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Published March 07, 2017 Updated June 21, 2022

Cartas Gitanas

The designs of these fortune-telling cards are largely taken from nineteenth century Austrian "Rural Scenes" Tarock cards.

1955 Argentina Vigor Cartomancy Tarock Add to Collection


fortune-telling cards

See the Instructions

Published by Vigor S.R.L., Tejedor 244-256, Bs Aires in the 1950s (formerly by Igor Domicelj), and then successive editions into the 1960s. 40 cards + instruction leaflet in box. The Patent Office Registration documents, dated 22nd June 1955, show the original designs at the time of the take-over, with the new company name overwritten. The deck is presented as an ancient gypsy oracle, however, the designs are largely taken from nineteenth century Austrian "Rural Scenes" Tarock cards, which were not designed for fortune-telling.

Cartas Gitanas, Vigor S.A.C e I, c.1960 Cartas Gitanas, Vigor S.A.C e I, c.1960 Cartas Gitanas, Vigor S.A.C e I, c.1960 Cartas Gitanas, Vigor S.A.C e I, c.1960 Cartas Gitanas, Vigor S.A.C e I, c.1960

Above: the designs on the top halves of the Cartas Gitanas are based on nineteenth century Austrian "Rural Scenes" Tarock cards (shown below). Scenes include musicians, horsemen, couples, courtships as well as rural or exotic scenes. The court and 'consultant' cards are also derived from the Austrian prototypes.

Nineteenth century Austrian Rural Scenes Tarock cards
Nineteenth century Austrian Rural Scenes Tarock cards
Nineteenth century Austrian Rural Scenes Tarock cards
Nineteenth century Austrian Rural Scenes Tarock cards

Below: instruction leaflet, inner wrapper and box showing various symbols alluding to luck, fate and hidden wisdom disclosed through cartomancy. The leaflet informs that these cards had been a jealously guarded secret amongst fortune-tellers for centuries, handed down from mother to daughter, but are now being made available to the public. Instructions are given in the leaflet for reading the cards, as well as how to select winning lottery numbers, roulette stakes or horse races.

Cartas Gitanas by Vigor, c.1960
Cartomantic meanings of Spanish playing cards by Benita the Witch (XVI century), published by Chocolates Nelia, c.1932
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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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