October 2010


The first 10 days of this month were spend in Portugal. After a week on the southern coast in the Algarve we arrived in Lisbon on the 3rd and had ample time to roam around the city before attending the joint convention of the IPCS and Asescoin during the last weekend there. The most famous flea market in Lisbon is the "Feira da Ladra" (Market of Thieves). It's on Tuesdays and Saturdays. We went both times, but our Tuesday session was the most rewarding. No antique decks, but some cute or interesting  modern ones.
The convention started on Friday with lectures in the morning and afternoon, an exhibition at the University Library at 6 PM and a first trading session at 8 PM. The 2nd and 3rd trading session were scheduled on Saturday, just like the traditional convention banquet. Usually we buy a good number of decks during these sessions at conventions, but here they didn't bring us many new decks. It could have been more, if the Spanish collectors hadn't skipped the 2nd and 3rd session on Saturday. 

After our return  there were the monthly flea market in Utrecht and the meeting of the Dutch collectors in Nieuwerbrug. Both brought us some new decks for our collection, so all together we had a good number of decks to choose from this month. On the shortlist were the Mariachi Nr 1 deck by Siegfried Heilmeier from 1982 (joker to be seen as joker of the month), an antique deck with Dutch scenic aces by  Frommann & Morian from c1890 (to be seen in the Old School xpo) and a Frommann & Bunte deck with Brazilian scenic aces from c1910. All German made decks, but none made it to this page. This month a modern Russian deck was chosen as Deck of the Month.

Because we still don't read Russian and couldn't find the deck on his WWPCM website, we asked Alexander "Sasha" Sukhorukov if he could tell us something more about this deck.


The deck is titled "Kashmir" and was published -in a small edition of 500 copies only- by Alfaret from St. Petersbourg on 18/6/2005. The deck was printed by Printissa. The designs on all the cards were done by Lev Liberman and show courts in Kashmir costumes and small illustrations of animals (mythical and real ones), trees etc. on each of the pips.

The indices are special designed and, although in Indian style, they are Cyrillic. 


According to Sasha, Printissa is the printing shop of the Alfaret publishing house and ventured into the manufacturing of playing cards in 2005, when one of Sasha's friends was financial director there, and has produced a small number of decks. For the playing cards production only Printissa changed their name to RusJoker in January 2006. Because there was too much competition from Chinese manufacturers on the Russian market, RusJoker stopped producing playing cards in 2007. The financial director had already been fired by the end of 2006. Printissa continues as printing department of Alfaret, but hasn't produced playing cards anymore.