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Documents mentioning cards date from 1371 in Spain, 1377 in Switzerland, and 1380 in many locations including Florence and Paris. ) does not mention cards, but its 1377 update does.In the account books of Johanna, Duchess of Brabant and Wenceslaus I, Duke of Luxemburg, an entry dated May 14, 1379 reads: "Given to Monsieur and Madame four peters, two forms, value eight and a half moutons, wherewith to buy a pack of cards".This particular complete pack was not made before 1400, but the complete deck was matched to a privately owned fragment dated to the 12th or 13th century.It is not a complete deck, but there are cards of three packs of the same style.These 15th-century playing cards were probably painted.The Master of the Playing Cards worked in Germany from the 1430s with the newly invented printmaking technique of engraving.These were represented by ideograms, with numerals of 2–9 in the first three suits and numerals 1–9 in the "tens of myriads".
The Mameluke court cards showed abstract designs not depicting persons (at least not in any surviving specimens), though they did bear the names of military officers.
Playing cards even competed with devotional images as the most common uses for woodcut in this period.
Most early woodcuts of all types were coloured after printing, either by hand or, from about 1450 onwards, stencils.
In Kuei-t'ien-lu, a Chinese text redacted in the 11th century, domino cards were printed during the Tang Dynasty, contemporary to the first printed books.
The Chinese word pái (牌) is used to describe both paper cards and gaming tiles.
A playing card is a piece of specially prepared heavy paper, thin cardboard, plastic-coated paper, cotton-paper blend, or thin plastic, marked with distinguishing motifs and used as one of a set for playing card games.