Rarest of the rare & exclusive, 100% handmade (Made to order - Ready to ship after 2-3 months of placing the order. Message for any questions.)
Rarity Scale: R8 (which is the top end of the rarity scale meaning unique deck)
Deck specs & other details:
1. Handcrafted from the ground up - preparation of the paper to the handpainted wooden box. Every deck is unique making it one of its kind and a real collector's crave.
2. 100 % illustrated and painted (by hand) 52 cards (takes months to make one deck) - card dimensions are slightly larger than Poker size). Layer of lacquer is applied on the cards by hand making them virtually waterproof. The process used is centuries old and on the verge of extinction.
3. Comes in a very beautiful, sturdy & handpainted wooden box
4. Reproduction of a deck known as Maharashtra Pack of cards/Whist pack said to be made in 1780. The original deck is in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
5. A true collector's crave and a treasure - every deck is unique because of the handcrafted nature of work
6. These will be shipped from Australia via express shipping option (delivery in 4-6 working days) tightly secured in bubble wrap and a box.
Note: This deck was offered as an add-on to the Bharata Playing Cards Kickstarter project. I completed the fulfillment of this deck to the backers recently and am now left with 6 decks which were made in excess of the number of add-on pledges.
I'm able to offer these due to my association with Royal Matriarch Satvashila Devi Bhonsle of Sawantwadi. These handpainted deck of playing cards are made in collaboration with Sawantwadi Lacquerwares in India. Rajmata Satvashila Devi Bhonsle has worked tirelessly for decades to revive traditional art & craft forms and her workshop in the Sawantwadi Palace is one of the only few in the world where this craft of handcrafted & lacquered playing cards (most notably, Ganjifa) still exists.
Production process: These guys still use 300 year old process to make these cards.
Sheets of cotton paper blend are coated with tamarind paste (seed powder and oil), cooked with mud and Arabic gum. Few layers of the paper are grouped to form the thick layers and dried, further rubbed with the stone for a smooth finish. Main sketch is painted in the card with minute details of eyes, nose, hair etc. while painting of floral borders and motifs is done around the edges of each card & back. It is further dried under direct sunlight for a few hours. Artisans in Odisha use cloth instead of paper and it takes a few days to dry before they prepare for applying lacquer.
Sawantwadi (Maharashtra state) is renowned for lacquerware, popularly known as Sawantwadi Lacquer Craft. In essence, lacquer is a natural plastic; it is remarkably resistant to water, acid, and, to a certain extent, heat. Maharashtra is one of the leading producers of lac. Lac is the scarlet resinous secretion of Kerria lacca, also known as lac beetle. Kerria lacca is cultivated on dhak and kusum trees. Raw lacquer is collected by extracting the viscous sap through notches cut into the trees. It is gently heated to remove excess moisture and impurities. Purified lacquer is applied to the surface of the cards. Once coated with a thin layer of lacquer, the cards are left to dry. High-quality lacquer may require thirty or more coats, which makes the production time-consuming.
A similar process is used on wood boxes.
What do the collectors say about this deck:
--The Bharata Playing Cards and especially the hand crafted deck with the hand made and painted box exceeded my expectations. The artistry and workmanship are truly outstanding. Few decks have met the quality of this deck in all my years of collecting playing cards. The handcrafted deck and box is one of a kind. You are a lucky person if you have these decks in your collection. - Joe R. Austin, Texas
-- Box and Cards are high in individual detail work in paints/laquer, whilst the card stock is certainly umm, robusto, I would say !
They're a delight and a treasure Sunish, good work sourcing these .... they are a treat !
-- a lovely set bursting with colour and character.