Cards fit for a king - or princess

A complete set of silver playng cards, created in Germany in 1616, was acquired through auction in 2010 by entrepreneur Selim Zilkha. Legend tells that the set was owned by a Portuguese princess who fled Napoleon in 1807. (photos)

The set was engraved by Michael Frömmer using a technique where gold and silver were ground into dust, mixed with mercury and painted onto the cards. The Zilkha deck is believed to be the only complete set in existence.