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Suit System:IT
Recommended Name:  the Tarocco Piemontese.

This pattern was originally classified as IT-1.211.


Piedmontese cardmakers gradually eliminated the French influence which had pervaded the Tarocco cards of the 18th century. This influence lingered on until the mid-19th century in the case of certain cardmakers, but the pattern under review established itself much earlier than this, probably in the first decade of the century. It began its life in single-figure form, with Italian inscriptions on the trumps and court cards, and introduced the unusual feature of numbering its trump cards with arabic numerals.

Before the Unification of Italy, these cards were made and used within the region, but as the manufacture of other types of Italian 78-card Tarocco packs faded away in the 20th century, the Piedmontese Tarocco is the sole survivor and is used in Italy wherever the 78-card pack is required.

At the end of the 19th century the feature of double-ended court cards and trumps was adopted (see cards illustrated) and this is the version used up to the present time. An occasional pack is known without inscriptions on the court cards.


78 cards. 4 suits of 4 single-figure or double-ended court and 10 pip cards, plus 21 single-figure or double-ended trumps and the Fool which, together with the court cards are captioned in Italian or not captioned at all. Trumps bear arabic numerals. Wide format with no turnover edges. Distinguishing cards: Trump II = Popess; V = Pope; XV, the Devil has a face drawn on his abdomen; XVIII, the face on the Moon is shown in profile; XX, rays and "tears" emanating from cloud; the Fool is called "Il Matto"; jack of Batons has one band on top of baton, the other lower down; the ace of Cups is shown as a goblet used as a flower vase.

Some known Makers

Vergnano (c.1810), Viassone (19th and 20th centuries), both of Turin;

Frat. Armanino (19th and 20th centuries), F. Solesio (19th and 20th centuries), both of Genoa;

Succ. Frat. Armanino, Rome (c.1950);

Modiano, Trieste (20th century);

Masenghini, Bergamo (20th century);

Dal Negro, Treviso (20th century).

Tarocco Piemontese

Illustration 1 of Tarocco Piemontese (jpg 743 x 422)
Illustration 2 of Tarocco Piemontese (jpg 744 x 814)
Illustration 3 of Tarocco Piemontese (jpg 743 x 400)
Top row: 19th-century cards in style of single-figure versions;
bottom three rows: cards are from a mid-20th-century pack.

The International Playing-Card Society Undated

For comments please contact the Pattern Sheet Editor: Kay Stolzenburg (

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Last updated 9th September 2010