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Published December 29, 2022 Updated October 28, 2023

Panorama playing cards

Panorama playing cards included with a weekly news magazine published in Milan, Italy, c. 1979.

1979 Italy Arnoldo Mondadori Editore Windmill Playing Card Co Alfredo Chiappori Cartoon Satire Add to Collection

This pack was made by Windmill Playing Card Co. of Hong Kong for Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, the largest publishing company in Italy, for inclusion in Panorama, a weekly news magazine published in Milan. The court cards and 2 jokers feature the brilliant original designs of satirical cartoonist Alfredo Chiappori (1943-2022). The ace of spades shows a windmill within the central suit sign, while the courts show cartoons of legal, religious, military and business figures.

anorama playing cards published by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, c.1979 anorama playing cards published by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, c.1979

Above: Panorama playing cards published by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, c.1979. 52 French-suited cards, plus 2 Jokers. The cards measure 88mm x 62mm.

Note from Roddy Somerville

For the record, Giulio Andreotti (1919-2013) is represented on the King of Hearts, while the King of Diamonds depicts the head of Fiat, Gianni Agnelli (1921-2003). The King of Clubs probably represents Giovanni Leone (1908-2001). The red Joker is almost certainly Bettino Craxi (1934-2000). The same back design also exists in red. Sorry I don't know who is on the black Joker. R.S

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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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