Wonderful rare 54 card pack published by “Ethiopia Reflection.” The words “Habesha Playing Cards” appear on the back of the box, and the name “Ethiopian Reflection” appears on the front and back of the box. Everything else in writing on the box and on the cards is in Amharic. This includes the indices and court card rank designations on the cards. The suit symbols are conventional French suit symbols, and the courts are a charming non-standard design. See the box►
Habesha is a pan-ethnic cultural identity that has been historically employed to refer to Semitic language-speaking and predominantly Orthodox Christian peoples found in the highlands of Ethiopia and Eritrea between Asmara and Addis Ababa (i.e. the modern-day Amhara, Tigrayan, Tigrinya peoples) and this usage remains common today.
Member since July 27, 2022
I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.
Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.
Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.
A limited edition art print of the Queen of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
German-suited ‘Heathen War’ playing cards published by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1820.
Costumes des Peuples Étrangers & Jeu d’Or dedicated to young people and likely used for games and fo...
Hawaiian playing cards in the style of classic Hawaiian wood carvings, USA, 2015.
Costumes of people of Brazil, Peru and Mexico, with views of Rio de Janeiro on the aces.
African art and symbolism on playing cards designed by John J. Beckvermit III, USA, 1994.
Pacific Northwest native Indian masks with artwork by Margaret Parrott, USA, 1992.
A pack with court cards reflecting different ethnic and cultural groups found in Ethiopia.
Courts and Aces inspired by Polynesian history and culture designed by Michèle Feltrin.
50 anniversario / cinquantenario fondazione dell'Impero, Italy 1936-1986.
Nipponia Playing Cards are a Japanese-themed playing cards featuring samurai, kunoichi and oiran. De...
Figures from Hawaiian history and scenes of everyday life designed by Joseph Feher.
According to the United Nations there are 54 countries on the continent of Africa
Drum playing cards depicting demographically diverse Africans of different ethnicities.
Playing cards depicting paintings of Traditional Nomadic Life of Mongolia.
Playing cards reflecting the history and culture of Suriname, on the northeastern coast of South Ame...
Andalusian playing cards designed by Marifé Montoya Carrillo with booklet by Jorge Lirola Delgado, 2...
54 colour photographs of costumes and artefacts connected with the Inca civilisation, unknown publis...
Original designs from the French overseas department of Martinique by local artist Martine Porry.
Estonian national costumes and everyday items feature on this pack made in Estonia.
A colourful pack of round cards with Ganjifa designs by Asha Industries, Mumbai, India, 2002.
Pack designed for La Maison de L’Artisanat Ltée, Mauritius, by Hervé de Cotter.
Non-standard designs on Nepalese handmade paper for Pilgrims Book House, Kathmandu, Nepal, c.2000.
The first of two decks designed by Ukrainian illustrator Vladislav Erko for “Korchma Taras Bulba” re...
Irish Legendary deck featuring figures in the Legends of Ireland, designed by Rachel Arbuckle, 1990....