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Published September 05, 2014 Updated June 07, 2022

Historical playing cards, 1897

Russian “Historical” playing cards with designs by Nikolay Karazin, 1897

Russia Imperial Orphanage Printing Plant Nikolay Karazin Dynasties Historic 1897

Russian “Historical” playing cards  ( 1897 )

Russian “Historical” playing cards with designs by Nikolay Karazin depicting national imagery on the courts and aces. This is the first edition of 1897, in which the Jack of Clubs is a soldier. In the second edition (1898) the Jack of Clubs is a peaceful farmer  see comparison here

The emblem on the box depicts a pelican nurturing its young.
(This also appears on the tax stamp on the ace of diamonds).

Nikolay Nikolaevich Karazin (1842-1908) was a Russian military officer, painter and writer. He is mostly known for his paintings depicting wars and exotic places. He is the creator of the Russian art postcard  wikipedia →

Above: Russian “Historical” playing cards with designs by Nikolay Karazin, first edition, manufactured at The Imperial Orphanage Printing Plant, 1897. 52 high quality cards, 60x90 mm. Images courtesy Valentin Krasavin (Валентин Красавин).

Russian tax stamp, c.1897
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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator 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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