think I have shown the aces from this deck before in the Aces in close up group,
but here's the complete set of courts now too.
Today's lockdown deck is titled "Crimean War" and was printed and published by C.L. Wüst after the end of that war in 1856. It's the first edition, to be recognized by the KC. It's not a true double image, as it has 2 portraits. In later editions the portrait of Czar Nicolas I was removed. He died in 1855. So in the second edition all the kings and queens have a true double image, all the jacks still have the 2 different portraits.
The Italian tax stamp on the AH was in use from 1863-1874. The deck must have been restamped for some reason, as there's an Italian tax stamp on the H4, which was in use from 1874-1879.
Peter Endebrock shows images of these same cards with the explanation:
"When the taxes changed and the cards had not been sold, they normally had to be restamped with the new stamp (and possibly the new date).
This pack was first stamped with the 1863 to 1874 stamp shown above, and later again with the 1874 to 1879 stamp. Note that the stamps were on different cards."
The strange thing is that the two stamps are both 30 cents and that the most recent stamp (used from July 1874 to December 1879) is on the 4 of hearts. From 1861 it was mandatory to put the stamp on the ace of hearts for French suits cards.
The 30 cents stamp was for all decks that had up to 52 cards; so I can't understand the second stamp, put on the wrong card. The increased stamp for cards "de luxe" was in act only in 1922.
Another puzzle that will fascinate collectors and stamp experts.
The hunt is open, applause for those who solve the mystery.