Palekh and Kholui (along with the lesser known Fedoskino and Mstiora) are the main centres of Russian lacquer miniature production. Notable for their bright colours, subtle brushwork and refined drawing, these decorated boxes, caskets, panels and other artefacts recount fairy tales, folklore traditions, and past and contemporary life.
The history of lacquer painting goes back to 1798 when the Moscow merchant Petr Ivanovich Korobov founded a papier-mâché factory in Danilkovo, a suburban Moscow village. It has evolved over the centuries into a most original, skilled, detailed and artistic handicraft.
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An avid playing card collector since the early 1970s. While the bulk of my collection originates from the UK, Western Europe and the USA, I have always had a “soft spot” for Russian packs - in part because I studied Russian at both school and University in the 1960s, and also because it was in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest.
Dolls Gallery / Galereia kukol : karty igral’nye / published by Varvara Skripkina, 2003.
Treasures of the Russian Museum / Russkii Muzei : suvenirnye igral’nye karty.
Rossiia / Municipal Coats-of-Arms of Russian Federation.
The first nested doll set was carved in 1890.
Palekh and Kholui lacquer miniatures.
Playing cards in Russian life - Karty v zhizni Rossii - published by Aleksandr Lutkovskii in 2004.
Spot the Difference playing cards published in "Razvlekatel’naia Gazetka" newspaper, 1998-1999.
Samye malen’kie v mire igral’nye karty / The world’s smallest playing cards
Hunting playing cards / “Okhotnich’i karty” with illustrations by the court artist Mihály Zichy.
Russian Emperors playing cards / “Rossiiskie imperatory karty igral’nye” produced and illustrated by Aleksei Orleanskii, 2006.
Russian Beer playing cards / “Russkoe pivo karty igral’nye” produced in 2006
Dead Souls, or “Mertvye dushi igral’nye karty” produced in 2006 by Aleksei Orleanskii.
Ukrains’ki karti gral’ni suvenirni / Ukrainian souvenir playing cards designed by Andrii Letn’ov, c.2012.
Nursery rhyme playing cards by Waddingtons, Leeds, UK, 1975.
Promotional pack for a Dutch Celtic folk band which performs Irish, Scottish and Dutch folk music, c.2004.
Playing cards featuring traditional folk costumes from Romania.
Folk Cards designed by Krystyna Gruchalska-Bunsch for Lot Polish Airlines, 1962.
Dutch costumes quartet game designed by Gerard Huijg, 1983.
Österreichisches Trachten-quartett Nr.282 published by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne.
Norwegian Troll Cards published by Aune Forlag of Trondheim, c.2000.
Caperucita Roja card game published by H. Fournier, 1981.
Pulgarcito (Tom Thumb) card game published by H Fournier, 1981.
Sleeping Beauty card game published in France, c.1980s.
Fairy Tales quartet published by Heinrich Schwarz + Co for Dutch market, c.1970.
Fairy Tales quartet game by F.X. Schmid, Munich, 1960.
Märchen-Quartett (Fairy Tales) illustrated by J. P. Werth and published by J. W. Spear & Söhne, c.1915.
Fairy Tales quartet designed by Annemarie Gramberg, published by Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten-Fabriken AG, 1955.
Fairy Legend Misfitz published by C W Faulkner & Co Ltd, c.1908.
“Renaissance” playing card designs by A I Charlemagne, 1862.
Matching game by Majora, Lisbon, c.1970, featuring figures in national dress from Portuguese provinces and colonies
“Naipes Criollos” Gaucho playing cards, 1995.
Naipes Cardón designed by Mario Luis Rivero depicting traditional Argentine culture and identity, 2002.
Naipes “Martín Fierro” based on the epic poem by José Hernandez.
Fairy Tales published by C.W. Faulkner & Co., c.1903.
The Four Worlds playing cards by artist Aleksey Zhiryakov in the stylistic traditions of Palekh, 2018.
Gunfighters playing cards from the Wild West Series by SPCC, 2018.
Avventure di Pinocchio by Dal Negro, based on Carlo Collodi’s famous 1883 novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio”.
Austrian Folklore deck first published by Piatnik in 1934.
Bharata Playing Cards - Series 2, based on Indian folk art, published by Sunish Chabba, 2018.
Pinocchio card game published by Pepys Games, 1940.