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Published December 29, 2022 Updated December 29, 2022

Giochi di Corte

“Giochi di Corte” designed by Vito Thümmel and published by Cambissa of Trieste in 1991.

1991 Italy Cambissa Vito Thümmel Fantasy Add to Collection
“Giochi di Corte” designed by Vito Thümmel and published by Cambissa of Trieste in 1991

This pack entitled Giochi di Corte or “Court games” was published by Cambissa of Trieste in 1991. The design/artwork for this colourful and striking pack was by Vito Thümmel (known as Timmel). He was born in Vienna in 1886, but moved to Trieste in 1890, and died there in 1949. Thümmel participated in various exhibitions including the Venice Biennale. He was also a graphic designer for the movie industry and involved in the advertising market, specifically for giant posters.

The stylised court cards portray kings from the Middle Ages, queens wearing contemporary clothes, probably 1920s, and jacks in apparel of different periods holding weapons such as a swords and a musket. There are 2 jokers showing court jesters, decorative aces, and an information card about Thümmel. See the box and info card

“Giochi di Corte” designed by Vito Thümmel and published by Cambissa of Trieste in 1991 “Giochi di Corte” designed by Vito Thümmel and published by Cambissa of Trieste in 1991

Above: “Giochi di Corte” designed by Vito Thümmel and published by Cambissa of Trieste in 1991.

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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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