Clubs represent the Russian Orthodox church, Hearts Roman Catholicism, Spades Confucianism and Diamonds represent Judaism.
Russian “Historical” playing cards with designs by Nikolay Karazin, 1897
Playing cards showing the influence of ‘Jugendstil’ manufactured by the Soviet Playing Card Monopoly (U.S.S.R.).
An in-depth review of the history of card-playing, gambling, legislation, manufacture and taxation of playing cards in Russia.
The Russian Playing Card Monopoly was established in March 1798 with all revenue going to support the St Petersburg Foundling Hospital. After the construction of the Foundling Hospital's own factory in 1817 (known as the Imperial Playing Card Factory), all subsequent Russian playing card production was located there until the end of the State monopoly in 1961.
Playing cards were known in Muscovy as early as the last quarter of the sixteenth century.