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Published June 26, 2023 Updated June 26, 2023

Carte da gioco anticomuniste del Comitato civico

Anti-Communist propaganda pack with satirical designs by Benito Jacovitti.

1951 Italy Arti Grafiche Panetto & Petrelli Benito Jacovitti Humour Political Propaganda Satire Add to Collection

Rarely can a pack of playing cards have carried such a clear and incisive message as this one. That message is “Vote Communist at your peril!” Each one of the 40 cards designed by Benito Jacovitti (1923-1997), the famous Italian comic artist, makes it clear that voting Communist will play into the hands of the Russians and only lead to misery. The artist’s signature, date and the printer’s name all appear on the 3 of Swords. In addition, on this particular example of the pack, the artist has signed the Ace of Swords in ink.

The Comitati Civici (or Civic Committees) were an organisation of Italian lay Catholics committed to defending the country’s religious and moral traditions and to anti-Communist civic mobilisation. They were established on behalf of Pope Pius XII ahead of the political elections of 1948.

Carte da gioco anticomuniste del Comitato civico designed by Benito Jacovitti. Printed by S.A. Arti Grafiche Panetto & Petrelli, Spoleto, Italy, for the Comitato Civico, 1951 Carte da gioco anticomuniste del Comitato civico designed by Benito Jacovitti. Printed by S.A. Arti Grafiche Panetto & Petrelli, Spoleto, Italy, for the Comitato Civico, 1951 Carte da gioco anticomuniste del Comitato civico designed by Benito Jacovitti. Printed by S.A. Arti Grafiche Panetto & Petrelli, Spoleto, Italy, for the Comitato Civico, 1951 Carte da gioco anticomuniste del Comitato civico designed by Benito Jacovitti. Printed by S.A. Arti Grafiche Panetto & Petrelli, Spoleto, Italy, for the Comitato Civico, 1951

Above: Carte da gioco anticomuniste del Comitato civico designed by Benito Jacovitti. Printed by S.A. Arti Grafiche Panetto & Petrelli, Spoleto, Italy, for the Comitato Civico, 1951. 40 cards. Size: 71.5 x 113 mm.

Jacovitti (“Jac” for short) designed other packs of cards including a Mercante in Fiera set published by Modiano and the Tarocchi dei Celti Jacovitti published by Lo Scarabeo.

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By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.


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