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di Salvatore Bonaccorsi
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This section deals with the few known alternatives to the standard deck –comparable to a Spanish model of Sicilian origin – made for political propaganda. The examples point to three different times in Italian history: the Unification, the Fascist era and the years of the economic boom and the Christian Democratic government. These unusual Sicilian decks are dealt with in Nicola A. De Giorgio's article in section iv. To the first period belong a group of cards with figures in either Bourbon or Civic Guard military uniforms, kept at the Pitrè Museum, and a newly discovered deck at the Palazzo Abatellis Museum, both in Palermo.
In the second period are included two very different decks inspired by Fascism, both made in Palermo. Characters, mottos and suit variations, all contribute to praising the foundations of the fascist ideology. In the case of C.I. 5.4, an advertising (or explanatory) page sold together with the cards details the fundamentals and motivations of this deck from the manufacturer's viewpoint (see Fig.1). Finally, the third period is represented by a set of satyrical cards with quick, grotesque drawings caricaturing the political opponents of Christian Democratic candidates. Produced in Noto probably on the occasion of the 1964 local elections, these cards provide an intriguing picture of the political climate of the time.