The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published May 30, 2013 Updated August 01, 2023

Etruria Minchiate

The Cavaliers are man/beast creatures. The Valets (or Pages) are male for clubs and swords, and female for cups and coins.

Italy Facsimiles & Replicas Minchiate Add to Collection

Minchiate Etruria   Card game, divination tool or teaching aid?

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.

Above: "Etruria" Florentine Minchiate deck, 97 cards, facsimile edition published by Il Meneghello, Milan, Italy, 1986 & 1994. Another edition was published by Lo Scarabeo in 1996. A stamp with the text 'CARTE DI ETRURIA' appears on trump number XXX 'Cancer', hence the name "Minchiate Etruria" used for this facsimile edition.

See also: Tarocchi di MantegnaMitelli TarocchiniTarocchino LombardoTarocco NeoclassicoCorona Ferrea TarotMatarelli Transformation.

avatar
1439 Articles

By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder 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.


Related Articles

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Queen of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

A limited edition art print of the 1984 woodblock joker.

1647 Sevilla 1647 reproduction

Sevilla 1647 reproduction

Facsimile of Spanish-suited pack produced in Sevilla, Spain, 1647.

2021 Le Monde Primitif Tarot

Le Monde Primitif Tarot

Facsimile edition produced by Morena Poltronieri & Ernesto Fazioli of Museo Internazionale dei Taroc...

1996 I Tarocchi del Buongustaio

I Tarocchi del Buongustaio

A less-than-serious set of major arcana on a gourmet theme, with designs by Cosimo Musio.

1975 Poker Lusso

Poker Lusso

Richly costumed courts on a luxury poker pack from Masenghini.

1991 Le Roi bridge

Le Roi bridge

Reprint of a Piatnik (Budapest) pack of 1927 with Hungarian historical figures and scenic aces.

1997 Pinocchio playing cards

Pinocchio playing cards

Comic book drawings inspired by Carlo Collodi’s children’s classic, Pinocchio.

1980 Le Ore playing cards

Le Ore playing cards

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

1984 Carte Romantiche Italiane

Carte Romantiche Italiane

Scenes of life and the theatre in Milan towards the second half of the 19th century.

1977 Lo Stampatore

Lo Stampatore

‘Lo Stampatore’ linocut images created by Sergio Favret, published as a deck of cards by Editions So...

2015 Leonardo collection

Leonardo collection

Leonardo collection playing cards with drawings from his notebooks.

1981 Lo Cartescacco / Chess playing cards

Lo Cartescacco / Chess playing cards

Playing cards designed by F. Romagnoli bringing together Chess and Bridge, Italy, c. 1981.

1989 Il Vostro Destino

Il Vostro Destino

Italian fortune-telling pack produced by Viassone and later by Masenghini.

1978 Jeu Bonaparte

Jeu Bonaparte

Jeu Bonaparte depicting the extended family of Napoleon Bonaparte, France, 1978

1988 Jeu des Bonnets Phrygiens

Jeu des Bonnets Phrygiens

Reproduction of Jeu des Bonnets Phrygiens relating to the Phrygian cap (or liberty cap), France, 198...

1978 San Paolo Shakespeare

San Paolo Shakespeare

San Paolo Shakespeare, Italy, 1978

1993 Le Carte di Forattini

Le Carte di Forattini

Political caricatures by Giorgio Forattini published by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Italy, 1993.

1983 San Paolo Chekhov

San Paolo Chekhov

Characters from Chekhov’s plays designed by Paolo Fresu for San Paolo Istituto Bancario, Italy, c.19...

Storia del Fascismo - gioco di carte

Storia del Fascismo - gioco di carte

‘Storia del Fascismo’ playing cards depicting persons, symbols and artifacts associated with Italian...

2003 The Lovers playing cards

The Lovers playing cards

Reproductions of old postcards with romantic messages for Valentine’s Day.

1985 I Gatti Originali di Evelyne Nicod

I Gatti Originali di Evelyne Nicod

Etchings of cats on a set of major arcana created by Evelyne Nicod.

1978 Carte Osteologiche

Carte Osteologiche

Skulls and bones of all descriptions have become the suits and pips in this 40-card pack from Italy....

1973 Marcello Morandini

Marcello Morandini

Modern designs by Italian artist Marcello Morandini using the simplest of forms and colours.

2002 Portrait de Fribourg

Portrait de Fribourg

Fine reproduction of a Fribourg pattern pack, originally by Jean-Jacques Burdel.

2010 FDR New Deal Deck

FDR New Deal Deck

Facsimile of ‘FDR New Deal Deck’ of 1934 re-published by Bill Schroeder, USA, 2010.

1967 Winstanley Geographical cards

Winstanley Geographical cards

Facsimile of Winstanley’s Geographical cards produced by Harold & Virginia Wayland, 1967.

1971 Meal Tub Plot

Meal Tub Plot

Meal Tub Plot playing cards [facsimile] with 17th century sketches by Francis Barlow.

1989 Storia del Fascismo

Storia del Fascismo

Published by Il Meneghello, this pack provides a visual history of Fascism in Italy between 1919 and...

2021 Jack-O’-Lantern Tarot

Jack-O’-Lantern Tarot

Giuliano Costa's Jack-O’-Lantern tarot blends Rider-Waite symbolism with the rich and atmospheric th...

2020 Eclipse Comic playing cards (reproduction)

Eclipse Comic playing cards (reproduction)

Eclipse Comic playing cards is a reproduction of the first transformation pack printed in the USA in...

1984 Schwarze Katze (or Gioco del Gatto Nero)

Schwarze Katze (or Gioco del Gatto Nero)

Reproduction of a 40-card transformation pack with designs by “WS”, adapted for the game of Black Ca...

2006 Hot-Air Balloons & Co.

Hot-Air Balloons & Co.

Hot-air balloons and airships from the early days to 1988, with designs by S. Baraldi and F. Tacconi...

2000 Carte da Gioco Mongolfiere

Carte da Gioco Mongolfiere

Various hot-air balloons on a pack from a small Florentine publisher.

1975 Mercante in Fiera di Jacovitti

Mercante in Fiera di Jacovitti

Traditional Italian card game with comic designs by Benito Jacovitti.

1981 Le Nuove Minchiate di Firenze

Le Nuove Minchiate di Firenze

Costante Costantini's second Minchiate deck, “Le Nuove Minchiate di Firenze”, was published by Solle...

1906 Bolognese pattern

Bolognese pattern

Standard Bolognese pattern pack by Murari of Bari.

2023 Moorish Deck

Moorish Deck

Review of “Trzes’ Moorish Deck” facsimile published by Ulrich Kaltenborn, Berlin, 2023.

1980 Minchiate Fiorentine

Minchiate Fiorentine

Minchiate Fiorentine created by Costante Costantini, published by Edizioni del Solleone.

1995 I Tarocchi del Cinema (di Sesar)

I Tarocchi del Cinema (di Sesar)

A set of Tarot trumps on the subject of the cinema, with designs by Sergio Sarri.

1975 Le carte della Fortuna

Le carte della Fortuna

Modern Italian fortune-telling pack from 1975, with designs by Sergio Ruffolo.

2007 Art Nouveau Oracle

Art Nouveau Oracle

A Lenormand-type fortune-telling pack in the Art Nouveau style.