Gumppenberg circa 1812


Debra said:
That would definately make far more sense.

I got the magnifying glass out and asked someone else to say what they saw. They too saw a little dogs head. It's a pert little face with stick-up ears.

I thought it was part of some harness when I first saw it, but there are no reins/lines adjoining it.......

Bee :)


It may well be a lion's head, but I know every time I look at that card now I'll see a little scottie dog :laugh:


Updating soon..

Hello, will try to find notes for update..

Debra and talked about it yesterday, and I will try to update soon.

What is funny is it turns out Kaplan identified 1807 and he probably had a Solleone set before I did--but probably not time to read all the various printed leaflets in Italian to put together a timeline.

As Debra said, only us deck nerds would care!

One Potato's fabulous find is still whispered about with great awe and reverence. Perhaps that is why my early yellow Solleone and LS reprints feel so much more authentic as we are lucky to have seen the online scans here.

Thanks again

Mari aka Deck Nerd Cerulean

Cerulean said:
These notes below are probably faulty, taken from bits and pieces of the Il Solleone newsprint foldouts and beginning to be supplemented by the Lo Scarabeo book on the Ancient Tarots of Lombardy or (Neoclassical 1810) with Giordano Berti/Marisa Chiesa...I'll add more, correct and revise based on comments. Di Gumppenberg biographical notes

From the Trade Sites of Milan from Il Solleone
Di Gumppenberg highlights - I notice Il Solleone prints the name as follows:

Ferdinando Gumppenberg

Born Jan 3, 1788 from Franco and Caterina Sala. It says born to Monaco of Baveria, Monoco being a city-state, Baveria being the country in 1788?

1805-1809--Apprenticed in the art of cards press (printers) in the important Fabbicante di Monaco

1809--Enlightenment, the Regia Fabbrica (regional maker?) of the cards transfers to Milan---I believe this is within Napoleon's reign, near the end.

Cerulean Mari's note: I also believe that one of the historical events that might have influenced the making of the Neoclassical of 1811 might have been the birth of Napoleon's son in March of 1811, known as the "King of Rome" and crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy.* (Di Gumppenberg did issue a later deck in celebration of Emporer Ferdinand)

1809-1814 Produces numerous original cards.

1810, 1811 "Tarocco Neoclassico Italiano," Milano - (Note Kaplan suggests 1806 or thereabouts in dating). My copy is reprinted in 1980 in an edition of 1,500.

1812 Marries Marianna Pohl

1814 Liquidation of the Regia Fabbrica di Milano.

Cerulean Mari's note: Possibly this means that the card-making is no longer controlled regionally or restricted or the designation from Napoleon's 'restriction' was lifted and now competition from other Milanese cardmakers

1814, July--Gumppenberg initiates activity near the Giardino (either the garden district?)

1816? I have to translate this note*

1820 - note related to the bottega di Caffe in Borgo di Cittadella

1820 "Il Dilettevole Giuoco del Cucco,"41 cards, stamped 1820, to 1846. Il Solleone published 1,500 copies in 1981. (Cerulean has never seen this set*).

1820-25--produces "Tarocco Vedute e Meistieri de Milano"...alternative name of Trade Sites of Milan Tarocco?
Il Solleone published 1000 copies in 1982.

1825 --Printer negotiates in Corsia del Giadino "sono in vendita anche biglietti della Lotteria"...

1835 (1830-45)--"Tarocchino Lombardo".

Il Solleone's note: engraved by Carlo Dellarocca around 1835, and then the Italian note"...dal Gumppenberg, dal Lamperti e altri in Milano e Lombardia"--note correction below on Lamperti note in 1847. Lamperti is his son-in-law.

Il Solleone published their version of the Dellarocca designs in in 1981 in a limited edition of 2,000. There is another version by Lo Scarabeo, I believe.

We know this title as the Tarocco Italiano Soprafino with engravings by Carlo della Rocca.

Given this information, the mysterious beautiful additions to the Dellarocca designs might have been innovations by Lamperti and Dellarocca?

1838-40 Produces "Tarocco Della Corona Ferrea"

Iron Crown of Lombardy Tarocco * from Edizioni del Solleone, reprinted 2,500 copies, 1979.
1847-He concedes the printmaking in general to Lattanzio Lamperti, the spouse of his daughter Paola.

Lamperti Tarocco sample:

(R. Somerville had an old link to 22 card mignon Tarocco from Lo Scarabeo, but it's no longer available).

1855- Dies after 67 years.

*A quick translation. Any input appreciated, I'll correct later. I'm still gathering references, which includes the Lo Scarabeo book, and a catalog from the defunct publishing house of Solleone, edited by Vito Arienti.




