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Published April 02, 2024 Updated April 02, 2024

Le Ore playing cards

Caricatures of famous personalities from the late 1970s for the Italian magazine Le Ore.

1980 Italy Le Ore Caricatures Add to Collection

Le Ore – The Hours in English – was an Italian weekly news magazine published in Milan between 1953 and 1994. It started out as a political, cultural and literary magazine but by 1977 had switched to being pornographic. Sales boomed – for a while!

The physical features of the characters on the courts are extremely exaggerated, especially the lips and the breasts. The characters are not named but one can make a few guesses: John Travolta (JS), Alain Delon (JH), Jean-Paul Belmondo (JC). The Jack of Diamonds is labelled ‘El Cubano’. This could well be Alberto Sicilia Falcon, an infamous drug trafficker and arms smuggler.

The style of the back design reminds one of the Panorama pack of c.1979 so the same company (Windmill?) probably printed both packs. Like the original Panorama pack, the cards in this pack were issued one suit at a time with four different issues of the magazine.

Le Ore playing cards published by Le Ore, Milan, Italy, c1980 Le Ore playing cards published by Le Ore, Milan, Italy, c1980

Above: Le Ore playing cards published by Le Ore, Milan, Italy, c1980. Designed and made in Hong Kong. 52 cards + 2 Jokers. Size: 62 x 87 mm.

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By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.


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