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Il Meneghello “Giocosa” (“Playful”) Transformation Playing Cards, Cavallini & Co. Publisher, Limited Ediion ___/1000 [Facsimile Set of “Cartes à Rire” – 1819 Designs of Baron Louis Atthalin (“Gioci dei Giornali” – “Game of Newspapers”)], c.1997
Gorgeous facsimile set of early 19th century transformation deck, known generally in its original form as “Cartes à Rire,” featuring the original designs of Baron Louis Atthalin. This facsimile set was made by Il Meneghello and distributed/published in the United States by Cavallini & Co. My understanding is that a limited edition of 1000 decks was made, but these Cavaliini sets do not show limited edition numbers. History remembers Baron Atthalin primarily as a French Army Officer and politician during the time of Napoleon, but he was also a painter, watercolorist, and lithographer, and the designs of the cards in this deck are brilliant. One feature of these cards that is a bit unusual is that on each card there is a word or phrase in French that describes what is depicted. Some of the humor of the cards is bawdy, and some is politically incorrect today. The original Cartes à Rire were made with two different sets of court cards, one depicting the major theatres of the city and the other depicting the important newspapers. This facsimile set uses the journalism courts, originally titled "Jeu des Journaux" in 1819.
The deck has 52 suited cards (never a Joker), plus 1 card and 1 paper insert that announce the deck. The cards are square cornered and slightly large and wide, measuring 92mm x 62mm, and they come in the beautiful original custom box.
The cards and box are “as new.”
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