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Published September 29, 2022 Updated September 29, 2022

Saint Petersburg vintage playing cards

Saint Petersburg vintage photography playing cards.

Russia Photography Souvenir Add to Collection

This pack reproduces 36 photos/images of old Saint Petersburg. Unfortunately, there is no indication of publisher nor date of production. The locations or buildings portrayed on the aces and court cards are given in French rather than Russian or English, which leads one to suspect that the images come from late 19th century / early 20th century French postcards. This appears to be supported by the presence, on some cards, of faintly legible handwritten text – of the sort one might expect to find on a postcard. The images on the pip cards are scenic and are not named. The reverse of the cards (and box) has a portrait of Tsar Nicholas II who ruled Russia between 1894-1917. See the box

Saint Petersburg vintage photography playing cards Saint Petersburg vintage photography playing cards

Above: Saint Petersburg vintage photography playing cards, unknown publisher, undated. 36 cards.

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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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