This antique “Minchiate Etruria” deck by Pietro Alligo was originally published in Florence in 1725, printed from copper plate etchings and hand coloured with water colours. Minchiate is a late-medieval card game employing a specially extended pack of 97 cards, related to tarot but including 12 zodiac signs, 4 virtues (faith, hope, charity, prudence) and 4 elements (fire, water, air, earth). The trump cards are untitled but are numbered with roman numerals in a scroll.
The game, like other Tarot games, is a trick taking game in which points are scored by capturing certain cards and sets of cards. However, the deck has also been popular with card readers who see it as a variant of the esoteric tarot because of the allegorical and symbolical content. The Cavaliers are man/beast creatures. The Valets (or Pages) are male for clubs and swords, and female for cups and coins. Further features include the replacement of the Papess, Empress and Pope by the Western Emperor, the Eastern Emperor and the addition of the Grand Duke. Some scholars believe that these cards may have served as teaching aids, because several trump allegories (Virtues, Elements, Zodiac signs) belong to categories upon which classical learning was based at that time.
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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.
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.