Extremely beautiful deck made c.1958 by Masenghini, called “Costumi del XVII Secolo” at the World Wide Playing Card Museum website, with terrific backs that advertise “Mugolio.” “Mugolio” is described as follows at the website of Manicaretti, an Italian food importer:
“Mugolio is a distinctive syrup created by forager Eleonora Cunaccia of Primitivizia in the heart of the Dolomite Alps National Park, Trento, Italy. Eleonora is one of the few residents in the area given permission to gather by hand the tender young buds of the Mugo pine in early May. The fragrant buds macerate in water and sugar during the sunny summer months until September, when the must is filtered. The resulting syrup is cooked over low fire with additional sugar until thick and golden brown.
“Mugolio is a burst of pine resin and sweet mountain scents of delicate maple, rosemary and wild herbs.
“Drizzle over a pork roast or grilled chicken or very ripe cheeses. It is also wonderful on gelato, panna cotta, yogurt and roasted fruit, or as a substitute for maple syrup for a new flavor. Even perfect in a martini.”
Presumably the woman shown on the backs of the cards depicts Ms. Cunaccia, flanked by Mugo pines, with the peaks of the Dolomite Alps in the background.
The deck has 52 suited cards. I believe the deck originally had 2 Jokers, but they are missing. The cards are wide, measuring 90mm x 64mm, and come in the original telescope type box.
The cards are in very good lightly used condition, bowed on the vertical dimension but otherwise without issues. The box is in no better than good condition; the inner box is torn and damaged at the closed end and the outer box has an abrasion on one side.
This is a somewhat flawed example of a wonderful deck.
Reference: Fournier, Playing Cards, Italy 172
Thanks for visiting.
Masenghini “Costumi del XVII Secolo” Playing Cards (52/52, NJ), “Mugolio” Advertising, c.1958