top of page

The typology of Spanish/Italian   playing cards is fascinating, with regional gaming traditions resulting in a wide variety of designs, even today. This old lithographed sheet, printed on heavy (but not plastic-laminated) card stock is what a deck of 40  playing cards looks like before it is cut into individual cards. The artwork is 19th century in origin, itself drawing on much older traditions stretching back to the 14th century. Spanish-suited playing cards or Spanish-suited cards have four suits and a deck is usually made up of 40 or 48 (or even 50) cards. It is categorized as a Latin-suited deck and has strong similarities with the Italian-suited deck and less to the French deck. Spanish-suited cards are used in Spain, southern Italy, parts of France, Hispanic America, North Africa, and the Philippines.The Italian swords and clubs are often interlaced, whereas the Spanish ones are separated. The interlacing comes from the traditional tarot suit arrangements, though not all Italian regional patterns have this feature.The Piacentine pattern is the northernmost of the Spanish-suited patterns found in Italy and along with the Neapolitan, one of the most popular. It is also the only pattern that is regularly sold with reversible face cards. Piacenza was ruled by Spanish Bourbons like in Sicily and Naples but the reason that the region has uses Spanish suits is because French occupying forces brought Aluette decks in the late 18th century. The earliest Piacentine cards were very similar to Aluette ones but developed into its current appearance by the late 19th century before becoming reversible by the mid-20th century. The Ace of Coins has an eagle similar to Aluette and Sicilian decks while the Ace of Swords is held by a cherub. Like all Spanish-suited patterns in Italy, they lack la pinta and come in 40-card decks , uncut sheet by Edoardo Pignalosa, Rampe Brancaccio 76, Napoli.

size 20.5 x 15.1/4 , good condition , fresh color , no oxidation of paper . Suitable for framing .


    bottom of page