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Published December 28, 2023 Updated December 28, 2023

5th Kingdom playing cards

5th Kingdom Luxury playing cards designed by Maria Fedoseeva, USA, 2020.

2020 USA PlayingCardDecks.com United States Playing Card Co. Maria Fedoseeva Kickstarter Luxury Transformation Add to Collection

The 5th Kingdom is a passion project started in 2015 by Maria Fedoseeva and was funded via Kickstarter, printed by USPCC and produced & distributed by PlayingCardDecks.com in 2020. Fedoseeva studied graphic design at the Moscow State University of Printing Arts and is now an illustrator based in Berlin, Germany.

It is a semi-transformation deck (i.e. the pips are cleverly integrated into the artwork on the cards) with creative and beautiful original art designs on every card. The illustrations express four unique worlds through colour and rhythm: spades depict ancient African culture; clubs embody a medieval culture of Europe; diamonds represent a fairy-tale Japan; and Hearts colourful India. There are two jokers, and two extra cards which provide fuller lyrical descriptions of each suit.

Two different versions of this deck were produced - a black "Artist" edition and a blue "Players" edition. The card backs of the black Artist edition have a one-way design while the card backs of the Players edition (shown here) have a double-ended design that makes it more suitable for actual use. In all other respects both packs are identical. See the box

5th Kingdom playing cards designed by Maria Fedoseeva, USA, 2020 5th Kingdom playing cards designed by Maria Fedoseeva, USA, 2020 5th Kingdom playing cards designed by Maria Fedoseeva, USA, 2020

Above: 5th Kingdom playing cards designed by Maria Fedoseeva and published by PlayingCardDecks.com in Henderson, Nevada, USA, 2020.

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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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