Playing cards have been around for centuries. The earliest report, in Florence at the end of the 14th Century, is an edict banning their use because they are ‘The Devil’s Picture Book’. Decks from as long ago as 1475 still survive. Were they playing snap or blackjack?
And unfortunately for the proud patriot...the English deck of cards is of French origin. But the Company of Makers of Playing Cards was founded in 1628 - to protect our own brand from French imports.
Bond used his skills to dazzle the ladies (and earn a tidy sum)...but playing cards could also be used as propaganda - just ask Titus Oates about 'the Horrid Popish Plot' of 1678. And modern playing cards can still reveal a rich display of humour and satire.
So come and be amazed...but keep your eye on the cards.
Yasha is a qualified City of London guide and a past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and written 11 books including The City of London Masonic Guide, A Collector's Guide to Paper Money, and British County Maps. He's also a polyglot who speaks Turkish, Greek, Russian, Hebrew, Italian and English, was in the parachute regiment for two years and represented Israel in the 1967 Student Olympics, in judo!