Although undated this pack was published after Boris Yeltsin's rule (1991-1999), a period of liberal reforms and Russia's opening up towards the West, and at or near the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s first Presidential term (2000-2004).
This 36-card pack was a joint project between the newspaper Kommersant and the television programme Namedni, and each of the four suits is equated with one of the four pillars of Russian power: hearts represent the family; diamonds the liberals; spades the siloviki (a lobby gathering former security services agents), while clubs portray the St. Petersburg circle of political figures close to Putin (Piterskie). Vladimir Putin’s face is shown on all four aces, but all of the other cards show the face of a prominent politician of the period. While many of those portrayed are still in evidence in the Russia of today (indeed, several are currently subject to western sanctions), the pack also harks back to a time when liberal politicians were also included in government: for example, Boris Nemtsov (assassinated in 2015); Andrei Illarionov (who has become a critic of Putin's administration and who declared in April 2022 that "it is absolutely impossible to have any positive future for Russia with the current political regime); Mikhail Khodorkovskii (who in 2001 founded Open Russia, a reform-minded organization intending to "build and strengthen civil society" in the country. In October 2003, he was arrested by Russian authorities and charged with fraud); Anatolii Chubais (resigned over invasion of Ukraine); Alexei Kudrin (a Russian liberal who resigned from government in 2011 and from 2011 to 2022 was the Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences in St. Petersburg State University).
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.
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.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the Queen of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
A political pack designed by Pino Zac and published in 1977 by Editions Arts et Lettres.
‘Storia del Fascismo’ playing cards depicting persons, symbols and artifacts associated with Italian...
A pack of cards depicting characters from the famous play "The Wedding of Krechinsky" by Sukhovo-Kob...
Politicards™ 2016 & Politikids 2016: twin decks of satirical playing cards produced by Peter Green f...
‘The Deck of Hillary’ with quotes and photographs of Hillary Clinton, USA, 2003.
Brazilian scenic aces with emperors of Brazil, Austria and France and other dignitaries on the court...
House of Cards: Deck of Bush playing cards presenting reasons not to re-elect President Bush for a s...
Historical playing cards by C. L. Wüst depicting monarchs of Brazil and Portugal.
Facsimile of ‘FDR New Deal Deck’ of 1934 re-published by Bill Schroeder, USA, 2010.
“Politically Wild John McCain” published by Newt’s Playing Cards, USA, 2008.
Politicards 2004 with satirical cartoons by the award-winning illustrator Peter Green, USA.
Politicards 1971 for the presidential election in which Richard Nixon won a landslide victory.
Politicards 1984 with caricatures by Donald Gates, published by the Kamber Group, USA.
Politicards 1980 in which Ronald Reagan defeated the incumbent Jimmy Carter, with caricatures by Kei...
“Playing Politics ’10: With no expenses spared” featuring caricatures by Oliver Preston, published b...
Playing Politics ’92: Pack of lies with caricatures by Grant Robertson, UK.
Six different decks of “Bush League Allstars” political playing cards, United States, 2004.
‘Branle’ playing cards inspired by a 12th-century dance, produced by Noir Arts, USA, 2015.
Published by Il Meneghello, this pack provides a visual history of Fascism in Italy between 1919 and...
Photographs of political and media figures associated with the Presidency of Donald Trump (2017-2021...
Caricatures by Garth Stackhouse of American politicians involved in the 1996 presidential campaign.
Révolution 1789-1989, celebrating the bicentenary of the French revolution, France, 1989
Satirical playing cards manufactured by Francar y Cía depicting political situation, Barcelona, 1872...
Anti-Communist propaganda pack with satirical designs by Benito Jacovitti.
The Presidents playing cards first published by Arcturus LLC in 2007, reprinted in 2009.
U.S. Presidents Bicycle playing cards designed by Johnny Whaam, USA, 2015
Presidential playing cards with portraits from Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, USA.