Egypt

Cards from far off lands and bygone days!

Egypt

Unread postby nECr0MaNCeD » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:07 pm  

These were printed by Moharem Press somewhere around 1973. The company was started by a German Ex-patriot after he emigrated in 1937. They mostly make corrugated boxes now but after poking around their website I see they are still making playing cards. (They are looking for a distributor for their trademark No. 111 playing cards)

I got these on Ebay. The winning bid was $8 plus $4 for shipping. Not bad.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
I am the featured Collector of the month for March/April. You can check it out Here
Decks I have for sale are Here
User avatar
nECr0MaNCeD
Member
Master
Master
 
Posts: 1225
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:46 pm
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Country: United States (us)
Has thanked: 214 times
Been thanked: 125 times

Re: Egypt

Unread postby dazzleguts » Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:22 pm  

Space
Vintage Nefertiti Souvenir


This is really just an adjunct to nECrO's posting. Another Moharrem Press deck with their standard faces, this time made as a souvenir with a bust of Nefertiti on the card backs. Found these at the thrift store. I love that they were made in the ancient city and port of Alexandria.

I won't post the faces since they are the same, so just the back and box for comparison. The A.R.E on the box is the Arab Republic of Egypt. :

Nefertiti box front_card back.jpg


Nefertiti box back +.jpg
User avatar
dazzleguts
Moderator
Master
Master
 
Posts: 1412
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:32 pm
Country: Canada (ca)
Has thanked: 168 times
Been thanked: 117 times

Re: Egypt

Unread postby Jock1971 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:29 pm  

MULUK MANUWWAB, a reconstructed facsimile pack of the mamluk cards, Printed By Carta Mundi and published by Aurelia Books in 1972.
IMG_0001.jpg

The so-called Muluk Manuwwab (Kings and Viceroys) also known as the mamluk Playing cards were dicovered at the Topkai Museum in istanbul by L.A Mayer. There are 47 large cards (each card measures approx 250mm x 95mm) from three individual incomplete packs. The Hand drawn and hand coloured cards more than likely originated from North Africa, in Particular from today`s Egypt, and date from the 15th/16th century.
IMG_0002.jpg

In the 12th century, the rulers of the Ayyubid sultanate (North-East Africa) in constant fear of being overthrown by their own generals, began to entrust their slaves with low-rank military charges. The mamluk people, originally deported from Caucasian, southern Russian and central asia areas who had been converted to Islam, began to undertake such careers.
IMG_0003.jpg

Generation after generation, the mamluks reached the highest military ranks, and grew strong enough to revolt against the last Ayyubid sultan, as-salih Ayyub. In 1250 the latter was murdered, and Izz ad-Din Aibek became the first mamluk ruler, founding the Turkish branch of the dynasty who`s empire comprised mainly of Egypt and Syria.
IMG_0004.jpg

In 1382, with sultan Barquq, the new Circassan dynasty replaced the Turkish branch. Their rulers proved much weaker, and within a century or so had lost control over their lands. In 1517 Egypt and Syria were taken by the Turks from Anatolia, and were turned into provinces of the newborn Ottoman Empire, but the new sultan chose for these provinces mamluk viceroys. This enabled them to maintain a high social status, and slowly their control over the army and the administration in Egypt grew strong again, up to the point of almost founding an independent state in the 18th century. In 1811, Egypts new viceroy, Muhammad Ali Pasha hatched a massacre, in which most mamluk representatives were killed, putting an end to this dynasty.
Last edited by Jock1971 on Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Jock1971
Member
Master
Master
 
Posts: 1125
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:00 pm
Country: United Kingdom (uk)
Has thanked: 118 times
Been thanked: 241 times

Re: Egypt

Unread postby Jock1971 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:49 pm  

In 1939 L.A. Mayer wrote a treatise on the mamluk cards. He described the deck as consisting of Five suits- cups, coins, swords, polo sticks and staffs. Mayers assumption of five suits was later questioned by scholars and the general opinion is now that the deck only has four suits.
IMG_0005.jpg

Despite some missing cards, Mayer found that each suit consisted of ten number cards and four court cards, these being a king, a governor, a second governor and a helper. The values were not depicted by illustrations on the cards, but as a caption of the lower part of the deck. Mayer also mentions one quite different card showing only a crescent, mayer remarked that this may or may not be the islamic equivalent of the Joker card.
IMG_0006.jpg

Later scholars regarding the mamluk deck now agree that L.A. Mayer was wrong on several points, a major one being his assumption that the deck has four court cards. It is generally agreed that the two cards called "the Helper" by Mayer, actually were the missing kings of the appropriate suits. Acknowledging this makes the deck more complete, also Mayers suggestion of the "crescent" card being a Joker is clearly wrong as the joker card is a fairly recent American invention.
IMG_0007.jpg

Unfortunately the Publisher of the Aurelia set, Jan Bauwens, was not aware of these corrections to L.A. Mayers assumptions, so the reconstruction of the deck suffered from such mistakes as having four court cards in each suit. Fortunately, Bauwens did not take on Mayers suggestions of the pack having five suits.
Last edited by Jock1971 on Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Jock1971
Member
Master
Master
 
