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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Hot off the Press! » » Cotta's Almanac #4 Transformation Playing Cards Reproduction by Will Roya (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Steve Brooks
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Hey gang,

My friend Will Roya and his team are putting together the 4th in a series of stellar reprints of the ultra rare Cotta Almanac decks.

Believe me when I say that no expense in either time or money has been spared here!

So, if you are seriously into playing cards you absolutely must give these your serious consideration!

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Cotta's Almanac #4 Transformation Playing Cards Reproduction
1809 "Turandot" Deck 4 of 6 in a series - Precisely Hand-Recreated & Printed by USPCC - Limited Edition - 1,000 with Numbered Seals

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THE STORY...

Introducing a precisely digitally hand-recreated reproduction of the next Cotta's almanac deck full of history, and for the fourth time, strongly touched by Schiller's works, continuing after the previous yellow, green, and the blue one, which was the first published complete transformation playing card deck in the world!

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The red "Turandot" deck is the fourth in a series of six famous transformation playing card decks we plan to release... This fourth Cotta's almanac playing cards deck was originally published in 1809. There is no known evidence of any deck issued in 1808, and so this red almanac issued in 1809 is considered to be the fourth in a series.

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Court card figures depict Arabs in various costumes, which could have been taken from sources of the seven climes (Persia, China/Turkestan, Khwârazm, Slavonia, North Africa, Byzantium, and India), which as well adds another historical value to its rarity.

Additionally to the series of Cotta's almanac decks, all influenced by notable authors, this one might also draw on aspects from another Schiller's work - especially the translation and his intriguing epic symbolic adaptation of Turandot, the famous commedia dell'arte (Italian comedy) play by Count Carlo Gozzi from 1762 after and originated in supposedly Persian story of Calaf's adventure in the theme of the Arabic and Persian tales from the collection (Thousand and One Day) Les Mille et un jours (1710–1712) by François Pétis de la Croix.

The artwork also may have been inspired by the Arab population that migrated to Germany or even studied in Tübingen where the Cotta's publishing house was founded. But mostly there was a friendship between Schiller, Goethe, Cotta, and Gozzi, who died in 1806, a year after Schiller in 1805, what might have been the true impulse.


LIMITED EDITION

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Features:

  • Printed by USPCC on Classic Stock
  • Poker Size
  • Embossed (Linen) Finish
  • 52 Cards + 2 Extra 17th-century Jokers + 2 Extra Collectible 16th-century Art Cards
  • Metallic Ink On Box & Card Backs (Both Versions of Tucks and Card Backs inside)
  • Custom Seals - Numbered and Standard
  • Puzzle Image on all Tuck Spines of the Series (Inking Vary by Tuck Version)
  • Digitally Hand-Recreated and Designed by Azured Ox
  • Produced By Will Roya

COLLECTOR'S SERIES

After the success of the first blue 1805, the second green 1806, and the third yellow 1807 Cotta's almanac decks, again we come with two versions of the fourth red 1809 Cotta's deck limited edition - the "Numbered" and the "Standard".

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As campaigns before, we are limiting this 4th "Numbered" deck to only 1,000 copies of tuck which is the whole gold-inked with custom numbered seals. Additional "Standard" limited edition decks are created just with a slight difference on tuck designed with dark and gold ink combination and the same custom seals (non-numbered). Both versions will include the same gold metallic inked card back design inside of the tuck box.

THE SERIES OF DECKS

There are many historical values in the series of decks...

That's why the entire 6 deck series is in many ways designed by Azured Ox to meet collector's demand as a "collection of historical books" with their mysteries and secrets hidden inside up to your findings...


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Series of decks will be produced with the piece of puzzle image on each tuck "book" spine (left side of the box) to create together a nice display of the Tuebingen monument surroundings, where the idea for Cotta's decks was born.

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THE TUCK BOX

The design of both versions of Cotta's limited edition tuck boxes, the standard and the numbered, created by Azured Ox, have been inspired by the old books and published writers' work using the gold ink on their covers as well as combined with the dark ink.

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Inking and Tuck Design Inspired by Old Books

DECKS RICH IN HISTORY

Unexplained stories, hidden mysteries, secrets...

