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Several other important engravers also made cards, including Master ES and Martin Schongauer.Engraving was much more expensive than woodcut, and engraved cards must have been relatively unusual.Because playing cards are both standardized and commonly available, they are often adapted for other uses, such as magic tricks, cartomancy, encryption, boardgames, or building a house of cards.

For most games, the cards are assembled into a deck, and their order is randomized by shuffling. The Song Dynasty (960–1279) scholar Ouyang Xiu (1007–1072) asserted that card games existed since the mid Tang Dynasty and associated their invention with the simultaneous development of using sheets or pages instead of paper rolls as a writing medium.

A book called was allegedly written by a Tang era woman, and was commented on by Chinese writers of subsequent dynasties.

Printed woodcut decks appeared in the 15th century.

The technique of printing woodcuts to decorate fabric was transferred to printing on paper around 1400 in Christian Europe, very shortly after the first recorded manufacture of paper there, while in Islamic Spain it was much older.

The time and manner of the introduction of cards into Europe are matters of dispute.

Last modified 02-Nov-2017 18:10