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Published April 23, 2023 Updated April 23, 2023

España Imperial

España imperial / Imperial Spain playing cards with artwork by Serny, published by Heraclio Fournier, Spain, 1983.

1983 Spain Heraclio Fournier Ricardo Summers Historical Imperial Add to Collection

Published by Heraclio Fournier in 1983, these playing cards are dedicated to the first century of Imperial Spain which began with the marriage in 1469 of Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon. This “Union of the Crowns” was the birth of Imperial Spain. The court cards show drawings by Serny (Ricardo Summers, 1908-1995) of the monarchs and other principal figures of four dynasties:

Spades

  • King Fernando el Católico (1452 - 1516)
  • Queen Isabella the Catholic (Spanish: Isabel la Católica) (1474 -1504)
  • Jack: El Gran Capitan - Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (1453 – 1515) - a Spanish general and statesman

Hearts

  • King Felipe I (1478 – 1506)
  • Queen Juana de Castilla (1479-1555)
  • Jack: Hernán Cortés (1485-1547), Spanish conquistador

Clubs

  • King Felipe II (1527-1598)
  • Queen Isabel de Valois (1545 – 1568), third spouse of Philip II
  • Jack: Miguel López de Legazpi (1502 – 1572), Spanish conquistador

Diamonds

  • King Carlos I (1500-1558), Holy Roman Emperor Charles V
  • Queen Isabel de Portugal (1503 – 1539)
  • Jack: Juan de Austria (1547 – 1578), the natural son born to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V
España imperial / Imperial Spain playing cards with artwork by Serny (Ricardo Summers), published by Heraclio Fournier, Spain, 1983 España imperial / Imperial Spain playing cards with artwork by Serny (Ricardo Summers), published by Heraclio Fournier, Spain, 1983 España imperial / Imperial Spain playing cards with artwork by Serny (Ricardo Summers), published by Heraclio Fournier, Spain, 1983

Above: España imperial / Imperial Spain playing cards with artwork by Serny (Ricardo Summers), published by Heraclio Fournier, Spain, 1983. The card backs were designed by Tapicerias Gancedo.

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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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