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Published July 03, 1996 Updated June 28, 2023

Rihards Zarinš

Playing cards designed by Rihards Zarinš, 1921. Latvian indices and with heraldic and hunting motifs reminiscent of the countries' ancient history and folklore.

1921 Latvia Latvijas Vertspapiru Spiestuve Rihards Zarinš Folklore Add to Collection

Rihards Zarinš, Latvia 1921

Latvijas Vertspapiru Spiestuve, Riga

The 1st ‘National’ set of Latvian playing cards designed by graphic artist Prof. Rihards Zarinš, director of the Government Printing House (1919-1933) and head of the graphic arts workshop at the Latvian Academy of Arts (1921-1938). The cards have Latvian indices and folkloric ornamentation and motifs reminiscent of the countries' ancient history and folklore. Rihards Zarins also designed the Latvian national coat of arms which was formed after the proclamation of an independent Latvian Republic, banknotes, stamps and coins. Apart from countless works of applied and commercial graphic art, Zarins made book-illustrations, etchings, lithographs, drawings, water colors, caricatures and ex libris.   See biography of Rihards Zarinš →

designed by Rihards Zarinš, 1921

Above: playing cards designed by Rihards Zarinš, 1921. The Ace of Hearts has the legend "Latvijas Vertspapiru Spiestuve, Riga" printed at the bottom, which translates as: "Latvian Securities Printing, Riga".

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By Albinas Borisevičius

Member since July 01, 2010

I have been collecting cards since 1968, of course, then there were no contacts with world collectors, so my collection was very small. It was only in 1991, when Lithuania declared its independence, that it was possible to have contact with the world. It was a great honor for me to attend the IPCS convention in Munich, where I found many friends-colleagues. I managed to make an agreement with the Viennese card factory to print the ancient cards of Lithuania (PILYS).

My area of collecting - classic mirror-type cards and tourist cards - with images of cities, countries, photos. Also topics Sherlock Holmes, Alexander Dumas, Discover, Chess, Basketball, postage stamps on the cards. Since I am already 75 years old, I don't work, so I can't buy old cards (I really like classic cards from the 1920-1950 period). But my opinion is that it is better to have a card copy than nothing, so I will print one set of cards in Vilnius for my collection. Of course, if anyone wants, I can print it for them too. You can see my printed cards here: Lithuania - Orija.

I have published one book in Lithuania about cards and card games (in Lithuanian, about 400 pages): Albinas Borisevicius. Pirmasis padalijimas (The first deal)


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