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Published March 14, 2018 Updated June 07, 2022

Cuccù

Cuccù or Cucco, an ancient Italian card game, published by Masenghini, 1979.

1979 Italy Masenghini Card Games Cuccu Gnav Add to Collection

Cuccù, or Cucco, is an ancient Italian card game from 17th century or earlier which has relations in Austria, Germany and Scandinavia (called ‘Gnav’). The deck contains number and picture cards, two of each, 40 in total. The number cards run fron 1 to X. The picture cards contain illustrations, including a cat, a horse, an inn and a cuckoo (which in this case resembles an owl) which have different point values in the game. Other picture cards (the fool, the lion, the bucket, the grotesque face) have no value in the game. The aim is to avoid holding the lowest value card at the end of a round. See the Rules

Cuccù or Cucco, an ancient Italian card game, published by Masenghini, 1979 Cuccù or Cucco, an ancient Italian card game, published by Masenghini, 1979

Above: Cuccù or Cucco, an ancient Italian card game, published by Masenghini, 1979. Images courtesy Rex Pitts.

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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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