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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Peterhof

“Peterhof” deck manufactured at the Leningrad Colour Printing Plant in 1999.

Peterhof deck manufactured by the Leningrad Colour Printing Plant in 1999 with court cards depicting representatives of the Russian Romanov dynasty who were rulers from 1613 until the Russian Revolution of February 1917. The designs were originally published by Piatnik as “Romanov” in 1997. Peterhof Palace was founded at the beginning of the 18th century and became the Russian Tsars’ summer residence during the 18th-19th centuries. It contains the world’s largest system of fountains and water cascades.

Logo of the Leningrad Colour Printing Plant
“Peterhof” deck manufactured at the Leningrad Colour Printing Plant in 1999 “Peterhof” deck manufactured at the Leningrad Colour Printing Plant in 1999 “Peterhof” deck manufactured at the Leningrad Colour Printing Plant in 1999

Above: “Peterhof” deck manufactured at the Leningrad Colour Printing Plant in 1999. 52 cards + 3 jokers + extra card in box. The three jokers depict Rasputin, Biron and Menshikov. The deck had been printed previously by Piatnik with the title “Romanov” in 1997.

“Peterhof” deck manufactured at the Leningrad Colour Printing Plant in 1999

Above: Peterhof Palace was founded at the beginning of the 18th century and was the Russian Tsars’ summer residence in the 18th-19th centuries.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996.

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