Full set of 400-year-old playing cards discovered

Published on December 3rd, 2012 | by Admin


A complete set of silver playing cards, made in Germany around 1616, has been found.

Creating the card set would have been a hazardous job. For the gilding, its designers used mercury, a poisonous substance that can potentially kill.

“You ground up gold into kind of a dust, and you mix it with mercury, and you painted that onto the surface where you wished the gilding to appear,” Schroder told LiveScience in an interview. The mercury gets burned off in a kiln, a process “that would leave the gold chemically bonded to the silver.”

The process is illegal today, he noted, and even in Renaissance times, it was known to be hazardous. “I don’t think they quite understood why it was dangerous, but they did appreciate the dangers of it,” Schroder said.

[Full story]

Story: Owen JArus, LiveScience | Photo: Patrick Debremme

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Follow me on Twitter!   Subscribe to my RSS feed!
  • Question of the Moment

    History in the making. November 8, 2016.

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Like us on Facebook

  • Art Artifacts Bones Burials China Construction Egypt Egyptians England Food & Drink Fossils Humans Israel Italy Medieval Remains Romans Scotland Shipwrecks Tombs Turkey Underwater WWII
  • Archives