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Published August 03, 2022 Updated March 17, 2023

Playing cards in Russian life

Playing cards in Russian life - Karty v zhizni Rossii - published by Aleksandr Lutkovskii in 2004.

2004 Russia Aleksandr Lutkovskii Art & Design Art Gallery Add to Collection

This interesting pack was published in 2004 by Aleksandr Lutkovskii in the series Redkie karty Rossii / Rare cards of Russia. It was published to commemorate the Russian card collector Aleksandr Perel’man (1932-1995) whose cards form the basis of the Russian Playing Card Museum in Peterhof

The pack consists of 36 cards and a further 8 Jokers and an explanatory card. Each card reproduces a Russian work of art, from all ages and all styles, which depicts individuals playing cards or using them for fortune-telling. Each card provides the name of the artist and the year of production.

Playing cards in Russian life published by Aleksandr Lutkovskii in 2004

Above: “Karty v zhizni Rossii” (Playing cards in Russian life) published by Aleksandr Lutkovskii in 2004. 36 cards + 8 jokers + extra card.

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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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