Keeping Score

“Woodblock printing has been said to have reached Europe around 1400. Thirty years after that, intaglio printing emerged as an alternative technique, and in the 1450s the first mechanical printing presses were in use. From the outset, playing-cards seem to have been among the stock-in-trade of these processes.”
—Trevor Denning

In addition to matchbooks, ticket stubs, crash numbering, tea-bag tabs, chopstick wrappers, and produce stickers, playing-cards hold a distinct visual fascination for me. I would never think to ruin an intact set of cards, but always jump at the opportunity to secure an “orphan.” Introduced into Europe through Arab sources, the centuries-old history of these gaming aids provide an interesting glimpse into the evolution of printing, design, advertising, gender roles, and our ever-ticklish relationship with power.

Keeping Score by J A Dixon

Keeping Score
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5 x 5 inches

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