Online Collections

Search Tips

Quotation Marks—Enclosing a multiword phrase in quotation marks tells the search engine to list only sites that contain those words in that exact order.

The following must appear in ALL CAPS and with a space on each side.

AND—Indicates that the records found must contain all the words joined by the AND operator. For example, to find objects that contain the words wizard, oz, and movie, enter wizard AND oz AND movie.

OR—Records found must contain at least one of the words joined by OR. For example, to find objects that contain the word dog or the word puppy, enter dog OR puppy.

AND NOT—Indicates that the records found cannot contain the word that follows the term AND NOT. For example, to find objects that contain the word pets but not the word dogs, enter pets AND NOT dogs.

Harlequin Playing Cards

card deck

Though the history of playing cards goes back hundreds of years, novelty transformation decks were a relatively recent development. Transformation cards began as a pastime at the beginning of the 19th century, when people "transformed" standard card faces by hand with pen and ink. They often developed elaborate designs around the suit symbols printed on the cards, incorporating the symbols into the design itself. Spades became bodies; hearts became faces; diamonds, cuffs and collars; and clubs, fat noses. Many designs become so elaborate that the cards could no longer be used for games. Tiffany & Company of New York sent decks of these "Harlequin" transformation cards to its credit customers as gifts in 1879. Designed by C. E. Carryl, the humorous transformation deck was intended as a company advertisement.

ArtistC. E. Carryl
ManufacturerTiffany & Co.
Materialprinted cardboard
OriginLondon, England
Styletransformation
Object ID81.1212

All artifact images, interpretive information, and website text
© The Strong.