Transformation playing cards designed by Adolfo Matarelli (1832-1877) and originally published by Lit. G. Payer, Florence, c.1860 with the title “Album”.
Matarelli was a well known caricaturist who first illustrated Carlo Collodi's famous Pinocchio story. He was also a collaborator in
the satirical magazine Il Lampione, founded by Collodi.
The images in the intricately designed transformed playing cards are supposed to be street scenes, but are often allegorical or symbolic, suggesting a moral or political
innuendo and resulting in a visually pleasing and intriguing transformation deck.
The Court Cards
The 12 court figures are all standing in front of a background scene which enhances the sense of drama.
Above: 52-card deck of transformation playing cards designed by Adolfo Matarelli (1832-1877), reissued here as a facsimile edition named
'Toscana playing cards' published by Cavallini & Co., San Francisco. The set is presented in a handmade box accompanied by a
Jolly Joker and information card.
The original pack was printed in two versions: 52 cards and 40 cards.
Images courtesy Rex Pitts.