‘Requiem’ Playing Cards by Stockholm17 – Review

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** Gory Images Alert **

Ok, I know we’re all adults here (maybe) but I had to pre-empt this review with a warning – these cards are not to everyone’s taste. But they are definitely to mine, especially when you know the story behind their design.

So, you’re still reading….? Good. I shall continue. You may get settled because this is my longest review to date.

Definition of ‘REQUIEM’ From Wikipedia:

“A Requiem or Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead (Latin: Missa pro defunctis) or Mass of the dead (Latin: Missa defunctorum), is a Mass celebrated for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons, using a particular form of the Roman Missal. It is frequently, but not necessarily, celebrated in the context of a funeral.”

Requiem by Stockholm17 - Cards

Requiem by Stockholm17 – Cards

The ‘Requiem’ Playing Cards by Swedish based Italian artist/designer Lorenzo Gaggiotti (also known as Stockholm17) tell a dark tale of deception, betrayal, heartbreak, rage, pain and rejection. The fact that it is based on the breakup of a relationship between the designer himself and ‘the Queen of Spades’ just makes these cards all the more intriguing and fascinating.

This was Stockholm17’s first Kickstarter-funded deck, even though his ‘follow-up’ deck – Heretic – was actually designed first. He had hoped for total funding of $15,000 USD for the project but in actual fact 769 backers pledged a total of $38,412 USD to see the deck in print. That’s some achievement for a first-timer.

How would you deal with a broken heart…?

While Taylor Swift and Coldplay may dedicate entire albums to sifting through the ashes of ill-fated relationships, Lorenzo decided to vent his frustration with art. With absolutely amazing effect. He describes this deck as:  “a production of my suffering soul after my ex decided to end a relationship in a drastic and hectic way”. Sub-titled ‘Chronicles of a Lost Love’, this deck is an artistic outpouring of all the emotions not only experienced by Lorenzo, but also by any of us who have not just had our hearts broken, but chewed up, spat out, dunked in acid, put through a blender, and tied to railtracks.

The ‘Requiem’ deck comes in 2 variations – the Autumn deck (beige) and the Winter deck (light blue). No Spring and Summer because that is when nature is alive and thriving. Autumn signals Requiem by Stockholm17 - Backsthe start of the dying processes while by the Winter months the trees are bare, cold has set in and only the hardiest of flora have survived. While the fronts of the cards themselves are exactly the same in both decks, the design on the box and the backs are essentially the same but coloured differently according to the deck. Depicting a crying ram (the zodiac symbol for Aries) this represents the designer. Aries is synonymous with strength and leadership, yet he is crying. Because he is broken.

The Jokers, court cards and Aces tell the story.

Each face card and Ace is printed with Latin text and Roman numerals. These depict an emotion and a date, with the 55th card in the deck giving an explanation of each one. If we look at this chronologically we see that the suits don’t follow the story Requiem by Stockholm17 - Jokersin the order they come out of the box. Except for the very beginning. We start with the 2 Jokers – The Evil Coward and The Unwary Victim. According to the dates on the cards, the events depicted in this deck took place between the 2nd of April and the 24th of July, though no doubt this wasn’t the end of Lorenzo’s turmoil. The 3rd Joker is entitled ‘Celebration’ and is dated 10th February (2014) which is the date that saw the successful funding of this Kickstarter project, and which seems to signal closure for Lorenzo – I hope so anyways. I mentioned that his ex featured as the Queen of Spades (Egoism) and I’d love to know if she knows this… and if she does, how did she react…?

Novel writing software without the learning curve.
Requiem by Stockholm17 - Details

Click on the image for details

Requiem by Stockholm17 - Queen of Spades (Egoism)

Requiem by Stockholm17 – Queen of Spades (Egoism)


Unique pip cards

It is not just the court cards that reflect the distress felt by the designer, but also the pip cards. For ease of reading, the pips are all standard with a couple of exceptions. Of course, they have Requiem by Stockholm17 - Four of Diamondsthe same blood-red background as the court cards, but also each pip has taken on a new characteristic – the Hearts are broken, the Diamonds are cracked, the Clubs have thorns and the Spades are dried up leaves. If you study closely, each pip on any card across the entire deck is different from the other – that’s over 50 differently designed pips in each suit (see the example of the 4 of Diamonds). The Hearts and Diamonds are printed in gold metallic ink, and coupled with the red of the background it actually gives these cards a somewhat elegant feel. Because these cards, in all their darkness, are extremely beautiful.

I mentioned at the start that this is my longest review to date. This is simply because these cards could not be described in a few words. In fact, I haven’t done this deck justice – you’d need to see them to fully appreciate them. When you’re holding this deck you are holding in your grasp someone’s life, love, misery, and pain. It’s kind of like reading all about someone’s heartache from the pages of their own diary….

To summarise…

Like I’ve said, the imagery in this deck may not be to everyone’s taste. But I love it. I love the artwork. I love the colouring. I love the fact that it tells a story. I love the honesty in it. Men aren’t exactly renowned for opening their hearts even to their own friends, so to do it on such a public platform shows pure courage and has to be applauded. The cards themselves were printed by the United States Playing Card Co. on Bee cardstock no less. This give the deck a sturdy yet smooth feel and it is definitely a pleasure to handle.

