GENERAL INTEREST

PUBLISHER
FUEL Publishing

BOOK FORMAT
Boxed, 54 cards, 2.5 x 3.5 in. / 54 pgs / 54 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2019 p. 3   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9780995745544 SDNR50
List Price: $20.00 CDN $0.00

AVAILABILITY
In stock

BROWSE THE 2018 FALL CATALOG

From 'Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin' to 'The Swimming Pool in Photography' to 'Protest: The Aesthetics of Resistance,' with new monographs on Yayoi Kusama, Hilma af Klint, James Turrell and Jack Whitten, and announcing D.A.P. distribution for Glenstone Museum and SPBH Editions.

  

FUEL PUBLISHING

Russian Criminal Playing Cards

Deck of 54 Playing Cards

Compiled by Damon Murray, Stephen Sorrell.

This deck of cards has been put together using four different sets (one for each suit) made by Russian criminals in prisons during the 1980s. Prohibited by the prison authorities, they were constructed from innocuous materials procured from the everyday routine of prison life, their unique designs skillfully manipulated so that they could be read.
The respect commanded by any criminal was directly related to his ability to play, and win, at cards. Being "lucky" at cards was also seen as a good omen (even if the winner cheated, as this practice is acceptable within the thieves' world). A thief could stake anything in a card game, a finger, an arm, the life of another inmate, or even his own. If he lost, the debt had to be paid immediately. The penalty for defaulting was expulsion, a forcibly applied tattoo or in some cases, death.
Mostly confiscated and destroyed by the authorities, original decks are difficult to obtain and often incomplete. The authentic designs reproduced here have been taken from original cards collected over the last ten years by the authors. A standard Russian deck contains only 36 cards. This pack has been adapted to make a complete standard Western deck of 52 cards and 2 jokers, making them suitable for any game.


Russian Criminal Playing Cards

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/30/2018

New from FUEL! Russian Criminal Playing Cards

New from FUEL! Russian Criminal Playing Cards

We are so excited to finally have stock of FUEL Publishing's new boxed 54-card deck of Russian Criminal Playing Cards. Each of the four suits in this standard 2.5 x 3.5-inch set is reproduced from a different DIY deck hand-made by an incarcerated Russian criminal during the 1980s. Because Soviet-era wardens forbade card playing, prisoners were obliged to fabricate their own personal card sets on the sly, using everyday materials sourced from prison life. For example, these cards were produced with hand-cut stencils and inked with substances like soot and blood. For more on the secret art and culture of the Russian criminal playing card, see the companion publication, Russian Criminal Tattoos and Playing Cards—also from FUEL.
continue to blog


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