The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published November 23, 2022 Updated December 01, 2022

Il Quinto Seme

An Italian pack with a fifth suit of “amici” (“friends”).

1977 Italy Modiano Innovation Suits Add to Collection
“Il Quinto Seme” five-suit playing cards made by Modiano, Trieste, Italy, 1977

One tends to think of five-suit packs as coming mainly from the USA and Great Britain. However, five-suit packs have been produced elsewhere, including this one from Italy. The fifth suit is called “amici” (“friends”) and is bicoloured (red and black combined). The name “amici” was chosen because a card of the “amici” suit can sometimes act like a Joker and can be a substitute for another card, thus lending a hand in the way a true friend (or “amico”) would do. To give unity to the court cards, the standard English pattern courts have been redesigned, with the courts of the “amici” suit being in a similar style and in a similar range of colours. The extensive booklet in Italian contains the rules for 16 different card games... more

See the box

“Il Quinto Seme” five-suit playing cards made by Modiano, Trieste, Italy, 1977 “Il Quinto Seme” five-suit playing cards made by Modiano, Trieste, Italy, 1977 “Il Quinto Seme” five-suit playing cards made by Modiano, Trieste, Italy, 1977 “Il Quinto Seme” five-suit playing cards made by Modiano, Trieste, Italy, 1977

Above: “Il Quinto Seme” five-suit playing cards made by Modiano, Trieste, Italy, 1977. 65 cards + 3 Jokers + 2 score cards + booklet of rules, in tuck box. Size: 63 x 88 mm.

avatar
435 Articles

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.


Related Articles

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

A limited edition art print of the 1984 woodblock joker.

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 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 Jack of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

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

1983 San Paolo Chekhov

San Paolo Chekhov

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

1996 Postak – Las Postas

Postak – Las Postas

‘Postak - Las Postas’ playing cards commemorating the history of the Basque postal service, Spain, 1...

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...

1987 Bischofszell

Bischofszell

Advertising pack for the food producer Bischofszell, designed by Heinz Looser-Brenner, with non-stan...

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.

1960 Cartes à Jouer Fluorescentes

Cartes à Jouer Fluorescentes

Standard French cards but printed with fluorescent inks on a black background.

2011 Great inventions playing cards

Great inventions playing cards

Great inventions playing cards designed by Gary Wyatt, United Kingdom, 2011.

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...

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.

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.

1979 Tarocco Indovino

Tarocco Indovino

Sergio Ruffolo’s “Tarocco Indovino” is an expanded version of his “Lo Zodiaco” cartomancy deck.

1986 Il Mercante in Fiera del Solleone

Il Mercante in Fiera del Solleone

Traditional Italian card game with bold designs by Costante Costantini.

1985 Venus et Cupidon

Venus et Cupidon

“Venus et Cupidon” from Costante Costantini in his distinctive woodcut style.

1970 Italia playing cards

Italia playing cards

Small, narrow cards designed by Osvaldo Menegazzi, bearing a strong resemblance to a Swedish pattern...

1971 Napoleone playing cards

Napoleone playing cards

Long, narrow cards designed by Osvaldo Menegazzi, featuring Napoleon, Josephine and various soldiers...

1976 Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico

Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico

Promotional pack for Chianti Classico wine, with designs by Costante Costantini.

1981 Burgdorf Abschreckhärtetechnik

Burgdorf Abschreckhärtetechnik

Promotional pack for a German steel hardening business, with designs by Costante Costantini.

P. Buscaglia: Spanish-suited cards

P. Buscaglia: Spanish-suited cards

Spanish-suited cards published by P. Buscaglia, Mele & Genova.

2023 Carte Bolognesi

Carte Bolognesi

New designs reinforcing Bologna’s reputation as the gastronomic capital of Italy.

2017 Le carte di Tex

Le carte di Tex

Characters from the famous Italian comic book series, Tex, created by Gian Luigi Bonelli and Aurelio...

1870 Florentine pattern variant

Florentine pattern variant

Non-standard designs by Chiari of Florence with some of the features of a traditional Florentine pat...

Natural History Tarocchi

Natural History Tarocchi

Natural History Tarocchi by Ferdinando Gumppenberg, Milan.

1951 Carte da gioco anticomuniste del Comitato civico

Carte da gioco anticomuniste del Comitato civico

Anti-Communist propaganda pack with satirical designs by Benito Jacovitti.

1890 Foster’s Self-Playing Whist Cards

Foster’s Self-Playing Whist Cards

In 1890 R. F. Foster published the first edition of “Foster’s Whist Manual” which was to become the ...

1693 Infirrera

Infirrera

Italo-Portuguese-suited cards by Andrea Infirrera with the arms of Malta, 1693.

1966 Sextet: 6 handed bridge

Sextet: 6 handed bridge

6 handed bridge playing cards designed by Ralph E. Peterson, 1966.

1973 Alessandro Manzoni Centenary

Alessandro Manzoni Centenary

Issued to mark the centenary of the death of Alessandro Manzoni, one of Italy’s greatest writers.

2004 Baudelaire playing card collection

Baudelaire playing card collection

Baudelaire playing card collection illustrated by Alméry Lobel-Riche and published by Lo Scarabeo in...