Again, not one of those decks for playing bridge with Grandma over a sweet sherry… in fact if you should find yourself owning one of these (limited edition so get one quick) they’d probably be one of those decks that you keep in a very safe place to bring out only on special occasions.

I’d love to hear what you think of this deck – do you agree with me? Or are these just too blood thirsty for your tastes? Please feel free to leave a comment in the box below.

Requiem by Stockholm17 - Aces

Requiem by Stockholm17 – Aces

Where to buy your ‘Requiem’ Playing Cards by Stockholm17:

Available from Amazon.com and also from Amazon.co.uk

Or, if you’d like to look at the images from this deck without having to take the cards out each time – have a look at this… Stockholm17 have a range of items for sale  – such as a clock, mug, iphone case etc. – featuring a collage of images from the deck. Click HERE to see what’s available along with prices. {Please note that these items are on Amazon.com and will incur postage charges to buyers located outside of the US.}

Requiem ClockRequiem iPhone 6 CaseRequiem Mug

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20 thoughts on “‘Requiem’ Playing Cards by Stockholm17 – Review

  1. David Joyce

    Hey I checked out your site. WOW I was actually very interested, I do not collect playing cards myself but I found your collection and info on the subject fascinating,

    I particularly like this Requiem deck. The images and the story behind them is extremely interesting. Who would think that a breakup could result in such amazing artistry?

    Well done, Wishing you all the best for your future success,


    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you David for your comment on the Requiem deck. It is a fantastic deck of cards – one of my favourites, so I’m glad you liked my review :)

  2. Tarja

    Quite some cards you have there! I got straight away interested because I lived in Stockholm – for 17 years! Dismal cards, but interesting. Such a fascinating story behind them that I would almost like to see a video here! You know, not like playing the cards, but just show a few of them to the camera. Interesting also that there are separate autumn and winter decks! I never knew that there were all these designer decks before I entered your site, thank you for that!

    1. Jyl Post author

      You’re very welcome Tarja. I’m glad to be able to highlight the joys of playing cards to the world :) I do particularly like a deck with a good story behind it, like this one has. Sad and heartbreaking, but as you say fascinating :)

  3. Marc

    I love every time I stumble across your site. You tell great stories about the creators of the decks. I dont collect cards but love how you outline them. For example I think it is hysterical that the artist used his ex as the queen of spades. Thank you again for another great write up!

    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you Marc. I always like it when a deck has some kind of background story to it and this was a particularly interesting one :) Reviews like this one tend to write themselves, which makes them all the more enjoyable to do :)

  4. Shizuka Torukoseki

    These cards are absolutely beautiful. I know you said they are a limited item, but do you happen to know the exact number that was made? I honestly wish I could take a look at every single card, just to admire their beauty. When you began your post, I honestly thought that these were some rare antique cards that were created by some artist from back in the day. I was truly shocked when I read on about it being a kickstarter project. At least some good projects are getting funded, instead of just potato salad, am I right?

    1. Jyl

      Hi Shizuka – they are beautiful aren’t they? And yes, Kickstarter does a fantastic job of helping to get projects like this funded – I had NO idea they did potato salad!! :D

      With this particular deck, there are 2 back designs – Winter and Autumn. There were only 2750 of each deck made, making a total of 5500 Requiem decks. They do have that ‘antique’ kind of look about them don’t they?

      Thank you for your comment, I’m glad you like the deck :)

  5. NemiraB

    Hello, fascinating story. I never thought that cards can be different. This man has great imagination. For me they look slightly scary, but there so many different tastes. All the best, Nemira

    1. Jyl Post author

      Hi Nemira. There are so many different styles and designs of playing cards theses days – you’d never get bored :) Thank you for your comment.

    1. Jyl Post author

      Thanks Liz. Yes, although I loved the cards from the minute I saw them, the story just made them all the more interesting and appealing. He put his heart and soul into the deck and I wanted to applaud that.

  6. Kathy

    I used to play a lot of cards but not so much these days. The Requiem playing cards make me want to start again, they are beautiful!. This is an interesting way to tell a story of heartbreak and I enjoyed reading your review. :)

    1. Jyl Post author

      Thanks Kathy. If this deck was a movie you’d find it in the ‘Epic’ section. More and more decks nowadays have much more intricate designs and I just love to see it. If there’s a story behind it, then that just goes to add to it. Thanks for your comment :)

      1. Kathy

        I can understand your passion for playing cards. I love divination cards and, like the Requiem pack, each deck tells a story. I have quite a few packs now, and with new ones coming out all the time I’ve no doubt I’ll collect more!

        1. Jyl Post author

          Hi Kathy,
          There’s actually quite a cool tarot deck on Kickstarter right now called BRuT by Uusi, described as ‘modernist’ (if you’re into that sort of thing).
          I’ve pledged for the poker version but the tarot one is worth a look at :)

    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you so much – a compliment coming from you :) I appreciate you taking the time to read my review and leaving this comment – thanks! :)

  7. Mike

    Very interesting post. I like the cards. Very unique. Makes me think about collecting them. I collect things, like rare money, beer cans and bottles. I like your site. Keep it up.


    1. Jyl Post author

      Hi Mike, thanks for your comment.

      Funny… I used to sell Northern Ireland bank notes on ebay. We’re part of the UK but our 4 main banks here have the right to print their own money. I was amazed at just how many people worldwide wanted our currency – sometimes for double the face value! Now THAT’S an interesting hobby :)



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