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Published August 11, 2022 Updated August 11, 2022

Pushkin

Pack designed by M. Rydaeva celebrating the 200th anniversary of Alexander Pushkin’s birth.

1999 Russia Colour Printing Plant Voskresen’e M. Rydaeva Commemorative Literature Add to Collection
Alexander Pushkin (1799–1837)

This pack was printed by the Kombinat Russkoi Pechati (Colour Printing Plant) for the Moscow company "Voskresen’e” (Sunday) to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Alexander Pushkin’s birth (1799–1837). It consists of 52 cards, 2 Jokers and 2 further cards – one displaying the family coat of arms of the “father of modern Russian literature”, and the other showing the poet's autograph - poorly "decipherable" under his own painted head.

Major characters from Pushkin’s literary works are portrayed on the Aces (single-headed, one character) and court cards (double-headed, two characters) – a total of 28 in all. While the characters themselves are not named, the artist (M. Rydaeva) names the work in which they figured. So, for example, Spades display characters from “The history of Pugachev”, “The Miserly knight”, “Queen of Spades”, and “Boris Godunov”.

Pack celebrating the 200th anniversary of Alexander Pushkin’s birth, 1999 Pack celebrating the 200th anniversary of Alexander Pushkin’s birth, 1999

Above: pack designed by M. Rydaeva and printed by the Kombinat Russkoi Pechati (Colour Printing Plant) for the Moscow company "Voskresen’e” celebrating the 200th anniversary of Alexander Pushkin’s birth, 1999. 52 cards + 2 Jokers + 2 extra cards.

Pack celebrating the 200th anniversary of Alexander Pushkin’s birth, 1999
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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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