Excellent uncut sheet of the “Siciliane” Italian regional pattern, made by Pignalosa of Naples. I have dated it c.1940s because the company is shown as “Edoardo” Pignalosa, and Edoardo began to manage the family business in the early 1940s.
The “Andy’s Playing Card” website has this to say about Pignalosa and the uncut sheets that remain as evidence of the cards it made:
“[T]he pages in this gallery show old uncut sheets of playing cards printed in Naples (Italy) by an obsolete manufacturer, Pignalosa. . . . “The Neapolitan company was founded around 1870 by Luigi Pignalosa. Then, during the first 25-30 years of the 20th century, it was run by his son Raffaele. In the 1940s Raffaele's son, Edoardo, became the new manager; his death, in 1979, marked the end of the Pignalosa firm.
“The company's golden age was the first half of the 20th century, when the manufacturer produced many of the different Italian regional patterns, a few of which were advertisement editions or had non-standard suits and illustrations (a very unusual feature for Italian patterns). This variety proves how Pignalosa was an outstanding company, not only limited to Naples and its surroundings. Around the mid-1950s, thanks to modern techniques such as automatic cutting and plastic coating, manufacturers from the north of the country such as Modiano and Dal Negro rapidly got hold of the national playing card market, and Pignalosa (still producing uncoated decks, sometimes not even regularly cut) was no longer able to stand the challenge. What remains today of this production is a rather limited number of decks and, curiously, a much larger quantity of uncut sheets, most of which by Edoardo, approximately dating back from the early 1930s to the late 1940s. In some cases it is easy to tell precisely how old these editions are, either from the tax stamp (in actual decks) or from the date which some sheets feature on their backs. But for many undated specimens, the age of the sheet can only be estimated approximately.”
The sheet has all 40 Italian-suited cards of the Siciliane pattern – Ace through 7, and the 3 male court cards. The company’s name is on the Ace of Coins and again on the 4 of Coins. The sheet measures approximately 20” x 13”. As noted in the quote above from Andy, the cards are uncoated. The sheet is in excellent condition, without issues.
Also listed today is an uncut sheet by Viassone, considerably more rare than are Pignalosa uncut sheets. (T00004062)
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