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Published July 03, 1996 Updated June 27, 2023

Russian Standard Playing Cards

Cards from an early version of a Russian standard woodblock and stencil pack of circa 1820.

1820 Russia Woodblock Standard Pattern Add to Collection

Russian Standard Playing Cards c.1820

Cards from a Russian standard woodblock and stencil pack of circa 1820, which are a Russian version of the double-ended ‘Paris’ pattern from France which was being adopted by many European manufacturers at that time. The ace of diamonds carries the tax stamp showing a pelican with outspread wings over a nest. The money raised by this tax went towards supporting the Imperial orphanages and funding the education and training of the foundlings. This tax stamp disappeared with the advent of the Revolution in 1917. After the USSR ended and the Colour Printing Plant closed down, several small firms started to print playing cards, including modern versions of this deck.

Above: cards from a Russian standard woodblock and stencil pack of circa 1820. Image courtesy Dudley Ollis.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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