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The World in Play: Luxury Cards, 1430-1540

Item# 80-031763 

Price: $25.00
Member Price: $22.50


  • Publisher: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Pages: 136
  • Illustrations: 197 in full color
  • Dimensions: 8 1/2'' x 9 1/2''
  • Format: Paperback
  • Author:
  • ISBN: 9781588396082



By Timothy B. Husband

In the 15th and 16th centuries, card playing was widely enjoyed at all levels of society. The cards in this engaging volume are unique works of art that illuminate the transition from late medieval to early modern Europe, a period of tumultuous social, artistic, economic, and religious change. Included in this publication are still- surviving luxury decks of hand- painted European playing cards, hand-colored woodblock cards, engraved cards, and tarot packs, all which illustrate diverse characters ranging from royals to commoners.

This is the only study of its kind in English, and the only one in a generation in any language. The insightful narrative by Timothy B. Husband discusses the significance of playing cards in the secular art of the period and recounts the varied stories they tell. Colorful, often humorous, sometimes scatological, these cards provide a unique glimpse into the lives, attitudes, and customs of those who played with them.

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