So I've been on this weird sidequest in my life for the last two years to find some good mass produced period playing cards, ~17th-ish century or at least sharing strong design elements in common with that time period, no back design, crude faces, no numbers just pips.
Something I can really rough up and have fun with at the renaissance fair while staying in character, and always have more. I go through a lot of playing cards. I'm a heckin' nerd.

Today, I finally found what I've been looking for.

They're manufactured exclusively for Colonial Williamsburg®, sold to no one else, nowhere else.
Like, I've been searching for years but this is the one place that really does actually have it. For real.
I have ordered a bunch of decks through their neglected online gift shop and I feel triumphant as fuck right now.


@cadence So here they are, the only mass produced period playing cards I've ever seen, only available at one physical shop or their very slow shipping service, for some reason.
While they're not from quite the right time period for a Renaissance setting, they're surprisingly close in design, as cards didn't change much during these years. Mainly, the face cards just became more and more stylized, going from looking like actual full characters standing up to the weird colorful card-spanning portraits we know and love. So someone from the Renaissance would probably be like "wow that face is a little weirdly stylized" but otherwise it'd match right up. Very happy about that.
It was around the time of the American civil war that we finally got backs on playing cards. All of history before that, the backs were just plain paper, which is great for our purposes here, because all backless cards can fit into pretty much any time before that believably.
The paper tuckbox that's tied with string and an absolute bugger to actually get the cards back into is also very accurate. Easily reusable tuckboxes were an even later invention.
There are also no numbers, you just have to count the pips, as was standard for most of history. They would probably consider us lazy, just reading a number in the corner, lol.
They're also incredibly difficult to shuffle, because they're just paper. As is to be expected.
Overall, though, they're so fun to use and high quality, 10/10!

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