A recent post about artists' tarot cards sent me back to the 15th century's Visconti-Sforza deck, one of the oldest and arguably the most opulent ever created. One nearly complete set resides in the Cary Collection of Playing Cards at Yale's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Commissioned by two successive Dukes of Milan, the cards were known then as Trionfi ("trumps") and were used for card games as opposed to fortune telling ("cartomancy").
At a mere 9 by 19 cm, these resplendent cards remind one of book illuminations of the period in their rich colors and costly gold leafing. Below are the Knight of Coins, Judgment (Coins), and Love (Swords).
A gaming tradition from another culture is found in Otedama: Traditional Japanese Juggling Toys and Games. Because of the Japanese tradition of creating exquisite fabrics, these everyday beanbag objects can be quite lovely.