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Slavonic

Originally published as “Slavonic Cards No.501” by The Colour Printing Plant, St. Petersburg, in the 1920s


Originally published as “Slavonic Cards No.501” by The Colour Printing Plant, St. Petersburg, in the 1920s and printed by chromolithography (right) these Russian playing cards depict strong and vivid costumes of Ancient Russia.

They have been republished many times since then by various manufacturers for different European markets, with or without frames and with several alternative Jokers and back designs.

Some loss in the quality of the original artwork can be noted in more recent re-prints.


Above: a modern re-print of “Slavonic Cards” with Russian indices.

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By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

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Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.

His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.

Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.

Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.

His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.


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