Museum of playing cards.
This is the only Museum in Russia dedicated to the history of playing cards. The Museum appeared in Peterhof not by chance, because it was here in the summer that a select society gathered for dinner parties, masquerades and court balls. At balls not only danced, but also played cards. In six halls of the Museum there are more than 8 thousand exhibits. In addition to playing cards, these are items of fine and decorative arts that represent the game and its attributes, or are directly related to it, as well as a library that is unique in its composition. In the Windows you can see playing cards from different countries-Japanese, Chinese, English, Spanish, French, German and Russian for playing tarok, bezik, whist, bridge, Lotto cards, cards for solitaire and fortune telling.
There are maps of various sizes and shapes from huge 10×16 cm to very small 2×5 cm, rectangular, oval, round, zigzag, made of various materials – paper, cloth, mica.
Among the rarities of the Museum – one of the earliest decks, the so-called “Deck with peddlers”, created in Germany in 1690, and the original Atlas maps of the painter A. I. Charlemagne, made in the Renaissance style. Of great interest are Chinese cards for the game of Manjong and Japanese cards for the game”one Hundred poets”.
The last room is dedicated to modern playing cards, including advertising, campaigning, souvenir, anniversary and political cards. Special attention is drawn to “prison maps” created from Newspapers.”
“There are no more than a dozen collections like the One displayed in the Museum of playing cards in Peterhof around the world. The core of the Museum’s unique collections is the collection of Alexander Perelman, who spent thirty-five years collecting cards and items related to card games. The deck of the St. Petersburg collector, bought, traded, received as a gift. For example, Dmitry Likhachev gave Perelman two decks that once belonged to Ronald Reagan. For more than three decades, Perelman has collected more than 6 thousand card decks and items related to card games. Dreaming of opening a Museum of playing cards, he negotiated with the museums of Tsarskoye Selo and Peterhof. But these plans were destined to come true only after the death of the collector. The Peterhof Museum-reserve acquired the Perelman collection and based on it created the Museum of playing cards, which today has 90 thousand exhibits in its funds.”
“According to the head Of the Museum of playing cards Tatyana vergun, the exposition of the new Museum is built on chronological and thematic principles. “From the General, introductory hall, where the visitor learns about the collection of Alexander Perelman and about the history of the origin and development of card games and the purpose of cards, you can go to the Eastern and Western European halls. Maps first appeared in China, where they were called “singing rustling leaves”, and in Europe, the maps came after the Crusades. There is a hall dedicated to card reading. It is no accident that there is an hourglass on the table – the divination session lasted exactly forty minutes, ” Tatyana vergun told the REGNUM news Agency. She also recalled that in St. Petersburg, a card factory was opened at the Alexander manufactory in 1817, the proceeds from the sale of decks went to support the Orphanage, and the graduates of the Orphanage themselves made up the vast majority of employees of this factory. Alexander Perelman’s collection also included prison maps made of Wallpaper and painted with blood. Among the decks presented in the Museum of playing cards, “Revolutionary” – with Marx, Lenin, Trotsky and other political characters, the deck “Sadam Hussein” and the deck where the US Administration and the recently retired Russian Cabinet headed by Mikhail Fradkov are represented in full.”