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Carte per Signora

“Carte per Signora” patience pack was produced by Fratelli Armanino, Genova, in c.1897.

“Carte per Signora” produced by Fratelli Armanino, Genova, c.1897

“Carte per Signora”

“Carte per Signora” patience sized pack was produced by Fratelli Armanino, Genova, in c.1897, printed in chromolithography with double-ended scenic aces. The texts on the aces are in Italian. The cards do in fact closely resemble Dondorf's “Four Continents patience” (first published in c.1870) which also depicts imaginary persons and scenes from four continents, suggesting a degree of rivalry between the two firms. The Armanino brothers' firm operated in Genova until the 1920s when it moved to Rome and operated until c.1960.

“Carte per Signora” produced by Fratelli Armanino, Genova, c.1897

Above & right: “Carte per Signora” with double-ended scenic aces produced by Fratelli Armanino, 52 cards, Genova, c.1897. The four of diamonds has the tax stamp, with ‘Mercury’ facing left, and the value of 30 centesimi (used 1883 to 1914). Above this is the Genova tax office stamp dated 1897. Card size: 43x65 mms. Images courtesy Rex Pitts.

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By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

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Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.

His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.

Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.

Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.

His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.


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