Much of historical happenings, influences, and activities would find a place in the Cotta decks, including events in the life of Cotta's own family and notable figures like Schiller and Goethe. Other important influences include the literature, art, history, politics (e.g. Napoleon's invasion), and religious reforms of the time, which all served as an important context to shape the art in the decks themselves...


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THE DECK...

4th almanac deck: "Arabic Turandot" (Year 1809)

After the first blue deck themed on Joan of Arc play by Schiller, the second green deck themed on Jean Racine's plays, which were translated into the German language by Schiller, and the third yellow deck themed on Wallenstein, here in the fourth red deck, again the images on the court cards might be the characters somehow connected to another Schiller's translational work (1801), the Turandot by Count Carlo Gozzi from 1762, and so those Arabs displayed on court cards might be deeply inspired by Schiller's reverse thinking about the Turandot tale's true origin, as up to the present day, this play in its variety of settlements is considered as an enigma since original ideas were mostly filtered through many versions and their translated adaptations around the world over time.


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"Nizami Ganjavi" Jamal ad-Dīn Abū Muḥammad Ilyās ibn-Yūsuf ibn-Zakkī is considered the greatest romantic epic poet in Persian literature, who brought a colloquial and realistic style to the epic.

Court card figures depict Arabs in various costumes, which could have been taken from sources of the seven climes (Persia, China/Turkestan, Khwârazm, Slavonia, North Africa, Byzantium, and India), which adds another historical value to its rarity. These seven climes may stretch back into the old stories, which are eventually also linked as a source idea for Turandot anecdote - Persian masterpiece Seven Beauties, by the Persian "wisdom" poet Nezami (died 1209) who recounts the romantic history of the pre-Islamic Persian king Bahram. The story of his journey from "black to white" also refers to Bahram’s spiritual development from darkness and ignorance to light and illumination, uniting himself with the source of light. He grows to a Perfect Man and an ideal king.

The plot of this story is very complex but significantly filled with mathematical, astronomical, cosmogonic, medical, spiritual, and mystical symbolism, which is surely interesting background for playing cards and their purposely hidden deep meanings...

And why Arabs? Turandot = Turan's daughter

(The name derives from the Persian compound name Turan and dokht, meaning the daughter of Turan. Dokht is a shortened form of dokhtar or "daughter", "girl". As Persian belongs to the Indo-European family of languages, the word dokhtar has cognates in European languages. Turan refers to the northeastern borders of Persia. Turandot recounts the story of a Turkestan/Chinese princess who kills her suitors when they fail to decipher riddles.)

Additionally to the series of Cotta's almanac decks, all influenced by notable authors and works, it is more than likely, just by continuing pattern, that even this 4th red deck might also draw on aspects from another Schiller's work - especially as mentioned above, the Schiller's translation and his intriguing epic symbolic adaptation of Turandot, the famous commedia dell'arte (Italian comedy) play by Count Carlo Gozzi from 1762 after and originated in supposedly Persian story of Calaf's adventure in the theme of the Arabic and Persian tales from the collection (Thousand and One Day) Les Mille et un jours (1710–1712) translated from Persian original by François Pétis de la Croix.


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Count Carlo Gozzi (13 December 1720 – 4 April 1806)

There is also evidence of the first theatre premiere of Schiller's adaptation of Turandot in 1802, specifically at the "old" Weimar Hoftheater by Johann von Goethe, who had been the theatre's director since its inception in 1791. Schiller had begun a collaborative friendship with Goethe in 1794 which lasted until Schiller's death in 1805, after which Goethe forsook ballads and turned to the completion of Part one of Faust, as well as the Cotta's almanac deck series, started in 1805, marked and influenced by these significant occurrences, and then even Gozzi's death came about a year after in 1806, and this deck's theme might be the tribute to Gozzi.

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It's not all just about Schiller's famous works...

As the first blue and the second green and the third yellow deck before, also this fourth red deck was threaded by majestic and noble roots... Besides the noble publisher of the deck, Johann Friedrich Cotta, again there was another person involved in the graphical part of this deck creation.


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Johann Friedrich Cotta (April 27, 1764 - December 29, 1832)

For the fourth time, again, cards were designed and stipple engraved by Countess Mary Day von Jennison-Walworth (sometimes spelled with a single 'n'). Her maiden name was Beauclerk, and she was the wife of Count Francis Jenison Walworth (1764–1824).

