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Published September 30, 2022 Updated September 30, 2022

Kashmir Playing Cards

Kashmir playing cards designed by Lev Liberman and printed by Printissa, Saint Petersburg, 2005.

2005 Russia Printissa Lev Liberman Add to Collection

Kashmir Playing Cards were printed by Printissa (Saint Petersburg, Russia) in 2005 in a limited run of 500 copies. Printissa was a collective of former employees of the Colour Printing Plant (1817-2004).

When the Plant was closed in 2004 several former employees organized Printissa and tried to continue to produce artistic decks. At least 10 packs were produced in 2005 including Centaurus, Fabergé, Morskie mify, and Russkii pel'menyi klub. Unfortunately, the enterprise was short-lived, but the quality of the cards and the range of artists employed were excellent.

The Kashmir playing cards were designed by Lev Liberman (1976- ), a specialist in graphic design and founder of the first school of calligraphy in the Urals. The deck is dedicated to the north-western region of the Indian subcontinent – Kashmir. It is also called the Heaven on Earth because of its natural widespread beauty. The artist has tried to capture this beauty in all 54 cards – the aces and court cards are detailed, colourful and imaginative, and the centre of each pip cards is adorned with a finely drawn image.

‘Kashmir’ Playing Cards designed by Lev Liberman and printed by Printissa, Russia, 2005 ‘Kashmir’ Playing Cards designed by Lev Liberman and printed by Printissa, Russia, 2005 ‘Kashmir’ Playing Cards designed by Lev Liberman and printed by Printissa, Russia, 2005

Above: ‘Kashmir’ Playing Cards designed by Lev Liberman and printed by Printissa, Russia, 2005. 52 cards + 2 jokers.

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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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