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Baudelaire playing card collection

Published May 01, 2023 Updated May 01, 2023

Baudelaire playing card collection illustrated by Alméry Lobel-Riche and published by Lo Scarabeo in 2004.

2004 Italy Lo Scarabeo Alméry Lobel-Riche Literature Add to Collection

Published by Lo Scarabeo in 2004, this pack is dedicated to Les fleurs du mal written in 1857 by Charles Baudelaire (1821 – 1867). This cycle of poems has sex and death as its principal themes, and expresses the fleeting experience of life and the changing beauty of nature in the rapidly industrializing Paris of the mid-19th century. See the box

The 54 cards are illustrated by the French painter, engraver, and illustrator Alméry Lobel-Riche (born Alméric Joseph Riche, 1877 – 1950). Particularly known for his sensuous and elegant depictions of girls and women, his art is characterized by an atmosphere of decadent sensuality, which is very much the artistic counterpart of the poetry of Baudelaire. Lobel-Riche illustrated several books by well-known authors such as Oscar Wilde, Charles Baudelaire, Pierre Louys, Valery and others.

Baudelaire playing card collection illustrated by Alméry Lobel-Riche and published by Lo Scarabeo in 2004 Baudelaire playing card collection illustrated by Alméry Lobel-Riche and published by Lo Scarabeo in 2004 Baudelaire playing card collection illustrated by Alméry Lobel-Riche and published by Lo Scarabeo in 2004

Above: Baudelaire playing card collection illustrated by Alméry Lobel-Riche and published by Lo Scarabeo in 2004.

There are 5 additional information cards in different languages.

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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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