Today’s article will be a write up on a project that has passed and not our usual write up on playing cards project still active on Kickstarter. The cards looked too nice to be missed.
We did not study ancient Roman history too much and whatever we know about it came from hours of Wikipedia surfing which means if you click on that prior link, be prepared to lose hours of your life (go on, we dare you to)
Back to the playing cards, ROME series of playing cards is designed by Randy Butterfield, owner of Midnight Cards. Going to his webshop is probably the only way to buy a deck of ROME playing cards since the project is completed and I believe it is in the midst of being fulfilled. You can also purchase cards from his previous projects like Grinders.
The portraits of the royal court in ROME playing cards contains historical figures throughout the Roman Empire history such as the two featured figures in Antony and Caesar and others such as Brutus, Augustus, Cleopatra and Cicero.
How did the designs came to be the way they are? Do they bear any resemblance to the actual people depicted in the cards? The answer is “yes” according to the creator. Refer to the anatomy of the face cards below for an explanation of the design of the playing cards provided by the creator himself.
So the faces are drawn based on bust of these historical figures. We have to give him credit for not drawing something completely different from what is generally known about the people. Take a look at some computer rendered representations of what the card would look like.
The card faces will be the same for both Antony and Caesar decks. The Diamond and Heart suits will have a red banner diagonally across the cards while the Club and Spade suits will have a blue banner. We would like to highlight some fine details of the tuck box. The Top of Caesar’s Tuck has the words “ALEA IACTA EST” and “VENI VIDI VICI” – Latin for “The die is cast” and “I came, I saw, I conquered”. The Top of Antony’s Tuck has the words “TARUM ET CLAMA DIMIT CANIBUS QUATIT” – Latin for “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war”. The interior of the tuck box has a map of the Roman empire.
The main differences between the decks are the colour and design of the tuck box and the card backs. The card back for Antony deck will be blue in colour and the drawing on the back is a painting of “Cleopatra Captured by Roman Soldiers after the Death of Mark Antony“. A sigil of a lion is embossed in gold foil onto the front of the tuck box.
For the Caesar deck, the card back is red in colour and the drawing on the back is a painting of “The Death of Julius Caesar“. The tuck box will have an embossing of an eagle.
If you like this deck, you can still get them on his shopify but it will not be offering the coins or the special limited toga sleeve below.
We think ROME decks are a definite collector’s item because of the many fine details and thoughts that went into the design of the cards and the tuck box as well.
Wikipedia (various references)