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Published March 15, 2018 Updated June 06, 2022

Carte Romane

“Carte Romane” designed by Giorgio Pessione, 1973, celebrating the history of Rome.

1973 Italy Giorgio Pessione Myths & Legends Patterns and Suit Types Add to Collection

Carte Romane were designed by Giorgio Pessione for Capitol Carta Roma, 1973. The publishers were aiming to establish “Carte Romane” as a distinctive regional pattern for Rome, the most famous of all cities, capital of Italy, which up to that time was missing from card tables. The deck celebrates the ancient history of Rome, founded on an act of love and death... See the Leaflet

The cards have traditional Hispano-Italian suit symbols, and the courts feature Roman-style warrior-knaves, centurion-knights and emperor-kings. Symbols and allegories such as the Mouth of Truth for coins, Roman daggers, Vesta’s Temple, the Colosseum, Arch of Titus, the letters S.P.Q.R. etc. decorate the cards. Unfortunately they were not successful owing to the greater popularity of the Piacentine pattern. See the Box

Carte Romane designed by Giorgio Pessione for Capitol Carta Roma, 1973
Carte Romane designed by Giorgio Pessione for Capitol Carta Roma, 1973 Carte Romane designed by Giorgio Pessione for Capitol Carta Roma, 1973 Carte Romane designed by Giorgio Pessione for Capitol Carta Roma, 1973 Carte Romane designed by Giorgio Pessione for Capitol Carta Roma, 1973

Above: Carte Romane designed by Giorgio Pessione for Ferruccio Petrelli, Capitol Carta Roma, 1973. The name of the designer, Giorgio Pessione, appears around the base of the ace of cups. Images courtesy Rex Pitts.

Capitol Carte Poker

An international Poker deck was also produced by Capitol Carte Roma showing Romulus and his twin brother Remus, founders of the city of Rome, on the ace of diamonds.

Above: international Poker deck produced by Capitol Carte Romaan, c.1973, featuring original designs with a lot of non-standard features.

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By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

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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