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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Gironda

8 cards and two jokers from the 'Gironda' pack, showing eminent statesmen and politicians from Lithuania from the 1990s.

Lithuanian ‘Gironda’ Political Playing Cards

36 cards + 2 jokers designed and made in Lithuania for Gironda GmbH, 2001.

Since regaining independence in 1990, Lithuania has made remarkable progress in terms of both its transformation to the democratic market economy and its advancement towards greater human development. Lithuania's boom years came to a sudden end in 2008, and after two decades of capitalism, the country became one of the biggest victims of the global economic crisis.

Lithuanian Political playing cards, 2001

Above: 8 cards and two jokers from the 'Gironda' pack, showing eminent statesmen and politicians from Lithuania from the 1990s. The cards are designed in a lively hand-drawn pen and wash style, with digital enhancements. The cards are plastic coated and manufactured to a high overall standard, with perfectly rounded corners, and with an interesting back design which is also printed on the box.

Packs are available from:

Albinas Borisevicius
P.O. Box 1633
LT-07006 Vilnius
LITHUANIA

email: albinas@vkontrole.lt

Albinas says: “About card's history in Lithuania - there is very little information. I know of only 5 other Lithuanian packs since 1990. Most of the older packs, were destroyed in the war. About old cards (till 1940) - there are only 6 packs I know of in Lithuania which, of course, are very scarce. There are very little collectors of the playing cards by us. Maybe - only 3-5 persons. They have from 50 till 250 card decks in their collections. And there is now very bad economical situation in Lithuania…”

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996.

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