July 15, 2011

Ekaterinoslav Province

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 Ekaterinoslav Province, located in the western part of the empire, in present-day Ukraine. To the south, the province borders on the Sea of Azov. Ekaterinoslav (present-day Dnipropetrovsk) was the administrative center of the province. The city was founded on the southern bank of the Dnieper River in 1786 and named in honor of Catherine the Great. The card indicates that the distance from Ekaterinoslav to St. Petersburg was 1,644¼ versts, and from Ekaterinoslav to Moscow, 924½ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Caucasus Oblast

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 the Caucasus Oblast, located in the southwestern part of the empire and bordered by the Azov, Black, and Caspian seas. The map marks the “Land of the Black Sea Cossack Host,” the winter encampment of the Kalmyks, and the “Land of the Mountain Peoples.” Stavropol was the administrative center of the province. The card indicates that the distance from Stavropol to St. Petersburg was 2,087 versts, and from Stavropol to Moscow, 1,367¼ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Kostroma Province

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 Kostroma Province, located in the western part of the empire. Kostroma is situated at the confluence of the Volga and Kostroma rivers. Founded in 1152, Kostroma is one of the oldest Russian cities, and was the administrative center of the province. The card indicates that the distance from Kostroma to St. Petersburg was 805¾ versts, and from Kostroma to Moscow, 305 versts. A vest is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Yakutsk Region

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 the Yakutsk region, located in the far east of the empire. The region is bordered by the “North Ocean or Arctic Sea” (present-day Arctic Ocean) to the north, the Sea of Okhotsk to the southwest, and the Chinese Empire to the south. Yakutsk, the administrative center of the region, is situated on the Lena River. Okhotsk, the district center, lies on the Sea of Okhotsk. Okhotsk was the first Russian settlement on the Pacific coast, established in the middle of the 17th century by Cossacks as a winter camp. The card indicates that the distance from Yakutsk to St. Petersburg was 8,593 versts, and from Yakutsk to Moscow, 8,077¼ versts. The distance from Okhotsk to St. Petersburg was 9,602 versts, and from Okhotsk to Moscow 9,086¼ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Mogilev Province

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 Mogilev Province, located in part of present-day Belarus. The province was acquired by Russia in 1772 after the first partition of Poland. Mogilev (Mahilyow, in Belarusian), situated on the Dnieper (Dnyapro, in Belarusian) River, was the administrative center of the province. The card indicates that the distance from Mogilev to St. Petersburg was 783 versts, and from Mogilev to Moscow, 564½ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Arkhangelsk Province

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 Arkhangelsk Province, located in the far north of European Russia, and bordered by the White, Barents, and Kara seas. Arkhangel'sk, the administrative center of the province, was founded in 1584 and became an important port. The card indicates that the distance from Arkhangel'sk to St. Petersburg was 1,136½ versts, and from Arkhangel'sk to Moscow, 1,218½ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.