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Published February 23, 2024 Updated February 23, 2024

Jeu de la Vme

A political pack designed by Pino Zac and published in 1977 by Editions Arts et Lettres.

1977 France Editions Arts et Lettres Giuseppe Zaccaria Caricatures Political Add to Collection

This political pack was designed by Pino Zac and published in 1977 by Editions Arts et Lettres, Nancy. It is unusual insofar as it was published as an A4-size book (with text by Dominique Durand) containing 56 perforated cards and box which could be pressed out to form a boxed pack. • See the press-out boxthe cover

Note: it is difficult to provide really good scans without breaking the spine of the book.

Jeu de la Vme [cinquième] designed by Pino Zac and published by Editions Arts et Lettres, Nancy, France, 1977

Above: Jeu de la Vme [cinquième] designed by Pino Zac and published by Editions Arts et Lettres, Nancy, France, 1977.

The figures on the courts, which show different poses at each end, are as follows:

  • Spades: Ace - Valery Giscard D’Estaing; King – Michel Poniatowski; Queen – Françoise Giroud; Valet – Raymond Barre
  • Hearts: King – François Mitterrand; Queen – Edith Cresson; Valet – Michel Rocard
  • Clubs: King – Jacques Chirac; Queen – Marie-France Garaud; Valet – Michel Debré
  • Diamonds: King – Georges Marchais; Queen – Georges Séguy; Valet – Alain Krivine
  • The jokers are Michel Jobert and Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber.

A few single cards were used for display once upon a time.

Jeu de la Vme [cinquième] designed by Pino Zac and published by Editions Arts et Lettres, Nancy, France, 1977 Jeu de la Vme [cinquième] designed by Pino Zac and published by Editions Arts et Lettres, Nancy, France, 1977

Above: additional images of single cards and information printed on the bottom of the back cover courtesy Roddy Somerville.

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By Peter Burnett

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.

Russian Playing Cards

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.


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