Russian “Historical extra fine No.204”
This very famous Russian deck depicting four ancient dynasties was published in several editions in the 1920s, all printed by chromolithography in St. Petersburg (Leningrad in USSR) by the Colour Printing Plant. This edition was produced for export and has non-Russian indices.
After the USSR ended several small firms started to print playing cards, including re-prints of this deck.
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Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.
His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.
Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.
Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.
His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.
Dynastie Royale de Belgique by Mesmaekers, 1934.
“Renaissance” playing card designs by A I Charlemagne, 1862.
The Four Worlds playing cards by artist Aleksey Zhiryakov in the stylistic traditions of Palekh, 2018.
Worshipful Company Pack manufactured by Chas Goodall & Son, 1893.
“Cosmopolitan” № 2121 playing cards designed by Russian artist Valeri Mishin, 1996
Miner’s Cards for the Czech company Rutek Alliance, 2012.
“Eastern” playing cards dedicated to ethnic Buryat culture, 2015
In 1943 a pack of ‘anti-fascist’ playing cards was designed by Vasiliy Andrianovich Vlasov mocking the rulers of Germany and the Axis powers.
St Petersburg Souvenir playing cards, 2004
Russia Souvenir Playing Cards published by The Bronze Horseman, c.2004.
A deck designed by Victor M. Sveshnikov dedicated to the Neva river and the city of Saint Petersburg.
“Peterhof” deck manufactured at the Leningrad Colour Printing Plant in 1999.
Back to the USSR deck featuring communist party leaders and politicians, c.1995
‘Glorious Russia’ playing cards made in France by Grimaud, c.1995
Goodall’s “Historic” Playing Cards depict royal costumes of four periods in English history, 1893.
‘Trans-Siberian Express’ playing cards designed by Veronika Nicolaeva, Az-Art Publishing House, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2015.
The House of Vasa was the royal house of Sweden 1523–1654 and subsequent rulers have emphasized their Vasa descent through a female line
Playing cards depicting imagined residents of St. Petersburg with illustrations by Alexei Bobrinsky.
East Slavonic Mythology designed by Aleksey Orleansky (1994) featuring creatures from the watery underworld.
Irish Historic Playing Cards celebrating history and art, 1920.
In the style of religious icon paintings, these court card figures wear costumes reminiscent of the mid-17th century.
“Cossack” playing cards, with artwork by O. Panchenko dedicated to the revival of the traditions of the Cossacks. Printed by the Colour Printing Plant, St Petersburg, 1994.
Russian “Historical” playing cards with designs by Nikolay Karazin, 1897
Russian Opera & Theatre Scenes playing cards first published by the Colour Printing Plant (USSR, Russian Federation) in 1973
“Historical Playing Cards” originally commissioned by Northern Brabant Insurance Society and manufactured by Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland in 1943
“Maya” playing cards designed by Russian artist V. M. Sveshnikov and first published by The Colour Printing Plant, St Petersburg, in 1975.
“White Palekh” was first published by the The Colour Printing Plant in St. Petersburg in 1982 with designs by Pavel Bazhenov.
Originally published as “Slavonic Cards No.501” by The Colour Printing Plant, St. Petersburg, in the 1920s
“Seasons” playing cards published by The Colour Printing Plant in St Petersburg in 1971, designed by U. P. Ivanov
Russian style “Slavic Costumes” playing cards first published in 1911
Playing cards showing the influence of ‘Jugendstil’ manufactured by the Soviet Playing Card Monopoly (U.S.S.R.) 1930
Russian “Historical extra fine No.204” Playing Cards depicting Ancient Dynasties, 1920s.
Inspired by freezing tribal images of northern winter, this deck is called to show you all its mystic and dangerous beauty.
“La Traviata” playing cards designed by Erté, c.1985.
These cards are from neatly etched plates, and are carefully coloured. The court cards present full-length figures in character costumes.
The Russians were no strangers to propaganda cards. Clubs represent the Russian Orthodox church, Hearts Roman Catholicism, Spades Confucianism and Diamonds represent Judaism.
Playing Cards by Unknown Publisher, Georgia (Russia) 1920s.
Istorinės Historical Deck from Lithuania manufactured by Spindulys Playing Card Manufactory, Kaunas, c.1930s
In 1817 the Imperial Playing-Card Factory (Leningrad) was founded and it played a benevolent role by channelling revenues to the Imperial Foundling Hospitals.
Court cards from the Seminole Wars deck by J. Y. Humphreys, Philadelphia, c.1819. Ace of Spades from Jazaniah Ford's Decatur deck, 1815. Jazaniah Ford was born in Milton (Massachusetts) in 1757