Published by Il Meneghello of Milan, Italy in 1997 as a limited numbered edition of 1000 decks, the Gioci dei Giornali (the Game of Newspapers) cards are known as a 'transformation' deck, and is a photo-facsimile of a 52 card deck from 1819, with illustrations attributed to Baron Louis Atthalin of Paris. Orientation of cards in a mixture of portrait and landscape.
The deck is divided into 4 playing card suits of Spades, Hearts, Clubs and Diamonds, with finely engraved black line drawings incorporating the pip symbols into new scenes. Pip cards are either single color (Clubs & Spades) or 2 color (Hearts & Diamonds) while the 3 Court figures of V (Valet), D (Dame), and R (Roi) are full color, and show various literary, historical or mythical characters, such as Don Quixote or Minerva.
Originally copperplate engraved and colored by hand, illustrations depict satirical, sometimes grotesque characters, which were apparently common to the principal Parisian newspapers of the period. Some scenes are humorous, some scatological, and some a little bawdy. There are occasional references to people of color, which for the time period, was not one of "equality." There is line or two of text in French on every card that usually describes the scene or characters within, such as "les animaux savans" (the animals learned) which shows an orchestra of farm animals, dogs & cats. Some characters show nudity.
Cards are printed on thick, un-coated parchment stock with reversible card backs. 1 hand-numbered title card is included. Packaged in a lovely hand-made Meneghello book that ties with a ribbon, with inner card wrap.
Card Dimensions: (varies slightly)
2 7/16" x 3 5/8" x .014"
61 mm x 92 mm x .36 mm