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Probably, she was creating illustrations for decks in Stuttgart as detected from letter communication addressed to her mother in Britain that contained writings about the Cotta's decks... Her mother was Lady Diana Beauclerk (née Lady Diana Spencer; other married names Diana St John, Viscountess Bolingbroke; 24 March 1734 – 1 August 1808). Also, there in those letters is a mention about her mother's health failing what later resulted in a fatality, which probably might have been the main reason for the missing Cotta's almanac deck right for the year 1808 of the series.

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THE BACK

Six Unique Different Card Back Patterns Designed, with Regard to Card Handling, Individually for Each of the Cotta's Deck Year Almanacs.

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Classic Style Borderless Full-Bleed Card Back Design with Luxury Feeling and Metallic Ink

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THE CARDS

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THE COURTS

In contrast to previous Cotta's decks' issues where the court cards were designated with the words "Valet", "Dame", and "Roi", which are the French terms corresponding to the Jack, Queen, and King, here the court cards of this 4th issue, Jack and Queen are not described, only King is described as "Roi".

Among all courts, the only single named figure of King Réba, the Midianite King of East, is represented as the King of Spades.

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Jack of Spades - African

Queen of Spades - Noblewoman

King of Spades - King Reba*


*Reba was one of five Midianite kings (Eʹvi, Reʹkem, Zur, Hur, and Reʹba) killed during the time of Moses by an Israelite expedition led by Phinehas, who was the grandson of Aaron (the elder brother of Moses) and the son of priest Eleazar (nephew of Moses), according to Numbers 31:8 and Joshua 13:21.

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Jack of Hearts - Merchant

Queen of Hearts - Noblewoman in ordinary home dress

King of Hearts - Regalia Nobleman


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Jack of Clubs - Ordinary man

Queen of Clubs - Countrywoman

King of Clubs - African


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Jack of Diamonds - Infantryman

Queen of Diamonds - Maiden in summer dress

King of Diamonds - Nobleman


THE JOKERS

At last, we came with an idea to reflect the opposite of noble life and to bring closer to you even more of the unique artistic history placed on extra collectible playing cards...

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THE EXTRAS

Also, we thought it could be interesting to put other illustrations from the far past on the additional extra cards, in respect to year almanacs, we came with an idea of twelve calendar months in the series as an exclusive collection of unique historical artworks...

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THE SEAL

With the Elements of Heraldic Achievement...

Includes heraldry symbols connected with the family and past of the noble designer countess Jenison von Walworth who created most of the Cotta's decks...


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THE UNCUT SHEET

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An absolutely original playing card masterpiece to hang on your wall (double-sided)

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THANK YOU!

  • Max Playing Cards
  • Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards
  • World of Playing Cards
  • United Cardists
  • The Magic Café®
  • Kardify
  • Magic Orthodoxy
  • Gentleman Wake
  • Ender's Game Reviewer
  • The Card Club
  • Playing Card Collector's Club
  • Repeat Super Backers
  • Fellow Creators & Social Media Friends
  • My Family & Staff

FULFILLMENT

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By PlayingCardDecks.com with a safe delivery guarantee and emailed tracking.
International customers are responsible for any custom fees and taxes and will need to be very patient with delivery times as we are seeing some shipments take up to 4 months.

RISKS AND CHALLENGES

Artwork has been pre-approved by USPCC. Some small design elements may be subject to change based on backer feedback and printer recommendations.
Besides being a super backer, I have successfully completed and delivered several of my own campaigns as well as helping & collaborating with other creators.

I really enjoy the process of creating decks with the artists and working with backers to bring the decks to life. I am in a fortunate situation to be able to cover some of the costs of producing the decks but without the help of the Kickstarter community I would not be able to bring all of my projects to life. Creating these decks is a significant investment of time and money and I am grateful for any and all support.

If there are delays or issues they will be communicated and dealt with in an open manner. As always, I appreciate any feedback.
You are welcome to reach out to me directly at any time and I will do my best to get back to you in a timely manner.

Back this project with confidence!

Sincerely, Will Roya

Questions? More Information? Click Here!

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"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
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