‘Pekka’, an additional card in the set, is an ethically-incorrect gollywog look-alike card, embodying the caricature of foreign heritage without a status or family structure. In other countries the game is often known as ‘Old Maid’, ‘Black Peter’, ‘Petter-spel’ or ‘Schwarzer Peter’.
Traditional Finnish children’s card game titled Pekka-game or Funny Families.
The Pekka-game consists of family members of four, illustrating the stereotypes of Caucasian Finns with various occupations such as the Baker, the Skipper, the Tailor, the Fisherman, the Farmer, the Pilot, the Banker, the Photographer, each with their wife, daughter and son. Pekka, an additional card in the set, is an ethically-incorrect gollywog look-alike card, embodying the caricature of foreign heritage without a status or family structure. In other countries the game is often known as ‘Old Maid’, ‘Black Peter’, ‘Petter-spel’ or ‘Schwarzer Peter’. The object of the game is to collect the sets of family members and avoid getting the loser-card Pekka.
Member since February 01, 1996View Articles
Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.
Rock paintings and engravings of the San people, better known as the “Bushmen”.
Original designs from the French overseas department of Martinique by local artist Martine Porry.
Cheerful, colourful designs on handmade paper from Nepal.
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.
Two Black Peter games by Willy Mayrl published by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne, 1950s.
The first of two decks designed by Ukrainian illustrator Vladislav Erko for “Korchma Taras Bulba” restaurant which serves traditional Ukrainian cuisine
Folk Cards designed by Krystyna Gruchalska-Bunsch for Lot Polish Airlines, 1962.
The founder of Ariel Productions, Philip Marx, was a prolific publisher of children’s books and comics towards the end of and just after the Second World War.
Round the World Happy Families by Chiefton Products Ltd of Bristol, c.1950s.
Abbatt Toys Animal Families, c.1970.
Schwarzer Peter no.964 published by Josef Hohlweg, Vienna, early 20th century.
Zwarte Piet by Dondorf for the Dutch market, 1906.
Black Peter card game designed by Willy Mayrl for Piatnik.
Gas Warm Homes Happy Families game published by British Gas, c.1980.
Bass & Bass ‘Jeu des Familles’ made by Franz-Josef Holler, Münich, 1989.
Irish Legendary deck featuring figures in the Legends of Ireland, designed by Rachel Arbuckle, 1990.
“Familias de 7 Paises” card game published by Naipes H. Fournier S.A, Vitoria, 1979.
Happy Gas Families published by British Gas, c.1985.
Ethiopian playing cards designed for the Ethiopian Tourist Organization by Afewerk Teklé.
Gibbs Happy Families card game promotion, both full sized and miniature versions, c.1946.
Handmade Black Peter cards.
Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript.
Schwarzer Peter the Forest and its People, illustrated by Liesel Lauterborn, 1955.
Wie Wird das Wetter, a Black Peter game about the weather created by Gunter Eckhardt, published by Rudolf Forkel,1952.
Naval and Military Families produced by Prince and Princess Louis of Battenberg, printed by Ernst Nister of Nuremberg, c.1905-10.
Round the World Families published by the London Missionary Society, c.1945.
The Merry Game of Mr Bok and his Happy Families, promoting Bok furniture polish, 1930s.
Happy Families card game depicting trades people from 1920s.
Merry Families #2 (Occupations), by Multum in Parvo Co. Ltd., c.1890.
Parkinson’s Happy Families published by Parkinson’s of Doncaster, confectioners established in the early nineteenth century.
National Misfitz published by C.W. Faulkner & Co c.1900.
Humorous dog-themed Black Peter game illustrated by Willy Mayrl, c.1960.
Many Folk Misfitz published by C.W. Faulkner & Co., c.1906.
Matching game by Majora, Lisbon, c.1970, featuring figures in national dress from Portuguese provinces and colonies
Ethiopian Air Lines playing cards designed by Melles Habtezghi with courts wearing regional costumes, c.1969.
Jeu des 7 Familles © K.F.S. Opera Mundi c.1960.
Happy Families published by Globe Series, c.1900.