A collection of Playing Cards, begun at that time with a solitary pack brought as a curiosity by a traveler from Algiers, that bore the ancient pips of Swords, Staves, Money and Cups, has now grown to hundreds of specimens culled from many different countries. Comparing these with each other, and studying all obtainable histories on the subject, leads to the conclusion that the writers of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were correct when they stated that no historical record existed before the middle of the fourteenth century of games played with cards. But each and all of the writers on Playing Cards agree that there were cards and that they seem to have been used for fortune-telling before 1350, and also that there was a baffling resemblance between the traditions of the cards and what was recorded of the Egyptian mysteries connected with the worship of Thoth Hermes.


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Prophetical, Educational and Playing Cards - J K Van Rensselaer 1912