Exceptional set of extremely beautiful cards made by Il Meneghello c.1986 in a limited edition of 2,000, of which this is No. 1399, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Italian Empire – I assume for purposes of this deck a reference to the Empire created in 1936 after Italy succeeded in annexing Ethiopia in what is commonly known as the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. Each card has original artwork, but only the 4 Aces are different; the illustrations on the other cards are the same in all 4 suits. Three of the Aces depict historical figures of significance in relation to this Empire: then Emperor Haile Selassie, now worshipped as God incarnate among followers of the Rastafari movement; Vittorio Emanuele III, King of Italy, who claimed the throne of Ethiopia, a claim he renounced in 1943; and Rodolfo Graziani, Italian military leader, the object of a failed assassination attempt, who subsequently ordered the indiscriminate massacre of Ethiopian civilians, an event known today as “Yekatit 12.” The remaining Ace depicts a native Ethiopian war shield. In the corner of each card beneath the traditional French suit symbol is either a war shield or the Fascist logo, and the subject matter of each card aligns consistent with the side of the conflict thus emblemized.
The deck is a traditional Italian deck, complete at 40 cards (Ace through 7, Jacks, Queens, Kings). In addition, it has a card announcing the deck and confirming the number of this set within the limited edition run. The cards are square cornered and long, on uncoated stock, measuring 100mm x 60mm, and they come in the original packaging shown.
The cards and packaging materials are in excellent condition, “as new” or nearly so, except that there is a cataloguing sticker affixed to the back of the packaging box; I have not attempted to remove it.
There is also a mint and sealed deck of these cards for sale in this shop (T00003348).
Thanks for visiting.
Another shopper has this item in their Cart or Wish List
Playing Cards and Card Game Collectibles
Antique and Vintage Playing Cards, Cribbage Boards, Whist Markers, Trump Indicators, Game Boxes, and Other Card Game Items