ABOUT THIS DECK
In the scriptoria of monasteries of early medieval Britain and Ireland, breathtakingly beautiful illuminated manuscripts were created. The characteristic decorative patterns, calligraphic texts, and illustrative styles of these manuscripts are easily recognisable, and together make up what is now usually called the insular style. The Lindisfarne Gospels and the Book of Kells are no doubt the most famous of the insular gospel books, but there are also others.
Certain pages in the gospel books were illuminated with wonderful artwork, including detailed patterns of many kinds, and also portraits, usually of the four evangelists. The patterns were often used to make decorative borders, surrounding the portraits or canon tables. They were also used to make ornamented letters and text in so-called incipit pages, highly decorated pages with the first words of each of the gospels. Other pages were filled completely with patterns, and these are now usually called carpet pages.
The Liber Ludorum playing cards are a set of cards drawn in the style of an insular gospel book, with aces resembling the so-called carpet pages, and the court cards inspired by evangelist portraits.
Playing cards arrived in Europe at the end of the late medieval period, rather later than the time when the insular art style flourished. There can be no doubt that creating a set of playing cards would be far from the minds of the insular scribes while they were working on their gospel books. And yet we do have other surviving manuscripts, also illuminated, written by students of the medieval church, filled with thoughts of gaming, playing, changing fortunes and twisting fates, and our earthly existence.
What is Liber Ludorum anyway? 52 poker-sized (2.5" x 3.5") playing cards 4 bonus cards Custom artwork: 16 fully illustrated court cards and aces Custom watercolour pip cards Two-way back design 320 gsm black-core card stock (Superlux) with linen finish Custom tuck box Printed by Cartamundi