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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

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The Colour Printing Plant

12 Articles

The Neva River

A deck designed by Victor M. Sveshnikov dedicated to the Neva river and the city of Saint Petersburg.

The Neva River

Peterhof

“Peterhof” deck manufactured at the Leningrad Colour Printing Plant in 1999.

Peterhof

Palekh by Aleksey Orleansky

In the style of religious icon paintings, these court card figures wear costumes reminiscent of the mid-17th century.

Palekh by Aleksey Orleansky

Cossack

“Cossack” playing cards, with artwork by O. Panchenko dedicated to the revival of the traditions of the Cossacks. Printed by the Colour Printing Plant, St Petersburg, 1994.

Cossack

Russian Opera Scenes

Russian Opera & Theatre Scenes playing cards first published by the Colour Printing Plant (USSR, Russian Federation) in 1973

Russian Opera Scenes

Maya

“Maya” playing cards designed by Russian artist V. M. Sveshnikov and first published by The Colour Printing Plant, St Petersburg, in 1975.

Maya

White Palekh

“White Palekh” was first published by the The Colour Printing Plant in St. Petersburg in 1982 with designs by Pavel Bazhenov.

White Palekh

Russian Slavic Costumes

Russian style “Slavic Costumes” playing cards first published in 1911

Russian Slavic Costumes

Rokoko

Rokoko