playing cards

Fifty-one playing playing cards of Sawantwadi type in painted wooden box with lid. The cards are circular in form on stiff, painted card, red on reverse, the face having scenes and designs. The cards with painted figures are inscribed with the name N. R. Kelkar. There are four suits: yellow (tridents); black (clubs); green (inscribed with 'Shri'); red (elephant goads). In these different numbers of the respective emblems are painted on each card. In addition there are Hindu deities in each of the four colours, with the attribute painted next to each deity. The set is not complete. There are 10 deity cards, one of Siva (yellow), Visnu (green) and Ganesh (red), each of these with a consort and a prince or guardian. For the black suit there is only the consort for these higher cards. The lower cards are also not complete.

This set represents a transitional type, when card makers in Sawantwadi began to make sets with four suits each containing three court cards. In this fairly simple 'bazaar' pack, the Kings and Queens are seated and the Jack stands. Later sets show the European emblems: Hearts (yellow), Spades (red), Diamonds (green) and Clubs (black). See HOPEWELL, Jeff, The playing-card workshops of Sawantwadi, The Playing Card, vol XXIV, no 5, March/April 1996.

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