This early-19th century playing card is from a set of 60 such cards, each devoted to a different province or territory of the Russian Empire, which at the time included the Grand Duchy of Finland, Congress Poland, and Russian America. One side of each card shows the local costume and the provincial coat of arms; the other side contains a map. This card depicts Irkutsk Province, located in eastern Siberia and bordered by China (present-day Mongolia) to the south. Irkutsk, situated just west of Lake Baikal, was the administrative center. The Russian imperial authorities commonly sent political exiles to the province. The card indicates that the distance from Irkutsk to St. Petersburg was 5,867½ versts, and from Irkutsk to Moscow, 5,351¾ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.
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9.5 x 6.5 centimeters. Color lithograph
Last updated: June 3, 2015