In 1616 Michael Frömmer created a one of a kind Italian Suited Deck on Silver. In 2010 it sold for $554,500. This is our tribute.
We are seeking pledges to support our vision for a tribute to one of the rarest and most beautiful playing card decks from the early 17th century. We want to offer a limited release of the 1616 Silver deck produced as a Bicycle® Brand on Magic Finish with metallic ink on the face of every card to mimic the gilding of the original deck by Michael Frömmer. We've enhanced the offering with beautifully designed suits and card backs. The original Italian designed decks played with the same number of cards but used Cups, Swords, Coins and Sticks as the playing suits. The original King, Knight and Knave images have been used, however we've also adjusted those to the standard King, Queen and Jack court. We will include two custom designed jokers that were not included in the original playing cards. To complete the offering we've created a beautiful custom designed Tuck Box with unique art and a stretch goal for foil to represent the original silver deck.
History of the 1616 Italian Silver Guilted Deck by Michael Frömmer:
There are only 4 similar sets of Renaissance silver playing cards known in the world, and this is the only complete one. The engraved and gilt silver cards were made in Augsburg, Germany, by Michael Frömmer in 1616. They’re the Italian deck – ace through 10, plus knaves, knights and kings in suits of coins, cups, sticks and swords.
They weren’t made for actual playing though, but rather for a wealthy owner to display in an elaborate curio cabinet much like Pomeranian Kunstschrank, which was also made in 17th century Augsburg.
These cards, according to family tradition, were given to Josefa Oribe y Viana de Contucci, ancestor of the present owner, by Infanta Carlota Joaquina of Spain (1775-1830). Princess Carlota was daughter of King Carlos IV and, as wife of King João of Portugal, Princess of Portugal and Brazil. During Napoleonic struggles, Carlota was exiled to Brazil with the Portuguese Court. When Napoleon forced her father to abdicate in Spain, she became claimant to the throne of Spain and Spanish America. Following the patriotic revolution in Buenos Aires in 1810, she ordered Portuguese-Brazilian troops into Montevideo to protect the interests of the Spanish monarchy. Carlota’s emissary in South America and the director of her military efforts there was Felipe Contucci. Carlota presented these cards to Contucci’s wife, and they descended to the present owner as follows:
Doña Josefa de Oribe y Viana (b. 13 September 1789), wife of Felipe Contucci, emissary of Princess Carlota in South America
Agustina Contucci y Oribe, daughter of Doña Josefa and wife of General Manuel Ceferino de Oribe y Viana (1792-1857), President of Uruguay 1835-1838, then by direct descent to the present owner until its sale in 2010 at Christie’s of New York where the cards were sold for $554,500.
The Bicycle® deck being offered in this Kickstarter project is normalized to use the standard King, Queen and Jack, however you will note that the images are of three men. Also we've added Hearts, Spades, Clubs and Diamonds as suits to the deck so it could be played with like normal playing cards. The original Italian deck uses Kings, Knights and Knaves in that order and the suits of Coins, Cups, Clubs and Swords. If you are into Tarot cards, these are probably more familiar to you.
If you want to get a tribute deck without the addition of suits and letters and numbers, we offer a tribute deck in its original form. This deck will be offered through USPCC and if we can get more than 1,000 decks ordered, we can drop the price from $15 to $9.
Why the price difference? Well, I will be taking on the cost out of pocket to have these produced by USPCC which means I have to make a minimum purchase. You are helping offset how much I have to pay, but at a certain point we break even and I no longer need the extra funding. Let's hope we can get to 1,000 decks to save everyone a little cash or make it affordable to buy more than one deck!
NOTE: There is a pledge level for just the Italian Deck, however if you'd like to add it on to another pledge level just up your pledge by $15. I will survey at the end to make sure you get what you want. (Sorry , I cannot change the wording on the reward as there are already pledges against it, however we will be making these through USPCC)
Early birds can get a deck for $8. Afterward the price goes up to $9.
Those people who want the Italian Suited original style deck manufactured by USPCC can purchase a deck for $15. This is a great add on for those who appreciate the original artwork. If you've already pledged at a different level, just add $15 to your pledge.
Get two decks early birds for $15, afterward the price goes up to $16.
Add on a deck to any pledge level for $8.
1,000 Likes on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ManMadeGames will allow us to offer both card back options for the Premium Bicycle Deck.
$10,500 allows us to include foil on the Tuck Box. Foil makes it look very shiny! :P
$15,000 custom seal for the tuck box
1,000 Italian Suited deck pledges will allow us to offer these decks at $9 instead of $15 so those pledges will get a discount.
The Premium Bicycle Deck Card Back:
Here is the optional Card Back if we get 1,000 likes on Facebook
Card Back for the Italian Deck
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The only risk to this project is the timeline. All the cards have been designed and converted however there is some final dispixelation work (about 20 hours) to make sure the images are as crisp, clean and true to the original as possible, we expect to finish this during the project and will post final images in the updates.. We have in hand the quotes from USPCC, however manufacturing dates could be moved based on whatever the plant has in its workload. We will do our best to push them to make sure they get us our decks at the earliest available date.
Tuck box design may vary slightly due to current requirements from USPCC to ensure branding and legal information is accurately identified.
1 deck = $8
2 decks = $10
3 decks = $15
Please do not include this in your pledge, I will invoice for international shipping at the time of shipping when I verify addresses.
If you'd like to add on the Italian deck, just add $15 to your pledge level. I will survey at the end to get a proper accounting so you will get what you want. Thanks!
Brick Prices (12) Bicycle Deck - $90 (7.50 each)
Brick Prices (12) Italian Deck - $144 (12 each)