{ignore}{/ignore} Ethiopian playing cards — The World of Playing Cards
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Published March 09, 2023 Updated March 09, 2023

Ethiopian playing cards

A pack with court cards reflecting different ethnic and cultural groups found in Ethiopia.

1980 Ethiopia Italy Erresei Ethnic & Indigenous Add to Collection

Many different ethnic groups go to make up the population of Ethiopia. Some of them are represented here in the crisp designs to be found on the double-ended court cards. The Ace of Spades is decorated, with the head of a lion wearing a crown at the foot. There is no official title for these cards on the sleeve nor is it known whether they were produced for a particular customer. The back design features the Lion of Judah six times in yellow and white against a green background. There is also what could be an artist’s signature and date on the back (ACHAT or ACHAI 1969?). The cards are all plastic.

Ethiopian playing cards made by Erresei Plastic Cards, Milan, Italy, c1980 Ethiopian playing cards made by Erresei Plastic Cards, Milan, Italy, c1980 Ethiopian playing cards made by Erresei Plastic Cards, Milan, Italy, c1980

Above: Ethiopian playing cards made by Erresei Plastic Cards, Milan, Italy, c1980. 52 cards + 2 Jokers + 2 extra cards in black plastic drop-lid box with illustrated cardboard sleeve. Size: 57.5 x 89 mm.

Ethiopian playing cards made by Erresei Plastic Cards, Milan, Italy, c1980

There are a few additional things to say about this pack.

  • "ERRESEI" is the Italian pronunciation for "R6", the logo found on the sleeve (above). Why R6 I don't know.
  • I know that the date is 1980 or earlier as Stanley Gibbons purchased a few packs in 1980.
  • I have seen someone give the name of the printer as "SIC offset" (see AH). I don't think that is correct - "SIC offset" is more likely to be the type of material (plastic) used or the printing process itself.
  • I'm really guessing at the name of the artist on the reverse though the date seems pretty clear.
  • The numeral cards and the other Aces are plain.

avatar
507 Articles

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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Ethiopian playing cards — The World of Playing Cards
The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published March 09, 2023 Updated March 09, 2023

Ethiopian playing cards

A pack with court cards reflecting different ethnic and cultural groups found in Ethiopia.

1980 Ethiopia Italy Erresei Ethnic & Indigenous Add to Collection

Many different ethnic groups go to make up the population of Ethiopia. Some of them are represented here in the crisp designs to be found on the double-ended court cards. The Ace of Spades is decorated, with the head of a lion wearing a crown at the foot. There is no official title for these cards on the sleeve nor is it known whether they were produced for a particular customer. The back design features the Lion of Judah six times in yellow and white against a green background. There is also what could be an artist’s signature and date on the back (ACHAT or ACHAI 1969?). The cards are all plastic.

Ethiopian playing cards made by Erresei Plastic Cards, Milan, Italy, c1980 Ethiopian playing cards made by Erresei Plastic Cards, Milan, Italy, c1980 Ethiopian playing cards made by Erresei Plastic Cards, Milan, Italy, c1980

Above: Ethiopian playing cards made by Erresei Plastic Cards, Milan, Italy, c1980. 52 cards + 2 Jokers + 2 extra cards in black plastic drop-lid box with illustrated cardboard sleeve. Size: 57.5 x 89 mm.

Ethiopian playing cards made by Erresei Plastic Cards, Milan, Italy, c1980

There are a few additional things to say about this pack.

  • "ERRESEI" is the Italian pronunciation for "R6", the logo found on the sleeve (above). Why R6 I don't know.
  • I know that the date is 1980 or earlier as Stanley Gibbons purchased a few packs in 1980.
  • I have seen someone give the name of the printer as "SIC offset" (see AH). I don't think that is correct - "SIC offset" is more likely to be the type of material (plastic) used or the printing process itself.
  • I'm really guessing at the name of the artist on the reverse though the date seems pretty clear.
  • The numeral cards and the other Aces are plain.

avatar
507 Articles

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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