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25 Articles

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.

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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Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas

Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel casino playing cards.

Tanisa cartes à jouer

“Tanisa cartes à jouer” published by Colormad, Madagascar.

Habesha playing cards

Habesha playing cards published by “Ethiopian Reflection”

KITAB Playing Cards

KITAB playing cards with artwork by Abayneh Abebe, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

2001 Hotel Lena

Hotel Lena

Hotel Lena playing cards published by Bichik in Yakutsk in 2001.

Peterhof souvenir playing cards

Peterhof souvenir playing cards (Petergof suvenirnye igral’nye karty) published by Mednyi Vsadnik (Bronze Horseman), St. Petersburg.

1999 Pushkin


Pack designed by M. Rydaeva celebrating the 200th anniversary of Alexander Pushkin’s birth.

1994 Canadian heritage playing cards

Canadian heritage playing cards

Canadian Heritage Playing Cards designed by Gabriel de Beney, 1994.

2003 Dolls Gallery

Dolls Gallery

Dolls Gallery / Galereia kukol : karty igral’nye / published by Varvara Skripkina, 2003.

Treasures of the Russian Museum

Treasures of the Russian Museum / Russkii Muzei : suvenirnye igral’nye karty.

Russian Cities Coats-of-Arms

Rossiia / Municipal Coats-of-Arms of Russian Federation.

Matryoshka playing cards

The first nested doll set was carved in 1890.

Palekh and Kholui lacquer miniatures

Palekh and Kholui lacquer miniatures.

2004 Playing cards in Russian life

Playing cards in Russian life

Playing cards in Russian life - Karty v zhizni Rossii - published by Aleksandr Lutkovskii in 2004.

1998 Spot the Difference

Spot the Difference

Spot the Difference playing cards published in "Razvlekatel’naia Gazetka" newspaper, 1998-1999.

2002 The world’s smallest playing cards

The world’s smallest playing cards

Samye malen’kie v mire igral’nye karty / The world’s smallest playing cards

2005 Hunting playing cards

Hunting playing cards

Hunting playing cards / “Okhotnich’i karty” with illustrations by the court artist Mihály Zichy.

2006 Russian Emperors

Russian Emperors

Russian Emperors playing cards / “Rossiiskie imperatory karty igral’nye” produced and illustrated by Aleksei Orleanskii, 2006.

2006 Russian Beer

Russian Beer

Russian Beer playing cards / “Russkoe pivo karty igral’nye” produced in 2006

2006 Dead Souls

Dead Souls

Dead Souls, or “Mertvye dushi igral’nye karty” produced in 2006 by Aleksei Orleanskii.

2016 Chernobyl Memorial Playing Cards

Chernobyl Memorial Playing Cards

Chernobyl Memorial Playing Cards designed by Misery Development Ltd. / Nicolai Aaroe and printed in Ukraine by Noir Arts Playing Cards.

1992 Suvenirnye Karty Odesskie

Suvenirnye Karty Odesskie

Pack printed by “Moryak” in Odessa illustrated by artist Yu. Litvinenko.

2010 Suvenirni Karti: XVII Storochchia

Suvenirni Karti: XVII Storochchia

Warriors and Soldiers of the 17th century, produced in L’viv in 2010.

2012 Ukrainian souvenir playing cards

Ukrainian souvenir playing cards

Ukrains’ki karti gral’ni suvenirni / Ukrainian souvenir playing cards designed by Andrii Letn’ov, c.2012.

2011 Eneida


This pack was designed by Oksana Ternavska and first published in 2011 as a supplement to the book "Eneida", a poem written by Ivan Kotliarevsky in 1798.