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Published July 28, 2022 Updated August 05, 2022

Suvenirnye Karty Odesskie

Pack printed by “Moryak” in Odessa illustrated by artist Yu. Litvinenko.

1992 Ukraine Moryak Yu Litvinenko Add to Collection

This is a 36 card pack with the text on the box written in Russian rather than Ukrainian. The pack was printed by “Moryak” in Odessa, the author was R. Leiderman and the artist Yu. Litvinenko. Each of the court cards are named: the knaves are R. Kartsev, V. Il’chenko’ Z. Gerdt, and Ia Levinzon. The queens are: L. Dolina, G. Pol’skikh, A. Romaiskaia and L. Litovko. The kings are: S. Livshin, M. Vodianoi, S. Govorukhin, and S. Pelishenko. Unfortunately I have only been able to identify two of the above individuals: Roman Andreyevich Kartsev was a Russian entertainer of stage, theatre and cinema. He was Honoured Artist of the RSFSR, People's Artist of the Russian Federation. He was an actor in the Moscow Theater of Miniatures under the leadership of Mikhail Zhvanetsky. For several decades he performed in a duet with Viktor Ilchenko.

Victor Leonidovich Ilchenko was born in Borisoglebsk on January 2, 1937. From 1963, he worked at Arkady Raikin's Leningrad Theatre of Miniatures, where Roman Kartsev and Mikhail Zhvanetsky also worked. Within the framework of the theatre, Ilchenko and Kartsev had their own concert program. In 1969, Ilchenko and Kartsev left to create their own Odessa Theater of Miniatures, which released three programs: "How to get to Deribasovskaia", "Met and scattered" and "Sincerely yours". Viktor Ilchenko died of stomach cancer on January 21, 1992, at the age of 56 and was buried in Moscow.

Pack printed by “Moryak” in Odessa illustrated by artist Yu. Litvinenko Pack printed by “Moryak” in Odessa illustrated by artist Yu. Litvinenko

Above: Pack printed by “Moryak” in Odessa illustrated by artist Yu. Litvinenko, 1992. 36 cards in box.

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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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