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 Kharkov Province, part of present-day Ukraine. Khar’kov (present-day Kharkiv) was founded in the 17th century as a military stronghold to protect Russia’s southern borderlands, and was the administrative center of the province. The card indicates that the distance from Khar’kov to St. Petersburg was 1,422 versts, and from Khar’kov to Moscow, 712¼ 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