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Published July 26, 2012 Updated June 05, 2022

Pirate Playing Cards

A recurring motif is the symbolism of life and death, playfully rendered in these marvellous cards, including plenty of sabres and skeletons!

2011 Israel Vitaly Fishilevich Art & Design Pirates Tattoo Add to Collection

Designed and created by Vitaly Fishilevich, Israel, 2011

The idea for these playing cards came from Vitaly’s childhood love of pirate stories and hidden treasures. When he was young he imagined the cards that the pirates themselves used to play with while drinking rum at sea. This is the theme which Vitaly has developed into this custom deck of playing cards. A recurring motif is the symbolism of life and death, playfully rendered in these marvellous cards, including plenty of sabres and skeletons! The artwork is in black and white so that the deck can be used as a tattoo sampler. The images are very fashionable in the context of being flash designs; the style is like that found in Calavera art (sugar skulls) and contains references to Voodoo and Spanish conquistadors amongst others. The box has been imaginatively decorated with skulls, bones, ships and a treasure map on the back. Decks can be purchased direct from Vitaly’s website: www.kipodtattoo.com

Pirate Playing Cards: concept and design by Vitaly Fishilevich, 2011 Pirate Playing Cards: concept and design by Vitaly Fishilevich, 2011

Above: 'Pirate Playing Cards': 52 cards + 2 Jokers in pirate-themed box, manufactured in Israel, concept and design by Vitaly Fishilevich.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder 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.


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