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Published August 11, 2022 Updated August 11, 2022

Peterhof souvenir playing cards

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

Russia Mednyi Vsadnik Souvenir Add to Collection

This pack consists of 54 card with photographic illustrations of the Peterhof Palace. It was published by Mednyi Vsadnik (Bronze Horseman), St. Petersburg. No date is given either on the pack itself or in the publisher's catalogue (www.mvsadnik.ru).

Peterhof was founded by Peter the Great initially as an imperial summer residence after the victory over the Swedes at Poltava. However, following a visit to the French royal court in 1717 he expanded it -- so inspiring the nickname of the "Russian Versailles". The main attractions are the Grand Palace itself with magnificent interiors, the Upper Garden, placed on the terrace in front of the south facade of the Grand Palace, and the Grand Cascade with numerous golden statues and fountains.

Peterhof souvenir playing cards (Petergof suvenirnye igral’nye karty) published by Mednyi Vsadnik Peterhof souvenir playing cards (Petergof suvenirnye igral’nye karty) published by Mednyi Vsadnik Peterhof souvenir playing cards (Petergof suvenirnye igral’nye karty) published by Mednyi Vsadnik

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

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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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