PLAYING CARDS on ICELAND
The deck was published by the artist Sigurlinni Pétursson in Iceland. It was printed by Handa, in commission of Fraenkel Bogtryk from Copenhagen, in 1958 and consists of 52 cards and 3 extra cards.
Sigurlinni Pétursson was born in the West-fjords in Iceland in
1899. He learned carpentry in Isafjordur and later moved to Copenhagen to study
architecture and sculpture. He had always been very interested in Icelandic or
He took the sketches for this deck on his travel to Sweden in 1938 and when stopping in Oslo he met a man, who suggested that they would best be printed in Germany. He sent the sketches to a German company and received a reply that roughly said that "it is unsuitable to portray Norse gods on playing cards as it can only be an insult to them". They also neglected to return the sketches to him.
However the artist had retained the original drawings and had decided that he was not going to let Hitler "beat him at cards". He made further drawings so that each and every card was illustrated. But it took a long time before he could have them published.
The Aces show the Starred Sky supported by the dwarfs of the four quarters (Clubs), the ash of Yggdrasil (Diamonds), Valhalla, (Hearts) and Himinbjörg (Spades). All other cards portray gods and heroes from the Icelandic and Norse mythology.
There are 3 extra cards:
The first two are considered to be the jokers, the 3rd card shows the Midgardsormur, a snake headed monster that holds a firm grip on the globe by biting itself in the tail. The design is the same as the backdesign, but in grey, instead of blue on the backs.
front and back of box
ICELAND or XPOHOME