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Published April 17, 2023 Updated April 17, 2023

Gaudí poker

Gaudí poker playing cards illustrated by Josep Opisso, Spain, c. 1992.

1992 Catalonia Spain Naipes Comas NEGSA Josep Opisso Architecture Art Nouveau & Jugendstil Add to Collection

Published c.1992 by Naipes Comas, this pack celebrates Antoni Gaudí of Catalonia (1852-1926), considered the quintessential modernist architect of the 20th century. His masterpiece, the still-incomplete Sagrada Família, is the most-visited monument in Spain. Between 1984 and 2005, seven of his works were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

Each of the suited cards has a finely detailed illustration – not a photograph – of an architectural, design or decorative element from one of Gaudí’s buildings by Barcelona artist Josep Opisso (b. 1935). Much of the Spade suit is devoted to the Sagrada Família. The jokers take the form of two information cards about the artist, while a third card offers illustrations of fifteen of Gaudí’s architectural wonders. The card reverse reproduces multiple copies of the artist’s signature. See the box

Gaudí poker playing cards illustrated by Josep Opisso, published by Naipes Comas, Spain, c. 1992 Gaudí poker playing cards illustrated by Josep Opisso, published by Naipes Comas, Spain, c. 1992 Gaudí poker playing cards illustrated by Josep Opisso, published by Naipes Comas, Spain, c. 1992

Above: Gaudí poker playing cards illustrated by Josep Opisso, published by Naipes Comas, Spain, c. 1992.

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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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