This hand-made pack of thin paper stuck on thin card consists of 38 cards which caricature all aspects of life in the former Soviet Union. They were published in 1998-1999 in the paper Razvlekatel’naia Gazetka [Entertaining Newspaper] by Aleksandr Lutkovskii. The pack was published in only 60 copies, and uniquely each individual card is a “spot-the-difference” game where one has to identify seven differences between the upper and lower half of the card.
“In 1998-1999, in a newspaper I published, I decided to print a deck of playing cards, 1 card in each issue of the newspaper. The deck was printed "from the wheels" when 1 card began to print; many others were not yet drawn. Each card has its own author, all cards were drawn by cartoonists from different parts of the former USSR, so some of the cards have a humorous connotation. Many artists drew several options for cards, some drew colour options. When the deck was released, I did not use the Internet yet and did not know that there are similar decks where each card has its own author, but so far I have not seen a deck in which both halves of the card have 7 differences. In total, 60 copies of such decks were cut and collected. Most of which are already stored in different collections around the world” - Aleksandr Lutkovskii.
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 limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
Details of 13 paintings by 8 different Impressionist artists on elongated cards.
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...
“Politically Wild John McCain” published by Newt’s Playing Cards, USA, 2008.
Strange facts from Robert Ripley’s ‘Believe It or Not’ books, in the form of cartoons.
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.
Keep-em honest playing cards designed by Chris Cooper and published by Dark Horse Deluxe.
‘Branle’ playing cards inspired by a 12th-century dance, produced by Noir Arts, USA, 2015.
The Linweave Tarot is actually an elaborate set of paper samples from the Pulp, Paper and Board Divi...
Two very remarkable tarots by the award winning Dutch cartoonist Marcel Ruijters.
Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and other Disney characters on a pack made for Eastern Europe.
Traditional Italian card game with comic designs by Benito Jacovitti.
‘Baraja Mística’ satirical playing-cards featuring revelling clergy published by Litografía Fernánde...
Hawaiian playing cards in the style of classic Hawaiian wood carvings, USA, 2015.
Anti-Communist propaganda pack with satirical designs by Benito Jacovitti.
A Spanish-suited pack as conceived by 48 different artists from the region of Murcia.
Designs by Jürgen Pankarz for the 20th anniversary of the Wolfgang Dorn advertising agency, Cologne....
‘Iceberg Free State 1923’ fantasy playing cards with a cautionary moral lesson, Germany, 2006.
Theatre of Pain / Teatr boli playing cards depicting politicians and leaders in the Caucasus territo...
Soviet and other Communist celebrities depicted on every card, designed by Vladislav Pankevitch.
‘Scarfes Bar’ satirical playing cards with cartoons by Gerald Scarfe, United Kingdom.
Unlikely, ridiculous or just plain impossible means of transport, drawn by Hubert Rublon.
Art for Life playing cards illustrated by Francesc Artigau i Seguí for the British Red Cross, 2014. ...