes would play cards, though the ones on exhibit at the Cloisters were clearly intended for the rich and wouldn't have been subjected to the roughness a deck meant for actual use would have experienced. ..."

Visit the Smithsonian.com website to read the full article.