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Published July 03, 1996 Updated October 12, 2022

Rokoko

Rokoko (Rococo) reflecting the dress and culture of the first half of the 18th century.

1911 Russia Colour Printing Plant Charlemagne Rococo Rokoko Add to Collection

Based on the early designs of Adolf Iosifovich Charlemagne (1826-1901) this pack reflects the dress and culture of the first half of the 18th century. Rococo is an ornamental and theatrical style of architecture, art and decoration which began in France in the 1730s. It was also a movement of extravagance, elegance and refinement, characterized by pastel colors, organic motifs, and light but plentiful ornamentation. The Russian Empress Catherine the Great was an admirer of the Rococo. The dress and style of the court cards reflect the elegance of this period.

The cards are strongly inspired by other Rococo packs, especially that made by Dondorf and today mostly known as Baronesse (Whist no. 160). The pack has been published both in standard and patience size since 1911.

Standard size

Above: standard size ‘Rokoko’ playing cards.


Patience size

Above: patience size ‘Rokoko’ playing cards, 1911.

See also: Piatnik Rococco Mini-Patience

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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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