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Published July 31, 2022 Updated July 31, 2022

Dead Souls

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

2006 Russia Orleansky Petr Mikhailovich Boklevskii Literature Add to Collection

A 36 card pack with 2 jokers produced in 2006 by Aleksei Orleanskii. The title refers to the novel “Dead Souls” by Nikolai Gogol’, 1842.

There are two additional cards: the first shows a portrait of the artist Petr Mikhailovich Boklevskii, 1816-1897; the second explains that the pack is based upon the artist’s original illustrations. (Boklevskii produced several satirical albums of lithographs and illustrations, including: “A Gallery of Gogolian Types: The Inspector General", 1858 and “Types from the Poem Dead Souls”, 1895).

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

Above: Dead Souls, or “Mertvye dushi igral’nye karty” produced in 2006 by Aleksei Orleanskii. The reverse shows a portrait of Nikolai Gogol’ in an oval frame.

See also: Playing cards "Dead souls" Gogol types according to the drawings of the artist P. Boklevsky

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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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