Playing Cards in Tunisia
Gambling was prohibited in Tunisia until after World War 1 and this probably stifled any local production. The 1st law organizing the tobacco sector in Tunisia appeared in 1898 and matches, salt and playing cards were subsequently added (c.1920) to products managed by the monopoly . Playing cards in Tunisia have followed French influence, and many packs for Tunisia have been made in Belgium, but cards currently on sale appear to be standard Anglo-American Bridge or Poker packs sold in tobacco shops, as well as souvenir packs made in China. Locally produced packs usually carry a tax stamp of some kind and since the 1970s they have an imprint, usually on the Ace of Diamonds, which refers to the playing card monopoly.
The Rami deck shown below is presumably a pun on the game Rummy.
In hot weather Tunisian men sit around with their shirts off playing cards in the cafés. Chkobba is one of the most popular card games in Tunisia, mainly played by men in coffee shops but also played at home by men and women alike.
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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.
Persian Miniatures, made in Hungary c.1990.
Gold plated souvenir playing cards from the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel in Dubai.
Qajar Dynasty playing cards, Iran, 19th century.
“Les Artisans Tunisiens” Jeu de Sept Familles published by Éditions de la Mediterranée, Alpha S.A., Tunis
Arabic playing cards designed by Evy Maros & Mourad Boutros, c.1990
“David Robert” playing cards with artwork after Robert's Sketches in Egypt and Nubia.
Artex Quadrilato No.333 for Tunisia
Fortune Tellers use the Hafez Cards by interpreting the Hāfez poems printed on the card backs when cards are selected randomly by their consultants.
‘Monic’ brand playing cards, c.1930s
Karl Gerich's “Patience Indien No.16”, published in 1991, is adapted from Grimaud's “Whist Indienne” (c.1900). The double-ended courts are dressed in Arab garb.
Representing Iranian culture and history and intended for a Persian market, these playing cards were designed by V. Romanowski de Boncza, ordered by the Iranian government playing card monopoly at the time and printed by Thomas De la Rue & Co., Ltd, c.1937.
Playing Cards in Tunisia. Chkobba is one of the most popular card games in Tunisia, mainly played by men in coffee shops but also played at home by men and women alike.
Anonymous Moroccan Playing Cards for Royal Air Maroc airlines and others...
Chaudsoleil Red Wine advertising playing cards from Morocco.
These two uncoloured, uncut sheets of early Moorish playing cards were formerly preserved in the Instituto Municipal de Historia in Barcelona.
Nã'ib, the game of lieutenants... these cards are amongst the earliest Arabic playing cards extant.
Playing Cards have been around in Europe since the 1370s. Some early packs were hand painted works of art which were expensive and affordable only by the wealthy. But as demand increased cheaper methods of production were discovered so that playing cards became available for everyone...
Spanish national pattern by A. Camoin & Cie, Casablanca & Marseille
Moroccan cards with the legend 'Casablanca'.
Advertising pack for the Moroccan Bank of Commerce and Industry, 1986
Cartes La Gazelle, manufactured by Imprimerie de L’Entente, Casablanca
The earliest literary references to playing cards in Europe refer to the game having been introduced by a 'Saracen', and also to Moorish and Damascene varieties of playing card.
Spanish suited playing cards produced by B. P. Grimaud (Paris) for Algeria, around 1910.