Superb facsimile edition of a wonderful deck of cards originally made in the 18th century. The cards depict characters from Carlos Goldoni’s famous play, “Der Diener Zweier Herren” (“Servant of Two Masters.”) The characters of the Goldoni play are derived from stock commedia dell’arte characters, a type of theater that flourished in Italy in the Mannerist period. The World Web Playing Card Museum dates the original deck to the year 1720, but this does not make sense to me as the Goldoni play was not written until 1746. I believe from what is written on the card introducing this edition that the original deck is at the Deutschen Spielkarten Museum at Leinfelden-Echterdingen.
The deck has 52 suited cards, plus 2 extra cards announcing/introducing the deck, plus 6 cards describing the central characters of the play. The cards are accompanied by a booklet with what appear to be photographs from a performance in 1976 at the Württembergische Staatstheater Stuttgart, a performance that inspired the creation of this deck. The cards are slightly large and slightly wide, measuring 92mm x 60mm, and are housed with the booklet in the original box. The cards were originally presented on “punch-out” cardboards that had 4 cards. The cards here have been removed from those cardboards, but the final picture shows what the cardboards look like and all of the cardboards will accompany the original box.
The cards are “as new,” and the booklet is in excellent condition. The box – never the sturdiest – has some wear, but is clean.
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