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Playing Cards - Italian 'Napoletane', 1950s-1970s Object Reg. No: SH 940570

Set of 40 'Napoletane' Italian playing cards, amongst the merchandise sold by Ernesto Angerame after 1949 in his barber shop at 330 Lygon Street, Carlton.

Ernesto Angerame was born in 1920 in Viggiano, in the region of Basilicata, Italy. He migrated reluctantly to Melbourne in 1937, having replaced his brother who had changed his mind. He learned the barber trade during his sea voyage and completed his apprenticeship upon arrival. In 1942, Ernesto was conscripted as an enemy alien into the Civilian Army Corps and released in 1945. In 1949 he opened his own barber's shop in Lygon Street Carlton (known as the Sportsmen's Saloon from the early 1950s) which he ran until he retired in 1984. He cut the hair of numerous local and visiting sportsmen, and was official barber to the Carlton Football Club. His shop also sold tobacconist and hair care products and traditional Italian playing cards.

There are variations on regional Italian playing cards and no one national style, but most tend to include 40 cards of four suits of traditional patterns, as found in classic tarots (Coins, Cups, Swords and Batons). All, those from the north and central-southern regions of Italy, feature a knave, a cavalier or horseman (which is locally known as 'horse'), and a king. This collection appears to be a mix of central and southern suit signs, which have Spanish influences; the Napoletane style being one of the most popular.
Set of 40 'Napoletane' playing cards, with reverse of cards featuring black and white geometric design and cross-hatched border. Principal sides feature various multi-coloured images in red, green, blue, yellow and black, including kings, figures on horses, courtly figures, circular sun motifs, vases, decorative weaponry. One of the central cards includes the words 'T. Dal Negro-Treviso' and 'Made in Italy.'
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Ernesto Angerame, 1994
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 82 mm (Height), 51 mm (Width)
Dimension Comment: Dimensions of each card.

More information

Tagged with: hairdressing, hairdressing industry, italian communities, italian immigration, playing cards, trades
Themes this item is part of: Ernesto Angerame, Italian Migrant & Barber, 1937, Italian Historical Society CO.AS.IT. Collection, Leisure Collection, Migration Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection
Primary Classification: MIGRATION
Secondary Classification: Settlement - Employment
Tertiary Classification: tools & equipment
Inscriptions: Text, on one card: MADE IN ITALY/T. DAL NEGRO-TREVISO.
Past Owner or User: Mr Ernesto Angerame, Carlton, Victoria, Australia, 1950-1980
References: See exhibition file for details.

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