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Published March 27, 2023 Updated March 27, 2023

Jan Becher playing cards

Publicity pack for Jan Becher, a Czech liqueur company, with modified international courts.

1988 Czechoslovakia Obchodní Tiskárny Distillery Add to Collection

Jan Becher, a Czech liqueur company headquartered in Karlovy Vary (formerly Carlsbad), was established in 1807 when Josef Becher, a pharmacist, started selling bitters as a medicinal tonic. The company remained a family business until after World War II when it was nationalised. In 2001 it became part of the Pernod Ricard empire. The name and/or initials (JB) or logo of the company and of the liqueur are ever present on the court cards, Aces, 2s, 4s and Jokers in this pack. The stylised courts are based loosely on the international pattern, with some holding a glass or a bottle. A different set of colours has been used for each set of courts. The maker’s logo appears on the 10 of Hearts.

Jan Becher publicity deck made by Obchodní Tiskárny, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1988 Jan Becher publicity deck made by Obchodní Tiskárny, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1988 Jan Becher publicity deck made by Obchodní Tiskárny, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1988

Above: Jan Becher publicity deck made by Obchodní Tiskárny, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1988. 2 x 52 cards + 2 Jokers in plastic box. Size: 58 x 88 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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