Ganjifa, the playing cards of India.
subtitle: A general survey with a catalogue of the Victoria and Albert Museum collection
by Rudolph Von Leyden
Well illustrated in black and white, and colour, with 128 pages. Published in 1982 by the Victoria and Albert Museum of London.
The History of Nintendo 1889-1980
subtitle: From Playing Cards to Game and Watch
by Florent Gorges and Isao Yamazaki
This book details Nintendo's humble beginnings as a playing card manufacturer, charting the entire range of toys and games, including such legendary products as Love Tester and Ultra Hand. It is the first of 4 volumes. In this first volume the general history of the company is covered in the first chapter, with more detailed product histories in further chapters, progressing from traditional Japanese playing cards up to the first video arcade games, home consoles, and the Game & Watch series. Over 500 card decks are catalogued, with pictures. Published in 2012, this is the best visual history of Nintendo you can find, and it contains information not available anywhere else. The pictures are profuse and well taken, but are often very small and not always well labelled. The book is an oversize paperback, with glued rather than sewn binding, and must be treated gently. It does come with a plastic sleeve to protect the cover.
A History of Playing Cards
subtitle: And a Bibliography of Cards and Gaming
by Catherine Perry Hargrave
This book was written around, and catalogues, the playing cards of a collection which used to be owned by the United States Playing Card Company. That collection was at one time on display in it's own museum in Cincinnati but is sadly no longer there. Illustrations are black and white only except for a few on the cover. Originally published in 1930 and reprinted by Dover in 1966.
The Hochman Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards
by Tom and Judy Dawson (and Gene Hochman)
Based on Gene Hochman's "The Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards" which was originally published in six parts between 1976 and 1981, this gathers into two volumes the complete cataloging of American playing card makers as well as details, types, values, and brands of playing cards from the late 1700s to the early 1930s. The second volume is a supplement with over 100 new listings and/or revisions to the original book, complete with black and white pictures, and a price guide. The first volume was published in 2000 and the supplement was published in 2004. The price guide will no longer be accurate but this is still well worth getting as a resource.
Old and Curious Playing Cards
subtitle: Their History and Types From Many Countries and Periods
by H.T. Morley
Includes 16 color plates that first appeared in "Devils Picture Books" by Van Renesselaer in 1892. The rest of the illustrations are in black and white. Originally published in the 1930s.
Playing Cards (The Fournier Museum catalogue)
subtitle: General History From Their Creation to the Present Day
by Felix Alfaro Fournier
This is a multi-volume catalogue of international playing cards from the large collection of the Fournier Playing Cards Museum in Alava, Spain. Volumes one and two are available in English, as a box set or separately, but the books after that are only in Spanish. The first volume has 4,000 colour pictures with brief write-ups on 2,000 decks. There are some errors in the information given so it is best to confirm with other sources. The first volume was published in 1982, with 344 pages. The second volume is much slimmer and was published in 1988 to catalogue the cards added to the collection since the first volume was written.
subtitle: 89 Illustrations in Color and Black and White
by Roger Tilley
A brief but engaging history of playing cards that is beautifully illustrated with large pictures of cards from the British Museum's collection.
Playing Cards of the World
subtitle: A Collector's Guide
by Kathleen Wowk
Published in 1983 by Lutterworth Press of Surrey, England. The book has 160 pages with over 290 cards illustrated, of which 123 are in colour.
The Standard English Pattern
subtitle: Second revised and enlarged edition
by Ken Lodge
Published in Bungay, Soffolk in 2010 as the second updated reprint of his original 1991 work. This book covers English card makers from the 1600's to the present, dealing mainly with the designs of court cards and spade aces. A second section describes various court cards from makers outside the UK, each illustrated by 3 examples.
Transformation Playing Cards
By Albert Field.
Documents transformation playing cards from 1801 to 1984. Black and white images except for an 8 page colour section in the middle of the book. The discussion and illustration of variations in different printings of the decks is very useful. Published in 1987.
Wood-block and Stencil. English Card-makers and Their Wood-block Cards
subtitle: A classification of their distinguishing features with a particular focus on the period 1790-1830
by Ken Lodge and Paul Bostock
Published in Norwich in 2014.