This article is the first attempt to retrace the taxation and administrative system relative to playing cards in Sicily. The period considered spans from 1582, when, under Spanish domination, Viceroy Marco Antonio Colonna imposed a 10-grana tax for each set of playing cards, through to 1860, when, following Garibaldi's expedition of the Thousand, Sicily was taken from the Bourbons of Naples to become part of the Kingdom of Savoy and, later, the Kingdom of Italy.
Next, the development of the various types of Sicilian cards (except for the Sicilian Tarot) is analysed. This includes the evolution of the standard type in the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as some particular lines, such as those featuring folkloric or historical themes (i.e., "Sicilian Marionettes" or "Characters and Allegories"); among the latter, 35 Latin-suited cards found at Palazzo Abatellis, Palermo, bear the maker's name Emmanuele Garofalo on their backs. Some non-standard 20th-century sets are also considered. Finally, the article provides information on Sicilian card-makers, with a list of those known so far.