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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.

Glorious Russia

‘Glorious Russia’ playing cards made in France by Grimaud, c.1995

‘Glorious Russia’ playing cards depicting famous historical emperors, rulers and leaders, made in France by Grimaud, c.1995, with English indices. The four aces depict coats of arms of the royal empire. The captions on the court cards are bi-lingual Russian and English.

‘Glorious Russia’ playing cards made in France by Grimaud, c.1995 ‘Glorious Russia’ playing cards made in France by Grimaud, c.1995

Above: ‘Glorious Russia’ playing cards made in France by Grimaud (France Cartes Group), c.1995. 36 cards in box. Also published as 52 cards + 2 jokers