Lo Scarabeo: Carnival Playing Cards

22 May

Carnival Deck was produced by Lo Scarabeo (Italy) and printed by Modiano (Italy) in 2006. Bridge size.

Playing cards are designed by Severino Baraldi. The deck is based on the Carnival of Venice theme. The Carnival of Venice is an annual festival which is held in Venice (Italy).

Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_Box_Front Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_Box_Back

It is said that the Carnival of Venice was started from a victory of the Most Serene Republic of Venice (“Repubblica della Serenissima”) against Ulrico the Patriarch of Aquileia in 1162. Aquileia is an ancient Roman city in Italy. Ulrico tried to extend his authority over Venice.

People started to dance and make reunions in San Marco Square in the honor of the victory. The festival started on that period and became official in the Renaissance.

Carnival Playing Cards by Lo Scarabeo: Extra Card and Back Design

Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_Extra_Card Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_Playing_Cards_Back

Venetians were famous for being libertines and for transgression – they didn’t just use masks during the official Carnival. Putting on a mask in Venice meant taking forbidden liberties: you could jibe at the powerful, gamble without being caught, take risks over love or business deals and even enter convents without being seen. A numbers of restrictive laws passed on dressing up prove how widespread the habit was.

Maskmakers (mascherari) have a special position in the Republic. They had their own laws and their own guild. Venetian masks could be made of leather, porcelain or with the original glass technique.

With the beginning of the Austrian rule after the fall of the Most Serene Republic of Venice the festival was entirely outlawed (in 1797) and the use of masks became strictly forbidden. The Carnival returned to operate only in 1979 – the Italian government decided to bring back the history and culture of Venice and decided to use the Carnival as the centerpiece of its efforts.

Carnival Playing Cards by Lo Scarabeo: Jokers

Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_Joker_2 Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_Joker_1

There are two main categories of traditional types of Venetian masks.


  • Bauta (as an example – a man on The Three of Spades);
  • Dama di Venezia (as an example – the Extra Card);
  • Gatto (as an example – a man on The Five of Clubs);
  • The Plague Doctor (Capitan Scaramouche mask instead of it 😦 );
  • Moretta muta (there isn’t in this deck 😦 );
  • Volto (as an example – a pair on The Two of Hearts);
  • Jester (as an example – a pair on The Eight of Diaminds).


  • Columbina (as an example – a gondolier on The Jack of Spades);
  • Capitan Scaramouche (as an example – a man on The Jack of Hearts);
  • Pierrot (as an example – a man on The Ace of Hearts);
  • Pantalone (as an example – a man on The Queen of Hearts);
  • Arlecchino (as an example – a man on The Three of Diamonds);
  • Zanni (as an example of an old variant it can be a man on The Ten of Diamonds);
  • Pulcinella (as an example – a man on The Nine of Diamonds);
  • Ill Dottore (there isn’t in this deck);
  • Burrattino (there isn’t in this deck);
  • Brighella (as an example – a man on The Two of Spades).

Carnival Playing Cards by Lo Scarabeo: SPADES

Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Ace_of_Spades Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Two_of_Spades Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Three_of_Spades Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Four_of_Spades Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Five_of_Spades Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Six_of_Spades Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Seven_of_Spades Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Eight_of_Spades Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Nine_of_Spades Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Ten_of_Spades Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Jack_of_Spades Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Queen_of_Spades Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_King_of_Spades Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_Information_Card_4

Carnival Playing Cards by Lo Scarabeo: HEARTS

Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Ace_of_Hearts Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Two_of_Hearts Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Three_of_Hearts Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Four_of_Hearts Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Five_of_Hearts Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Six_of_Hearts Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Seven_of_Hearts Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Eight_of_Hearts Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Nine_of_Hearts Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Ten_of_Hearts Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Jack_of_Hearts Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_Queen_of_Hearts Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_The_King_of_Hearts Lo_Scarabeo_Carnival_Information_Card_3



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