Selecting a Color Palette for Historic Playing Cards

A number of elements make this more complex than it may seem, so ultimately I will stick with what simply works best.
Elements to consider include…

Do I have an original source?
Has its composition been identified?
How badly has it oxidized or deteriorated?
Have the pigments in question been documented for use? how long was it used for, and how far afield?
Did a manufacturer’s paints vary from batch to batch?
Did materials run out, requiring substitutes?
Are historic materials safe?
Even if I manage as many historically accurate aspects as possible, how well will the printer interpret the colors?

This list can go on, and the images here, which are clearly not primary source, force me to be… flexible. These images represent consistent card colors with the time and place.

At least one decision was easy to make, as several of the relevant samples include yellow ochre, which is an easy and safe pigment to obtain and work with.






















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