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Cotta's Almanac #1 Reproduction Playing Cards USPCC

$11.99 USD
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Cotta's Almanac #1 Reproduction Playing Cards USPCC

$11.99 USD

Cotta's Almanac #1 Reproduction Playing Cards

Introducing a precisely digitally hand-recreated reproduction of the first published complete transformation playing card deck in the world! The blue "Joan of Arc" deck is the first in a series of six famous decks we plan to release.

The very first transformation deck issued by Cotta is from 1805. This deck is probably the most famous of all six, and is incredibly scarce. Original illustrations were fiddling artworks done by hand, on copper plates that were manually engraved with stipple and etching, and the cards were printed on linen period stock that was 97 mm x 69 mm in size, with blank card backs and squared corners at that time. Only the court cards were hand-colored, while the number cards used red stencils.

Cotta’s transformation cards were very successful and became a role model for later transformation decks from other publishers. And since the card backs were blank, individual cards were sometimes used by the nobility as visit cards and for leaving messages, so these playing cards often became multi-purpose items.

The images on the court cards are characters inspired by Schiller's play "Die Jungfrau von Orleans" ("Joan of Arc").

The central figure of Joan of Arc is depicted as the Queen of Spades, the Maid of Orleans who inspired the French army to victory, but was later burned at the stake.

The court cards were designated with the words "Valet", "Dame", and "Roi", which are the French terms corresponding to the Jack, Queen, and King.

In the first deck, beside Joan of Arc depicted as the Queen of Spades, other individuals closely associated with Joan include Etienne de Vignolles or La Hire (Jack of Hearts), who helped Joan to victory in the battle of Patay in 1429; and Raymond (Jack of Diamonds), a peasant who was Joan's page.

Key political leaders who figured prominently in the events surrounding Joan's life are also represented, including King Charles VII (King of Hearts), the French monarch who relied on Joan's help to reach the Rhiems, the traditional place of coronation; Charles' mother Isabeau (Queen of Hearts), who was in league with Charles' enemy; Charles' mistress Agnes Sorel (Queen of Diamonds); Charles' opponent Philippe the Good (King of Diamonds), an ally of England; and the king of Naples, René d'Anjou (King of Clubs), who lost the kingdom after defeat in battle. General Talbot (King of Spades) was the English commander of the outpost of Orleans at Saint Loup, who was wounded in battle, captured, and was part of a prisoner exchange.

Both Joan's "sister" Louison (Queen of Clubs) and Montgomery (Jack of Clubs) are fictional creations of Schiller, while the fictional Lionel (Jack of Spades) is the character who holds up Joan's sword in a location revealed by the voices that she supposedly heard telling her to help.


  • Printed by USPCC on Classic Stock
  • Poker Size
  • Embossed Finish
  • 52 Cards + 2 Extra Jokers + 2 Extra Collectible Cards
  • Metallic Ink On Box & Full Bleed Backs
  • Custom Tuck Seal
  • Puzzle Image on all Tuck Spines of the Series
  • Digitally Hand-Recreated and Designed by Azured Ox
  • Produced By Will Roya
  • 2020 Release

Also make sure to check out our comprehensive pdf guide to use this deck for cartomancery & readings:

  • Download screen version here.
  • Download print version here.

Customer Reviews

Based on 16 reviews
Beautiful reproduction cards.

Packaging was solid as always and decks came without a ding. The deck itself is beautifully intricate and definitely one for history buffs, and classical art lovers.

However, using this deck as your main for poker night, is not recommended. The pips are stylistically integrated into each card and are rather hard to read.

I would recommend this deck as more of a novelty/art piece, rather then a deck for games. The cards handle well for cardists, however not as lovely as, say a Gatorback deck, or Orbits.

Love these cards!

I also got these as part of a promotion, and now I'm really into decorative cards like these. Definitely worth picking up!

Jackson M.
Great Deck!

I got this deck for free, but I'd give it a great review even if I paid for it. It feels just as great as any other USPCC deck, and the art on EVERY card is amazing.

Mr. Opps

Like a lot of other folks, I was able to snag these as part of a promotion. Like most others, I'm in love with them.

As far as transformation decks go, this one doesn't "do" much with the pips, but it doesn't need to. The art on each card is exceptional, and the overlay and sometimes alteration of the pips feels natural and isn't distracting. The full-body faces allow for a degree of cartomancy in addition to lending to the feel of the deck.

Speaking of the feel, these cards handle smoothly straight out of the box. In fact, the box is the only real uninteresting thing about this deck - strangely refreshing, since so many premium decks of late have nice boxes but lackluster cards inside. I don't think I can recommend them enough.

I'm absolutely going to chase this series.


If it wasn't for the fact that I was able to get this deck for free from one of my previous orders, I would most likely have never given this a good look. But I am glad I did end up checking this out since it is honestly superb. The cards are beautiful and I may end up buying the other decks in the series as well. Definitely a deck you should consider buying, or maybe even get for free if you are like me. I would happily pay full price for this deck, by the way.

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