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Published April 21, 2023 Updated June 08, 2023

Vittoriosa Church Museum

Antique playing cards in Vittoriosa Church Museum dating back to the Knights of Malta period.

1609 Malta Archaic Patterns Portuguese Pattern Add to Collection

These photos of rare archaic playing cards and a wooden block for printing of same cards date back to the Knights of Malta period. These are exhibited at the museum at Vittoriosa Malta in the church of St. Joseph. The Vittoriosa Church Museum describes them as "Unique set of playing cards dating to 1609 with images from the chivalric Order. These are accompanied with some of the related printing blocks" (See the museum leaflet).

The cards are housed inside a glass showcase and obtaining clear photos was not easy. Photography by Vincent Ellul.

Antique playing cards in Vittoriosa Church Museum dating back to the Knights of Malta period Antique playing cards in Vittoriosa Church Museum dating back to the Knights of Malta period Antique playing cards in Vittoriosa Church Museum dating back to the Knights of Malta period Antique playing cards in Vittoriosa Church Museum dating back to the Knights of Malta period Antique playing cards in Vittoriosa Church Museum dating back to the Knights of Malta period Antique playing cards in Vittoriosa Church Museum dating back to the Knights of Malta period

Above: Antique playing cards in Vittoriosa Church Museum, Malta, dating to 1609. Photography by Vincent Ellul.

NOTE: the cabinet, in which these very rare playing cards dating to the Knights of Malta are displayed, was commissioned and paid for by Joseph Schiro, so that they may be enjoyed by visitors and at the same time be preserved in a professional environmental display cabinet. Joseph Schiro is a paper conservator and President of the Malta Map Society.

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