A calendar for the year 1980, made in a limited edition of 500 and given by Vito Arienti as gifts to friends of Edizioni del Solleone, featuring reprints of the cards from a famous set made by Giuseppe Mitelli in1690, “Giuoco del Passatempo.” In 1972, Solleone published a reprint of the Mitelli designs as a set of cards, and the cards from this reprint set are shown in groups of 8 at the top of each of page of the calendar. This particular calendar is no. 452 of the limited edition.
The World of Playing Cards website has this to say about the Mitelli cards:
“Il Gioco di Passatempo contains 40 figurative playing cards of which 20 cards are ‘Trionfi’ (victories or ‘trumps’) representing virtues and arts, identified with a title and little stars at the top of each card. The remaining cards, ‘Cartazze’, represent not-so-virtuous traits (vices) such as envy, frivolity, deception and so on, identified with small black dots. These have lesser value in the game than the virtues. There are no suit cards. The stated object of the game is to win tricks and score more points than your opponent, but the 17th century showcase of moral values, beautifully depicted, is also very interesting, reminding players of their progress in moral development.”
To be precise, the No. 20 card, is neither a “Trionfi” card, nor a “Cartazze” card, but rather has the rules for the game to be played with the cards. [These were not conventional playing cards – there are no suits – but cards for a game]. No. 20 also has the Mitelli name and the date of the original set, and the date of the set is also shown on the No. 2 card.
There are 40 total cards, the 39 “Trionfi” and “Cartazze” cards and the No. 20 card. The calendar has 5 pages; the 1st page announces the calendar and shows cards 40 to 33 (reading from left to right and top to bottom). Each of the remaining 4 pages of the calendar covers 3 months of the year 1980. The calendar is a Catholic Church calendar, with each day showing its significance in the Church year. While I am not certain, I assume that the designated dates are consistent with the 1980 liturgical calendar of the Church.
The calendar pages are large, nearly 20” on the vertical dimension, and 12” on the horizontal. The cards are shown in reverse numerical order – 40-33 on page 1, 32-25 on page 2, etc. Each card on the calendar is 127mm x 63mm. I don’t know if the cards of the Solleone reprint set of cards were that size or not. The pages are held together by a spiral piece that has a “hook”in the middle that enables the calendar to be hung.
The calendar is in excellent condition. It would be possible to describe the condition as “new” except for the fact that there is a horizontal “fold” along the bottom with related “wrinkles.” These issues are clear from the pictures.
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