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Published March 26, 2024 Updated March 27, 2024

Ulysses a Vau-de-Ville

the James Joyce cards with drawings by Rosita Fanto.

1989 Monaco Berliner Spielkarten R. Fanto Fantasy Add to Collection

This pack, published by Presage International, Monte-Carlo, is the creation of Rosita Fanto with the collaboration of Richard Ellmann, the biographer of both Oscar Wilde and James Joyce. The pack is copyrighted in 1989. See the box

From the introductory card in the deck: “The Vau-de-Ville of James Joyce's "Ulysses" encircles and condenses into a pictorial form the adventures of a single day, June 16, 1904. Each image is part of a puzzle in which past, present, future, naturalism, symbolism, reality and hallucination are superimposed and interwoven. Mock heroic exaggeration and pomposity explode into laughter through visions, fantasies and internal monologues. Hearts are emotional. Clubs are physical. Diamonds are spiritual. Spades are symbolical. Rosita Fanto created the drawings and devised the scheme based on many useful hints given by Richard Ellmann, Joyce's biographer”. © R. Fanto 1989

Ulysses a Vau-de-Ville published by Presage International, Monte-Carlo, 1989 Ulysses a Vau-de-Ville published by Presage International, Monte-Carlo, 1989 Ulysses a Vau-de-Ville published by Presage International, Monte-Carlo, 1989

Above: Ulysses a Vau-de-Ville with drawings by Rosita Fanto, published by Presage International, Monte-Carlo, printed by Berliner Spielkarten GmbH, 1989.

Accompanying the pack is a detailed description of the suits, contents of images, and an explanation of the context of each card in relation to the events portrayed in that single day in 1904.

Further References

Book about Rosita Fanto and Richard Ellmann: Lady of the Cards

For further description see: Gunther Anderson

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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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