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Published January 09, 2024 Updated January 09, 2024

Trappola pack by Joseph Fetscher

Trappola pack published by Joseph Fetscher, Graz, 1739.

1739 Austria Germany Fetscher Trappola Archaic Patterns Add to Collection

A full-figure Italian-suited Trappola pack published by Joseph Fetscher in Graz, 1739. Trappola is a trick-taking game which had its origins in Venice (Italy) during the 16th century from where it travelled to central Europe, but thereafter it declined in popularity and today is more or less obsolete. The last Trappola pack to be manufactured was made in Prague in 1944. The cards are elongated and run: ace (high), king, knight, jack, 2 and 7-10: a shortened pack of 36 cards which omits the 3 to 6 from each suit.

The 2 of swords has the inscription “1739 Joseph Fetscher Burger in Graz" with a coat of arms of Graz; the king of swords has the inscription “I.S.T.F. 1741"; the king of cups “In Stat Gratz" and the ace of clubs reads “In Graz bey Joseph Fetscher Burger". The cavalier of coins has a small dog running alongside

Trappola pack by Joseph Fetscher, Graz, 1739. © The Trustees of the British Museum Trappola pack by Joseph Fetscher, Graz, 1739. © The Trustees of the British Museum Trappola pack by Joseph Fetscher, Graz, 1739. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Above: cards from a 36-card Trappola deck published by Joseph Fetscher, Graz, 1739. Hand-coloured woodcut, backs printed with a black diaper. © The Trustees of the British Museum • Museum number 1896,0501.337

References

O’Donoghue, Freeman M: Catalogue of the collection of playing cards bequeathed by Lady Charlotte Schreiber (German 303), Trustees of the British Museum, London, 1901 [digital version here]

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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