Exceptional set of a rare deck of cards, titled "Court of Music," published and probably made c.1910 by music publisher and distributor Theo. Presser Co. It is a "new suit" deck substituting musical symbols (sharps, flats, notes and rests) for traditional suits, and features photographs of composers and early 20th century opera stars as court cards. It has a terrific Joker – a photograph of Enrico Caruso in Pagliacci.
The deck has 52 cards, plus the Caruso Joker noted, plus an insert card describing the deck. The cards are wide, measuring 90mm x 65mm, and come in the original box.
The cards are in extraordinary lightly used condition, except that the insert card has two slight wrinkles/creases running horizontally at the top, difficult to see in the photographs, but noticeable to the touch. The box is in no better than good condition, if that, with the top flap separated, pencil handwriting on one side, and generalized wear and light soiling.
Reference: Dawson, The Hochman Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards, p.292, NS23.
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