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Published July 04, 2022 Updated July 04, 2022

Inka Naipe Souvenir

54 colour photographs of costumes and artefacts connected with the Inca civilisation, unknown publisher, Arequipa, Peru.

Peru Amerindian Ethnic & Indigenous Inka Souvenir

The Inca Empire (also known as the Incan or Inka Empire) was a relatively late development in Mesoamerican or Pre-Columbian history. The civilization arose from the Peruvian highlands sometime in the early 13th century. Earlier cultural traditions (Olmec, Maya, Toltec and Aztec) were absorbed within a new political, military and commercial framework. The Inca Empire became the largest empire in pre-Columbian America and was finally suppressed by the Spaniards in the 16th century.

‘Inka Naipe’ Souvenir

The court cards depict figures in Inca costume while different artefacts are displayed on the numeral cards. Full colour throughout. Titles in three languages in the border of each card, though the English and French translations are full of mistakes. There are two extra cards entitled “Talisman” and “Layja” (wizard or sorcerer?) which could act as Jokers but are not marked as such. Indices: K, Q, J, A. See the box

‘Inka Naipe’ Souvenir, unknown publisher, Arequipa, Peru
‘Inka Naipe’ Souvenir, unknown publisher, Arequipa, Peru

Above: ‘Inka Naipe’ Souvenir, unknown publisher, Arequipa, Peru. 52 cards + 2 extra cards in tuck box, glossy, poor quality card. Size: 62 x 89 mm. Maker and date unknown.

Speaking Objects

Objects which pre-date the Spanish conquest, apart from being beautiful or valuable, also tell stories: why or for what were they made? There is virtually no first-hand information available. The majority of the population died from Western diseases as a consequence of the Spanish conquest. Most of the gold artefacts were melted down by the Spaniards. Throughout the Inca kingdom tombs and temples have been looted with the same fever as expeditions scouring the Amazon forest today. Many European artists, architects and collectors have found these objects inspiring, because of their exceptional craftsmanship and aesthetic qualities.


By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

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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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