An attractive Italian-suited tarot pack with 20 etched trump cards is illustrated with various animals, plus a flute-playing harlequin and a buffoon with a sausage. The trumps are of the German kind with natural history subjects, as though in a zoology text-book, instead of the traditional allegories. They are untitled with roman numerals in the panels at top and bottom. The pip cards have Italian suit symbols; but the court cards are double-ended with custom figures. The initials G.M. (Guillaume Mann ?, otherwise anonymous) appear on the 2 and 4 of coins and three of each set of court cards has the rank in French. There are no other inscriptions or titles.
A similar pack with Italian suits was produced by Carl Gottlieb Süss, Stuttgart, with natural history trumps.
The 4 of coins bears the initials C.G.S. and the 2 of cups has the legend “Zu finden bey Carl Gottlieb Süss in Stuttgardt”.
NOTE: the French-suited animal tarot did not completely replace the Italian-suited pack, as some manufacturers continued to make both types. Both types spread from one place to another with different courts or order of trumps, or with new trump themes, different fool cards, etc.
Mann, Sylvia: All Cards on the Table, Jonas Verlag/Deutsches Spielkarten-Museum, Leinfelden-Echterdingen, 1990
O’Donoghue, Freeman M: Catalogue of the collection of playing cards bequeathed by Lady Charlotte Schreiber, (German 295 & 292), Trustees of the British Museum, London, 1901
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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