PLAYING CARDS on ICELAND
This deck is a modern version of the Islenzk Spil (Fornmannaspilin) from 1930. The modern version was illustrated by Jon Ingiberg Jonsteinsson and published as "Islensk: Fornsagnaspil" in 2014, probably by the artist himself. The deck was printed in Poland (BROS ?) and consists of 52 cards 3 jokers. As the courts show the exact same characters from Icelandic saga's, in each denomination and suit, we've used the descriptions from the Islenzk Spil here below too.
King (t) - Vígo-Styrr was a chieftain of Borgarfjördur, a killer. Mentioned in the Heiđarviga Saga.
King (b) - Egill Skallagrimsson was a chieftain from Borg, but also the greatest poet of the Time of the Sagas.
Queen (t) - Unnur Djúpúđga,
wife of war king Olafur the White, was one of the settlers of Iceland.
Queen (b) - Auđur Vésteinsdóttir was the wife of Gísli Súrsson and famous for her fidelity to her husband.
Jack (t) - Grettir Asmundsson
was one of the strongest men and greatest swimmer, but ill-fated in the Grettis
Jack (b) - Gísli Súrsson was a great hero, but also an outlaw for many years. His story is told in the Gísli Súrsson Saga.
King (t) - Snorri Sturluson, member of the Sturlungs
family, was not only a brilliant historian, but also a powerful chieftain.
King (b) - Hrafn Hćngsson was the son of Ketill Hćngur, a decendant of the Norwegian earls. Hrafn was elected first law-speaker of Iceland in 930.
Queen (t) - Helga Haraldsdóttir, daughter of a
Norwegian earl, was married to Hörđur Grímkelsson.
When he was killed she swam with her two sons from Hólmi Island to the mainland,
the Helga Swim.
Queen (b) - Helga the Fair was the daughter of Thorstein the White, son of Egill Skallagrimsson, and the most beautiful woman in the Time of the Sagas.
Jack (t) - Hörđur
promising leader, was outlawed. He lived at Hólmi and became leader of the Hólmians.
His story is told in the Harđar
Jack (b) - Gunnlauger the Snake's Tongue is one of the pricipal characters in a love-story bearing his name, the Gunnlaug Saga, and is considered to have written some of the most beautiful love poems of the Time of the Sagas.
The Aces too show the same scenes as those from the Islenzk Spil.
King (t) - Siđu-Hallur was
one of the first chieftains to embrace the Christian faith. Known for his wisdom
and settling feuds.
King (b) - Njáll Thorgeirsson was known for his wisdom. his knowledge of the law. Principal character in the Njála Saga.
Queen (t) - Thorbjörg Kolbrún
was the lady love and muse of Thormóđur
Bersason, the Kolbrún poet.
Queen (b) - Bergthóra Skarphéđinsdóttir was the wife of Njáll of Berhthórshváll. She refused to leave the house in which her husband and sons were burned in 1011. A.D.
Jack (t) - Skarphéđinn Njálsson
was the son of Njáll and Bergthóra, a strong and brave man.
Jack (b) - Thormóđur Kolbrúnarskáld was a poet and a soldier in the army of St. Olafur, King of Norway. He was killed in theBattle of Stiklastađir.
King (t) - Gunnar Hámunudarson, a friend of Njáll, was outlawed, but didn't flee from his homeland. He was killed at his home in Lithend after a renowned defence.
King (b) - Olafur Pái was the son of the gođi (priest) Höskuldur Dalakollsson and the Irish princess Melkorka and a popular chieftain.
Queen (t) - Hallgerđur Langbrók
was a beautiful woman with fair hair, married to Gunnar Hámundarson. When his
bowstring broke during the defence of their house, he asked her for a lock of
hair. She refused and he was killed.
Queen (b) - Guđrun Osvífursdóttir was a beautiful woman. She was married 4 times and survived all her husbands.
Jack (t) - Kári Sölmundarson was Njáll's
son-in-law. He escaped from the burning of Njáll and revenged his parents'
death by killing most of those who had partaken in the burning.
Jack (b) - Kjartan Olafsson was the son of Olafur Pái. A great swimmer, known for his contest with King Olafur Tryggvason of Norway, and the main character in the Laxdćla Saga.
Joker - Hredar Heimski, Hredar the Stupid.
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