The Great Dalmuti is a card game designed by Richard Garfield, illustrated by Margaret Organ-Kean, and published in 1995 by Wizards of the Coast. 2 printings of the game exist, one with a 1994 date and the other one with 1995. It is a variant of the public domain game Asshole, dating back to late Middle-Ages. The 2 advertisement cards were included in both versions.
The Great Dalmuti First Edition long box front and back 1994
The Great Dalmuti Second Edition long box front and back 1995
|Margaret Organ-Kean: About 1996, Wizards of the Coast planned to bring out Christmas Dalmuti, a follow up to Great Dalmuti. It was a Christmas version of the Game, based on the Twelve Days of Christmas. All of the illustration and design work were completed, and three mock-ups were made. One (at least) was made with the tin box they had in mind for packaging.|
The game never went into production, but three prototypes were made. I do not know where the other two copies are - although I have ideas. The third copy, with the tin box, cards, and instruction book, was given to me.
Christmas Dalmuti prototype 1 front
|Margaret Organ-Kean: I painted the artwork for this the year after Great Dalmuti. WotC decided that it would be a better bet to release Corporate Shuffle, rather than a holiday-themed Dalmuti.|
So, although Christmas Dalmuti got right up to the wire - they were going to go with the metal box (as I recall, Richard Garfield didn't like the cardboard box) they canceled it at the last minute.
The Prince and Princess were indeed meant to replace the two jesters. The other cards were based on the song, Twelve Days of Christmas. I turned out to be much better at birds than I expected. There are a lot of birds in that song!
Unlike the Great Dalmuti, where I drew the black-and-white art the cards were based on, I painted and inked Christmas Dalmuti, while the WotC art department changed certain areas of color on each card, so no two were exactly alike.
I was told at one point that only three complete sets were mocked up for this game. I have one. I think one other went to the guy I worked with. It seems you have the third. (This may be incorrect information - I have a bunch of the cards loose as well.)
|Ron Magin: I can give you a bit more info on this item.|
I was the head buyer for Chessex Distribution back then, and I received one as a gift from my salesperson after I visited a WOTC buyers meeting where they announced 4th ed. as well as Japanese & Chinese version of Magic the Gathering. You are correct they are pretty rare, but I do know that there are more than 3 copies around, because I personally saw about a half dozen or so in the offices.
As for the "Black" on the bottom, it refers to the color of the color of the felted vaccuform tray inside the tin. I remember seeing Red, Green, and Black, I was offered my choice, and chose "Black."
Christmas Dalmuti prototype 2 front and back
The game fell out of print, but was re-released in 2005 in different languages: Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese. No advertisement card was included in this new English printing.
*De Grote Dalmuti (First 2003 and Second Edition 2004)
*Le Grand Dalmuti 2007
*Der Große Dalmuti (First 1996 and Second Edition 2010)
*Il Grande Dalmuti
*El Gran Dalmuti 2010
The Great Dalmuti Second printing small box front and back 2005
The Great Dalmuti advertisement from Armada Comic Antiquities War 4 of 4 On The World Of Magic The Gathering (February 1996)