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San Playing Cards

Rock paintings and engravings of the San people, better known as the “Bushmen”.

San people are better known as the “Bushmen”. They led a nomadic existence in South Africa and Zimbabwe in prehistoric times. Elements of their art are captured on the double-ended court cards, while the pips in the centre of each Ace and numeral card have been replaced by silhouettes of animals (a different one for each suit). Coloured red and black only. The card backs feature a melange of human figures in red on white  more

See the box

Above: San playing cards published by Ashari Productions, Cape Town, South Africa, c.2000 (or earlier). 52 cards + 2 Jokers + 2 extra cards with explanatory text in tuck box. Size: 63 x 88 mm. Maker unknown.


Further References

Wikipedia: San people

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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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