One of several similar designs which emerged during the nineteenth century, the French-suited, single-figured, large-format Florentine pattern has several distinctive features. The courts are realistically drawn without formalised style, and are dressed in Renaissance costume. The king of diamonds is reading a scroll; the jack of clubs is holding a large book; the queen of hearts is holding a letter, or about to drop it. There are no indices, usually 40 cards. The example shown below is from an uncut sheet by Edoardo Pignalosa, Rampe Brancaccio 76, Napoli, c.1946.
Member since January 30, 2009View Articles
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.
Carte da Gioco Toscana souvenir deck, 2002.
Stylish monochrome designs by the Archinstudio of Guido Bolzani and Gian-Piero Spagnolo, printed by Masenghini, Bergamo, Italy, 1977.
Gó Succo fruit juice promotion deck featuring Walt Disney cartoons.
San Marino stamp designs combined with photographic views by La Fotometalgrafica Emiliana, c.1975.
Myriorama of Italian scenery, 1824.
Portraits of a Lady by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Alice with artwork by Jesús Blasco, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Liberty playing cards designed by Antonella Castelli, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Il Circo illustrated by Jules Garnier, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2004.
Facsimile of Swiss William Tell deck from c.1870 published by Lo Scarabeo.
Baracca & Burattini puppetry deck printed by Dal Negro, 1998.
Martin Mystère based on the comic book by Alfredo Castelli. The cards were designed by Giancarlo Alessandrini.
Facsimile of “Le Jeu de la Guerre” designed by Gilles de la Boissière in 1698.
Avventure di Pinocchio by Dal Negro, based on Carlo Collodi’s famous 1883 novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio”.
Facsimile of Dondorf’s “Musikalisches Kartenspiel” (c.1862) published by Lo Scarabeo, 2004
Pinocchio fairy tale playing cards illustrated by Iassen Ghiuselev for Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Jeu Grotesque was first published in France c.1800.
Dal Negro Bridge set featuring old Vienna pattern courts.
“Carte Romane” designed by Giorgio Pessione, 1973, celebrating the history of Rome.
Cuccù or Cucco, an ancient Italian card game, published by Masenghini, 1979.
Sarde pattern published by Modiano, c.1975, based on early XIX century Spanish model.
The Triestine pattern is derived from the Venetian (Trevisane) pattern but with its own characteristics.
Primiera Bolognese by Modiano, c.1975
Bergamasche Pattern by Modiano, 1970s.
Tarocchini Bolognesi by Carlo Zanardi, c.1850
“Money Bag” pattern by Hermanos Solesi, late 18th c.
V. F. Solesio Tarot, Genoa, mid-late 19th century
Cartes des Rois de France (1644) facsimile edition by Edizioni del Solleone, 1986.
The Cagliostro Tarot was first published in 1912 as “Il Destino Svelato Dal Tarocco”.
Souvenir of Sorrento by Carte Da Gioco Muoio, Naples, c.2010
Alitalia advertising deck produced by Premier Portfolio International Ltd.
The so-called Tarocchi di Mantegna (c.1465) reflect an ideological structure bringing to mind the soul's progress towards perfection.
Genoese pattern from Italy.
The Sola-Busca Tarocchi, c.1491
Striking views of Naples, photography by Cesare Gerolimetto, produced by Dal Negro.
Stefano Vergnano’s Tarot and playing card factory holds a special place in the history of the Tarot.
The highly individual Sicilian Tarot has the Italo-Portuguese suit system with straight, interlocking swords and batons, and maids instead of jacks
Inspired by ancient symbology and traditional playing cards, Omnia is the third pack designed by Giovanni Meroni, 2015.
Fantasy latin-suited pack with court figures in pseudo-medieval style, Fratelli Armanino, Genova, c.1890s.