The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published July 22, 2014 Updated June 07, 2022

Mitelli ‘Gioco di Passatempo’

Il Gioco di Passatempo contains 40 figurative playing cards depicting moral virtues and vices, dated 1690.

Italy Solleone Mitelli Education 1690

Giuseppe Maria Mitelli (1634-1718) designed and published at least 2 card games. The first was his pack of tarot cards, a new type of Tarocchini di Bologna published in 1664. The second was Il Gioco di Passatempo published in 1690.

Il Gioco di Passatempo contains 40 figurative playing cards of which 20 cards are ‘Trionfi’ (victories or ‘trumps’) representing virtues and arts, identified with a title and little stars at the top of each card. The remaining cards, ‘Cartazze’, represent not-so-virtuous traits (vices) such as envy, frivolity, deception and so on, identified with small black dots. These have lesser value in the game than the virtues. There are no suit cards. The stated object of the game is to win tricks and score more points than your opponent, but the 17th century showcase of moral values, beautifully depicted, is also very interesting, reminding players of their progress in moral development.

Above: Mitelli’s ‘Gioco di Passatempo’, 40 etchings (130 x 65 mm), 1690, republished as a limited edition facsimile by Vito Arienti, Edizioni del Solleone, 1972. Card no.40 ("Il Tempo Passa") is lettered "Gioco del Passa Tempo. Giuseppe M. Mitelli I. e F." Card no.20 contains the rules of the game, with the artist's name and the date. Card no.2 is dated 1690.

REFERENCES

British Museum website

Tarot History website→ (also contains a translation of the rules)

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

2014 Vesalius Anatomy Card Game

Vesalius Anatomy Card Game

Celebrating the work of Andreas Vesalius in the quincentenary year of his birth.

2019 O Baralho dos Provérbios!

O Baralho dos Provérbios!

Portuguese proverbs in combination with special courts and suit-signs published by Apenas Livros, Lisbon.

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.

Chad Valley Co. Ltd

Chad Valley Co. Ltd

Chad Valley Co. Ltd (incorporating Johnson Brothers (Harborne) Ltd, the long-established UK brand bought by Woolworths in 1988 and now sold at Argos.

1954 Andere Zeiten - Andere Kleider

Andere Zeiten - Andere Kleider

‘History of fashion’ cultural quartet game designed by Erika Werner-Nestler, 1954.

1875 XIXth Century

XIXth Century

The XIXth Century published by John Jaques & Son, c.1875.

1989 Geschichte des Buchgewerbes

Geschichte des Buchgewerbes

Geschichte des Buchgewerbes illustrated by Ludwig Winkler, published by Verlag für Lehrmittel Pößneck.

1950 So Fängt Es An

So Fängt Es An

“So Fängt Es An” beautifully illustrated by M. Neugebauer, published by Helingsche Verlagsanstalt.

2003 Portraits of a Lady

Portraits of a Lady

Portraits of a Lady by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.

1930 French for Fun

French for Fun

French for Fun instructive card game published by John Jaques & Son Ltd., c.1930s

Eurotrotter

Eurotrotter

Eurotrotter by La Ducale, c.1980s.

1930 Counties of Britain

Counties of Britain

Counties of Britain by John Jaques & Son Ltd. c.1930.

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.

1930 Countries of Empire

Countries of Empire

“Countries of Empire” published by John Jaques & Son Ltd, c.1930s.

1942 Anma US Armed Forces

Anma US Armed Forces

Anma US Armed Forces, 1942.

1979 Bedeutende Erfindungen im Alltag

Bedeutende Erfindungen im Alltag

‘Significant Inventions in Everyday Life’ quartet game published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pössneck, 1979.

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.

1984 Musikinstrumente

Musikinstrumente

Musikinstrumente quartet game published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pössneck, 1984.

1860 Botany Quartetts

Botany Quartetts

Botany card game published by Houlston and Wright & Henry Greenwood, c.1860.

1945 Neerlands Glorie

Neerlands Glorie

Neerlands Glorie Kwartetspel published by Hausemann & Hötte N.V, Amsterdam, 1945.

1920 Rainbow

Rainbow

Rainbow card game and colour mixing guide printed by Goodall & Sons for Robert Johnson, c.1920.

Happy Guides

Happy Guides

Happy Guides by James Brown & Son (Glasgow) Ltd. around 1910/1915.

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.

1952 Wie Wird das Wetter

Wie Wird das Wetter

Wie Wird das Wetter, a Black Peter game about the weather created by Gunter Eckhardt, published by Rudolf Forkel,1952.

1995 Educación Vial

Educación Vial

Educación Vial (Road Safety) card game published by H. Fournier, 1995.

1930 Fancy Dress Ball

Fancy Dress Ball

Spear’s “Fancy Dress Ball” card game with children dressed in period costumes, 1930s.

2020 Welsh Language Playing Cards

Welsh Language Playing Cards

Welsh Language Playing Cards designed by Richard Ruston-Burgess, made in Wales, 2020.

1988 Historische Verkehrswege

Historische Verkehrswege

“Historische Verkehrswege” quartet game published by Verlag für Lehrmittel Pössneck, 1988.

1759 Aesop’s Fables

Aesop’s Fables

Aesop’s Fables playing cards by I. Kirk, c.1759.

1935 Deutsche Geschichte

Deutsche Geschichte

German History Quartet published by Otto Maier Verlag Ravensburg, c.1930-35.

Musical Snap

Musical Snap

Musical Snap by C.W. Faulkner & Co., c.1900.

1940 Atouts de la Vie

Atouts de la Vie

“Atouts de la Vie” wartime card game created by Madame Lucien Willemetz, c.1940.