This limited facsimile edition of 800 packs was published in 1983 by Vito Arienti of Edizioni del Solleone. It is a reproduction of a German pack originally produced by the Verlag der Neuen Photographischen Gesellschaft in Berlin, c. 1900.
There are 52 cards, plus 2 jokers and an extra card showing a young woman holding a medallion which reads “Gestzlich Geschutzt NPG”. The court cards are identified by the appropriate suit sign at the top left and bottom right of the card, whilst the 2 of each suit is represented by the appropriate suit sign at the top and bottom centre of the card. All cards have plain backs, square corners and no corner indices. The cards, including the pip cards, show photographs of actors and actresses from the Berlin Theatre wearing stage costumes and standing against painted set decorations. The Ace of Hearts has two tax stamps and there is also a maker's trademark on the Jack of Clubs. See the box►
An original German pack from the Stuart and Marilyn R. Kaplan collection was sold at Christies, 2006 here►
In the Arienti reprint of this pack, there are in fact two stamps on the Ace of Hearts, both Italian.
The Jokers, of course, are not original. They have been added to the reprint and are merely copies of the King of Spades and the King of Hearts.
It should be noted, too, that these images were also used on a set of postcards. I have 24 out of the 52. Only one of mine has been postally used - sent from and to Brussels in 1905. No red colouring has been added to the red suits - they are left plain white. The trademark which appears on the Jack of Clubs in the pack of cards is present on every one of the postcards. Fortunately, I have the Ace of Hearts which does bear a German tax stamp. This suggests that someone in the German tax office thought that the whole set of postcards might actually be used to play a game of cards! - R.S
See 4 postcards►
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.
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.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.
‘Storia del Fascismo’ playing cards depicting persons, symbols and artifacts associated with Italian...
A pack of cards depicting characters from the famous play "The Wedding of Krechinsky" by Sukhovo-Kob...
Masonic playing cards created by Ivan Wojnikow, 2004.
Etchings of cats on a set of major arcana created by Evelyne Nicod.
Skulls and bones of all descriptions have become the suits and pips in this 40-card pack from Italy....
Modern designs by Italian artist Marcello Morandini using the simplest of forms and colours.
Fine reproduction of a Fribourg pattern pack, originally by Jean-Jacques Burdel.
A celebration of different postal systems in Germany from 1630 to 1850, with designs by Volker Hartm...
Historical playing cards by C. L. Wüst depicting monarchs of Brazil and Portugal.
Facsimile of ‘FDR New Deal Deck’ of 1934 re-published by Bill Schroeder, USA, 2010.
Mythological tarot by Michael Schatzberger, Passau, Bavaria, early 19th century.
German-suited Cartomancy deck published by Johann Ernst Backofen, Nürnberg.
French-suited Natural History Tarot deck by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1820.
Facsimile of Winstanley’s Geographical cards produced by Harold & Virginia Wayland, 1967.
German-suited ‘Heathen War’ playing cards published by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1820.
Mythological and Allegorical tarot produced by Peter Paul Fetscher junior, Munich.
Fantasy French-suited pack produced by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1825.
Uncut sheet of miniature Bavarian playing cards by Joseph Fetscher.
Classic German-suited Bavarian pattern by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, early 19th century.
French-suited Animal Tarot deck produced by Andreas Benedict Göbl, Munich.
French-suited Bavarian deck by Andreas Benedict Göbl, late 18th c.
Historical playing cards by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1820.
Bavarian piquet cards with oriental illustrations produced by Andreas Benedict Göbl, Munich, late 18...
‘National Costumes of Turkey’ tarot by Industrie Comptoir, Leipzig, c.1800-1825.
French-suited Æsop’s fables tarot produced by Leipzig Industrie Comptoir, c.1800-1825.
Published by Il Meneghello, this pack provides a visual history of Fascism in Italy between 1919 and...
Pack conceived by Berthold Conradi, commemorating the 700th anniversary of the granting of town righ...
Dondorf Jägerkarte Nr. 465 playing cards dedicated to the theme of hunting, c.1930.