The World of Playing Cards Logo

Gumppenberg of Milan

Fine playing cards made by Gumppenberg of Milan evoking the style of antiquity, c.1830

Gumppenberg of Milan
c.1830

Ferdinando Gumppenberg (active 1809-c.1846) was a major card designer and manufacturer in the early 19th century. Arriving in Milan in 1809 from Munich, he introduced German technical innovation and taste into Italy¹.  He is best known for a great range of tarot packs, especially the very successful “Della Rocca” tarot, c.1830 and the non-standard “Corona Ferrea” pack having episodes in the history of the Lombard Iron Crown on the trumps.

Playing cards were also produced at Gumppenberg’s Fabbrica in Milano. Many of his original designs were copied by other manufacturers (eg Edoardo Dotti). The court cards in this example are stencil-coloured woodcuts, with vibrant imperial-style costumes evoking antiquity but perhaps lacking in facial expressions.

Above: the tax stamp on the Jack of clubs was used in the Kingdom of Lombardy between 1823-1840.   more

Above: playing cards by Ferdinando Gumppenberg, Milan, c.1830. The reverse has a repeating pattern of red dots on plain white. Images courtesy Siobhan Johnson.

¹ According to the publisher Osvaldo Menegazzi: “Ferdinando Gumppenberg is one of the greatest innovators and inventors, ingenious in the field of playing card production during the 19th century. When he arrived in Milan in 1809 from Munich, he brought German technology along with a trunk full of experience to share with Italy. He had studied with J. Fetscher and also brought with him the news, taste, fashion and trends that were of contemporary Germany and Austria during the 2nd half of the 1700s.”   See also: Gumppenberg en Dellarocca

avatar

By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

View Articles

Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


Leave a Reply

Recommended

2002 Carte da Gioco Toscana

Carte da Gioco Toscana

Carte da Gioco Toscana souvenir deck, 2002.

1977 Bolzani e Spagnolo

Bolzani e Spagnolo

Stylish monochrome designs by the Archinstudio of Guido Bolzani and Gian-Piero Spagnolo, printed by Masenghini, Bergamo, Italy, 1977.

Gó Succo

Gó Succo

Gó Succo fruit juice promotion deck featuring Walt Disney cartoons.

1975 San Marino Souvenir

San Marino Souvenir

San Marino stamp designs combined with photographic views by La Fotometalgrafica Emiliana, c.1975.

1824 Myriorama

Myriorama

Myriorama of Italian scenery, 1824.

2003 Portraits of a Lady

Portraits of a Lady

Portraits of a Lady by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.

2003 Alice

Alice

Alice with artwork by Jesús Blasco, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.

2003 Liberty

Liberty

Liberty playing cards designed by Antonella Castelli, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.

2004 Il Circo

Il Circo

Il Circo illustrated by Jules Garnier, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2004.

William Tell

William Tell

Facsimile of Swiss William Tell deck from c.1870 published by Lo Scarabeo.

1990 Baracca & Burattini

Baracca & Burattini

Baracca & Burattini puppetry deck printed by Dal Negro, 1998.

2005 Martin Mystère

Martin Mystère

Martin Mystère based on the comic book by Alfredo Castelli. The cards were designed by Giancarlo Alessandrini.

1698 Le Jeu de la Guerre

Le Jeu de la Guerre

Facsimile of “Le Jeu de la Guerre” designed by Gilles de la Boissière in 1698.

1980 Le Avventure di Pinocchio

Le Avventure di Pinocchio

Avventure di Pinocchio by Dal Negro, based on Carlo Collodi’s famous 1883 novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio”.

2004 Musikalisches Kartenspiel

Musikalisches Kartenspiel

Facsimile of Dondorf’s “Musikalisches Kartenspiel” (c.1862) published by Lo Scarabeo, 2004

2003 Pinocchio

Pinocchio

Pinocchio fairy tale playing cards illustrated by Iassen Ghiuselev for Lo Scarabeo, 2003.

1800 Jeu Grotesque

Jeu Grotesque

Jeu Grotesque was first published in France c.1800.

Dal Negro Bridge set

Dal Negro Bridge set

Dal Negro Bridge set featuring old Vienna pattern courts.

1973 Carte Romane

Carte Romane

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

1979 Cuccù

Cuccù

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

1975 Sarde Pattern

Sarde Pattern

Sarde pattern published by Modiano, c.1975, based on early XIX century Spanish model.

Triestine Pattern

Triestine Pattern

The Triestine pattern is derived from the Venetian (Trevisane) pattern but with its own characteristics.

Trentine Pattern

Trentine Pattern

Trentine Pattern

Primiera Bolognese

Primiera Bolognese

Primiera Bolognese by Modiano, c.1975

Bergamasche Pattern

Bergamasche Pattern

Bergamasche Pattern by Modiano, 1970s.

1850 Tarocchini Bolognesi by Carlo Zanardi

Tarocchini Bolognesi by Carlo Zanardi

Tarocchini Bolognesi by Carlo Zanardi, c.1850

Hermanos Solesi

Hermanos Solesi

“Money Bag” pattern by Hermanos Solesi, late 18th c.

1860 V. F. Solesio Tarot

V. F. Solesio Tarot

V. F. Solesio Tarot, Genoa, mid-late 19th century

1814 Goyesca

Goyesca

Baraja ‘Goyesca’ facsimile of original deck published in Madrid by Clemente de Roxas, 1814.

1644 Rois de France

Rois de France

Cartes des Rois de France (1644) facsimile edition by Edizioni del Solleone, 1986.

1912 Il Destino Svelato Dal Tarocco

Il Destino Svelato Dal Tarocco

The Cagliostro Tarot was first published in 1912 as “Il Destino Svelato Dal Tarocco”.

2010 Sorrento Napoletane

Sorrento Napoletane

Souvenir of Sorrento by Carte Da Gioco Muoio, Naples, c.2010

Alitalia

Alitalia

Alitalia advertising deck produced by Premier Portfolio International Ltd.

1465 Tarocchi di Mantegna, c.1465

Tarocchi di Mantegna, c.1465

The so-called Tarocchi di Mantegna (c.1465) reflect an ideological structure bringing to mind the soul's progress towards perfection.

Genovesi Pattern

Genovesi Pattern

Genoese pattern from Italy.

1491 Sola-Busca Tarocchi

Sola-Busca Tarocchi

The Sola-Busca Tarocchi, c.1491

Cities of Art - Naples

Cities of Art - Naples

Striking views of Naples, photography by Cesare Gerolimetto, produced by Dal Negro.

Vergnano Tarot 1826-1851

Vergnano Tarot 1826-1851

Stefano Vergnano’s Tarot and playing card factory holds a special place in the history of the Tarot.

1960 Tarocco Siciliano

Tarocco Siciliano

The highly individual Sicilian Tarot has the Italo-Portuguese suit system with straight, interlocking swords and batons, and maids instead of jacks

2015 Omnia Playing Cards

Omnia Playing Cards

Inspired by ancient symbology and traditional playing cards, Omnia is the third pack designed by Giovanni Meroni, 2015.