Posts: 1125
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:00 pm
Country: United Kingdom (uk)
Has thanked: 118 times
Been thanked: 241 times

Re: Egypt

Unread postby Jock1971 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:23 pm  

The mamluk card have a great likeness to the early Italian decks of cards. The suit marks are more or less identical and the structure of the mamluk deck also resembles the ordinary deck of cards later used in Europe. The main theory is therefore that playing cards entered Italy from the Islamic world and from Italy spread to other countries. We can call the maamluk cards a prototype of the European playing cards and therefore one of the first steps leading to the development of the Tarot pack as we know it today.
IMG_0008.jpg

The four suits, whose names are mentioned on the court cards are-
"Darahim", plural of Dirahm, a typical arabic currency of an ancient greek origin, I.E from Drachm, here featuring a very generic pattern (not a "real" coin) matching the suit of coins of both northern Italian and Spanish traditions.
"Suyuf"(scimitars,swords,sabres) whose sign is a black s-shaped pattern, at a closer look reveal at one end the presence of a long handle with a hilt and golden bosses along the shaft, evidently referring to scimitars in their sheath.
IMG_0009.jpg

"Jawkan", actually "Polo Sticks" whose shape is long and straight, with an L-shaped end (this part is oriented in a upright position) their sections are coloured in gold and blue, with alternate colours in adjoining sticks. They clearly inspired the cudgel shaped batons of Spanish cards, and the mace like ones of the north italian patterns- neither the Spanish nor the Italians card players knew what polo was.
IMG_0010.jpg

"Tuman", a word borrowed from the turkic language of the kipchak people, but found with very little differences also in Mongolian,Manchu and several other languages and dialects throughout central asia. This word means "Ten thousand, 10,000 myriad", but it also is used with a meaning of "a great many".
IMG_0011.jpg

Therefore the suit of "Tuman" would have mismatched any western type of cards, had the chosen sign not been golden chalices or cups. These shapes apparently have no relation at all with the name, though they bring a fourth element in common with latin-suited cards. Instead the name "Tuman" matches in meaning the suit called Wan "Ten Thousand Myriads" found in chinese money cards.
Last edited by Jock1971 on Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Jock1971
Member
Master
Master
 
Posts: 1125
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:00 pm
Country: United Kingdom (uk)
Has thanked: 118 times
Been thanked: 241 times

Re: Egypt

Unread postby Jock1971 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:50 pm  

Despite the known decks of this kind are very few, in all of them the pattern seems to follow a precise scheme. The main part of the illustration is formed by a rim, whose top part is curved, in the shape of a horeshoe as seen in islamic doorways, windows, friezes and grave decorations. All the free spaces are filled with floral motifs, elegantly painted; the dominant shades of colour in all the cards are yellow or gold and blue.
IMG_0012.jpg

What appears to be a crucial detail for the relation with southern european cards is not only the similarity of the suit signs, but the way the long suits (swords & sticks) are arranged, crossing each other, with the intersecting points highlighted by means of colour changes and additional details. Furthermore, the cards with odd values have a different and more ornate pip that cuts vertically through the others in the center of the card, all of this is also found in most tarot packs.
IMG_0013.jpg

Each arabic suit is composed of thirteen cards,making a total of 52 cards, without any honours, extra subjects nor jokers. Ten cards have pips from 1 to 10, variously arranged, while the last three cards are courts. Due to the islamic precept of not reproducing human figures, only the names of the personages i.e. the ranks of the three cards, are spelt at the bottom in gold arabic letters inside a blue rectangle, while their central illustration shows either one or two large suit signs.
IMG_0014.jpg

The court names are Malik ("King", the highest), Naib ("Viceroy"), Naib Thani ("second viceroy", the lowest). Due to the aforesaid islamic precepts, a female personage among the courts would have never been possible. The three ranks correspond to the one`s found in all Latin-suited and German-suited cards e.g Malik = King, Naid (viceroy) = Cavalier or Ober and Naib Thani (second viceroy) = Knave or unter.
IMG_0015.jpg

At the top of the court cards, in a blue rectangle similar to the bottom one, is a saying or aphorism (a different one for each card). Their meanings are often obscure, or highly idiomatic, but always interesting. for instance -
"With the sword of happiness, i shall redeem a beloved who will afterwards take my life"
"I am as a garden, the life of which will never exist"
"Rejoice in the happiness that returns, as a bird that sings its joy"
Last edited by Jock1971 on Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Jock1971
Member
Master
Master
 
Posts: 1125
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:00 pm
Country: United Kingdom (uk)
Has thanked: 118 times
Been thanked: 241 times

Re: Egypt

Unread postby dazzleguts » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:40 am  

:D A fantastic posting Jase!

Beautiful deck, great historical background.

So very cool!
User avatar
dazzleguts
Moderator
Master
Master
 
Posts: 1412
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:32 pm
Country: Canada (ca)
Has thanked: 168 times
Been thanked: 117 times


Return to Worldwide Time Machine

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest