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Published February 23, 2024 Updated February 23, 2024

Postak – Las Postas

‘Postak - Las Postas’ playing cards commemorating the history of the Basque postal service, Spain, 1996.

1996 Spain Heraclio Fournier Ángel Benito Gastañaga Commemorative Philately Suits Add to Collection

This 40-card pack commemorating the history of the Basque postal service was published in 1996 by Fournier for the Asociación Filatélica Alavesa (Alava Philatelic Association), with the support of the Fundacion Caja Vital Kutxa.

The suits are non-standard: bastos (clubs) have been replaced by the post horn; oros (coins) are leaded glass windows; copas (cups) are now the fleur-de-lys; and Espadas (swords) are now a Baeza. (This is a circular postal date stamp introduced in 1842, and named after Juan Baeza Medina, the General Director of Posts at the time).

The attractive artwork is by Ángel Benito Gastañaga (b. 1962), known for his work as a painter, illustrator, sculptor, designer and also an occasional comic creator. The name Juan Manuel Cerrato is also attributed to this pack. Research shows that he is/was a full member of the Royal Hispanic Academy of Philately and President of the Basque Federation of Philatelic Societies.

‘Postak - Las Postas’ playing cards commemorating the history of the Basque postal service, Fournier, Spain, 1996 ‘Postak - Las Postas’ playing cards commemorating the history of the Basque postal service, Fournier, Spain, 1996 ‘Postak - Las Postas’ playing cards commemorating the history of the Basque postal service, Fournier, Spain, 1996 ‘Postak - Las Postas’ playing cards commemorating the history of the Basque postal service, Fournier, Spain, 1996

Above: ‘Postak - Las Postas’ playing cards commemorating the history of the Basque postal service, Fournier, Spain, 1996.

• See the box

Further Reference

The leaflet (in Spanish) and all the cards can be viewed at barajasynaipes.blogspot.com

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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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