Stefans Bercs, 1923
The Latvian National pattern
In 1923 a competition was announced for a new Latvian pack. The winner of this competition was the silversmith Stefans Bercs (1893-1961), one of the most distinguished masters of Art Deco in Latvia. This was Latvia's second pack and it became the most popular. The designs have echoes of Livonian history and folklore. It was issued in Latvia until the end of World War 2, and then again in Sweden for Latvians in exile .
From 1919 -1921 there were no tax stamps on Latvian playing cards. In 1922, by law, the Latvian Red Cross was to receive dividends from the production and sale of playing cards and a special tax stamp was placed on the ace of hearts for this purpose. In addition to the stamp, the symbol of the Red Cross was incorporated into the design of the ace of hearts. This taxation arrangement continued until 1943.
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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.
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