Tarrochino Bolognese inciso da G. Antonia Meda per Ferdinando Gumppenberg

Regia Fabbrica_ di Milano.

Ace of Coins eagle with unfurled wings with star with N on chest...a decorative motif of crowns on the edge of the circle and upside down it reads Fabbricatore Gumppenberg upside down.

The title card does not have G. Antonio Meda, only the box does.

The information;

Tarocchino Bolognese di Ferdinando Gumppenberg fabbricatore di carte. nella Regia Fabbrica di Milano sita nel Locale del Giardano presso il Teatro alla Scala 1810 ca.

Gioco originale della collezione Stuart and Marilyn R. Kaplan New York.

Ristampa a cura di Vito Arienti
Edizioni del Solleone Lissone (Mi Italia) 1986.

Tarrochino Bolognese of Ferdinando Gumppenberg, maker of cards, Royal Cardmaker of Milan situated in the Garden Locale at the Theatre of Scala 1810.

Cards originally in the collection of Stuart and Marilyn R. Kaplan, New York.

Vito Arienti publisher
Editions of Solleone
Lissone (Milan Italy), 1986.

Excuse bad translation.

Hope this helps. Cards have fanciful fonts and creamy backdrops as the Neoclassical/Lombardy yellow light edition.


OnePotato said:
Here is what I have noticed about the signature on the Ace of Cups:

My copy has "Gumppenberg / Fabricatore in Milano" as the signature.
I believe the Lo Scarabeo reprint also has this same sig.

The Il Meneghello reprint, and the Kaplan version (Illustrated in both the Encyclopedia Vol II and the Christie's 6-21-06 catalog) both have "Fabbricatore / Gumppenberg" as the signature.

In looking at them, I believe mine is the older version, because both the italic slant and the character of the script better match the rest of the deck. This suggests everything was done at the same time. The Il Meneghello/Kaplan script is at a slightly different angle, and of a slightly different character that does not match the other text in the deck. It is also placed slightly crooked, and the decenders of the "p's" actually run into the border art. All of this suggests that it was added later, by a different hand.

In all versions, I can see several small pits in the plate that have left small dots in the background, so it is almost certainly the same master plate that is used for both editions. (Only the signature area differs.)

It is possible to fill or rub out an area on an engraved plate, and then re-engrave it anew. So it appears that he wanted to remove the "Milano" from the deck at a later date. I'm sure there's some logical, historical reason for this, but I haven't found any explanation yet.

I also noticed that Kaplan's copy, with the altered signature, has blue backs, instead of red.

So far I haven't found any discussion or mention of multiple editions of this deck. The tax stamp is the same, so they all would appear to date from the same general time, but there were obviously multiple printings over the active time period.

One of these days I'll have to get the reprints in order to compare the variations in color application. Generally, they appear pretty similar, but even by looking at just a few online scans, I can see that there are probably a lot of differences in the details. I'm curious to see if stencils were used, or if it is all done by hand.


I consider this one of the most beautiful decks ever created.

I'm so envious that I can only feel slightly better knowing that it (almost!) couldn't have found a better home.

Congratulations and thank you VERY much for sharing. It's breathtaking.

le pendu,
I agree, it's really an original design, and a beautiful thing.
But his Soprafino is still out there somewhere, calling....
it has your name written all over it ;)
.....Hope you get that Soprafino too!

It took nearly 10 years, but the call was answered last year when I bought an original 1830's Gumppenberg Soprafino. Sometimes collecting takes patience. This, too, is a very pretty deck of cards.

Here are a couple of photos to complete this story...


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Congratulations OnePotato!
It looks spectacular.


Grunting in appreciation.


Congratulations OnePotato!
It looks spectacular.

Thanks, KhonsuMes!
It's interesting to see just how beautiful the original printing of this deck really is.
It has a razor sharpness and overall color quality that gets lost in all of the repros I've seen.
Given that publishers continued to make stencil colored woodblock decks for another 70 years or so, somewhere in here is a lesson for anyone who's claimed, "If they had the technology, they would have used it to make neater coloring that looks like..."


Well then, would you consider having your deck reproduced more faithfully.
There are people doing beautiful repros now, with more modern digital techniques. Your deck looks to be a great candidate for them.
And I'm sure I would not be the only person interested in buying it!! There are a lot of Soprafino fans out here..

Thanks, KhonsuMes!
It's interesting to see just how beautiful the original printing of this deck really is.
It has a razor sharpness and overall color quality that gets lost in all of the repros I've seen.
Given that publishers continued to make stencil colored woodblock decks for another 70 years or so, somewhere in here is a lesson for anyone who's claimed, "If they had the technology, they would have used it to make neater coloring that looks like..."