April 25


The new Cartorama catalogue arrived yesterday and browsing through it I noticed an Italian deck (#207) that is in the collection, but of which we had some doubts about the originality and age. The deck is in such excellent condition that it's hard to imagine that it's almost 150 years old, but Miriam still noted on the file card that the deck dates from around 1875. The tax stamp was in use between 1874 and 1879. The cards have the back paper folded over the sides, an old Italian technique to protect the cards in use and prolong their life in play. Jean dated his deck as c1885 and there are a few differences with the deck here. The main difference is the ace of coins. Jean's ace has 2 circular spots for the tax stamps, our deck only has one. Of course the print of the maker's name, Luigi Pignalosa, and address is slightly different then too. There's a negative difference too: our deck is missing the king and 6 of clubs.