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Published August 16, 2022 Updated August 16, 2022

Swadeshi Playing Cards

Named after the first National movement in India

1926 India Political Add to Collection

A very attractive pack of playing cards printed by the Ravi Udaya Press in Ghatkopar, Bombay (now Mumbai), India in about 1926. The courts cards depict Maharajas in full ornate, well-to-do Indian ladies and noble palace servants printed in colour chromolithography. The printer was well known for its popular prints of mainly Gods & Goddesses. The name & a date were written in pencil on the box which gives a good indication of when they were purchased.
The box is named Swadeshi cards, which is taken from the Swadeshi movement which was founded in Calcutta in 1905 to promote self sufficiency and curb the import of British goods. It was the first National movement against the British Raj and although it was a peaceful movement it was forcibly put down by the British Raj in 1909. However it was strengthened when Mahatma Gandhi pledged to boycott foreign goods in 1921. It ultimately led to the fall of British rule in 1947.

The pack has 52 cards. It is unknown if there was a joker and I can find no information about this pack in my reference library or on the internet, so if any reader has more information let me know in the comments section below.

Below: The remains of the box

References:
https://www.utkaltoday.com/swadeshi-movement/

All cards shown are from the collection of Paul Symons ©

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By Paul Symons

Member since February 01, 2016

I'm British but I have now lived in the Netherlands for more than 50 years and am still enjoying every minute of it. I started collecting playing cards in the early 1980’s after speaking with my neighbour who was at that time a croupier in a casino. I started with just collecting jokers, but that soon led me to complete packs of cards and eventually to specialising in old and antique playing cards, particularly those of C.L. Wüst of Frankfurt, Germany. I am presently the Dutch representative of the I.P.C.S. and the auctioneer at the IPCS conventions.


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