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Published February 08, 2023 Updated February 08, 2023

Rika playing cards

Playing cards depicting famous Austrian skiers of the 1970s.

1978 Austria Piatnik Sports Add to Collection

Skiing doesn’t often feature on playing cards, yet one imagines that skiers must often indulge in card games on cold, dark evenings. In this pack, the photos on the double-ended court cards are of famous Austrian skiers of the 1970s, all looking quite cheerful. The skiers depicted include Franz Klammer, Werner Grissmann, Nicola Spiess, Elfi Deufl, Toni Innauer, and Karl Schnabl. What the pack was produced for remains a mystery: the backs are blank and there is no text on the tuck box. Was this a prototype to get different advertisers to add their own back design or do these packs represent an overrun where the backs were never printed? See the box

Rika playing cards made by Piatnik, Vienna, Austria, 1978 Rika playing cards made by Piatnik, Vienna, Austria, 1978

Above: Rika playing cards made by Piatnik, Vienna, Austria, 1978. 24 cards + 1 blank card in tuck box. Size: 65 x 98 mm.

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By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.


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