Today’s deck was made for
Italy by “Piatnik e Figli” since 1923 as nr. 190 “Italia Secolo XIII”.
It is known among collectors as the Dante & Beatrice deck. I will show you
the courts and aces at the end and the reason for this is that I have some
questions about the 2 versions that we have kept in the collection.
The first image shows 3 back designs. The first two show Beatrice and Dante and my first question is: which figure is presented on the 3rd back? Anyone?
There are some differences between the decks that we have kept. The aces have been stamped. There are 2 stamps on the AH (with Dante back): the first (in the middle) is dated December 1923, the second (at the bottom) is dated October 1925. Together with the smaller indices that would make it older than the second AH, which is stamped November 1929. That deck has the unknown figure on the backs. As the third image shows, the used index on the Queens is different and the backgrounds too.
But what puzzles me is that the older deck is apparently printed in offset, while the later deck is printed in chromolithography (picture 4), which is an odd sequence in printing technique. It could be that Piatnik wasn’t really happy with the quality of the offset and has redrawn the images for the stones. That would explain the small differences on the courts and aces.
Anyway, it’s a beautiful deck with gold printed details on the courts and gold edges, in both versions. I still prefer chromolithography over offset, so the pictures of the courts are from that version. They came with different jokers too, which was also a good reason for Miriam to keep both decks.
very interesting, I had been wondering about my two versions. I think the third back is inspired by Andrea delle Robbias terracotta medallions in Florence.
But strange... I have a Dante deck with small indices and a Beatrice deck with big indices - and both are printed in chromolithography.
When asked if there were stamps with dates on these decks,
Ali replied: unfortunately not.