Austrian Tarock Cards
The earliest Tarot decks originated in Italy in the fifteenth century, with Italian suit symbols (cups, coins, clubs or batons and swords). However the game was very popular elsewhere and tarots with French suit signs (hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades), usually called "Tarok" or "Tarock", appeared around 1750 and which are now mainly produced in Austria. The four-suited pack with court cards King, Queen, Cavalier and Page follow the same arrangement except that the Italian suit symbols were replaced with French ones. The numeral cards were sometimes reduced so that the pack contained a total of 54 cards, instead of the full 78 cards. See also: Tarock deck made by Johann Herrl in Graz 1815►
The subjects appearing on the Trumps of Tarock packs varies from the Italian prototypes. In the 18th century there was a vogue for animals or hunting scenes on the Trump cards, and later on mythological and literary subjects became popular. By the beginning of the 19th century it was possible to find almost any series of pictures on the Trumps. Very often these pictures alluded to popular proverbs, fables, social criticism, satire or heroic actions. The "Fool" is usually depicted as a harlequin. One particular series was widely copied and has become known as "Industrie und Glück" or "Rural Scenes" tarot in which the Trumps feature rural scenes and costumes from different regions. Most of these show a crowned eagle with a sword and sceptre clasped in one claw, perched on a rock with the legend "Industrie und Glück" on Trump II.
An Animal Tarock pack was published in Denmark by Jean Friedrich Mayer (1752-1783) and L.P. Holmblad published newly-designed packs depicting prominent buildings from in and around Copenhagen. The "Rural Scenes" Tarock pattern has also been used as the basis of divinatory fortune-telling cards manufactured in Argentina by Vigor S.R.L. with the title "Cartas Gitanas"►
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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.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the Queen of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
A deck of 55 cards, celebrating the master of mystery, murder and mayhem, Alfred Hitchcock.
Mythological tarot by Michael Schatzberger, Passau, Bavaria, early 19th century.
French-suited Natural History Tarot deck by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1820.
Mythological and Allegorical tarot produced by Peter Paul Fetscher junior, Munich.
Trappola pack of 36 double-ended cards published by Anton Herrl, Graz, Austria.
French-suited Animal Tarot deck produced by Andreas Benedict Göbl, Munich.
Scenic Tarock deck produced by Fabrique de Cartes J. Müller & Cie (Schaffhouse), Suisse.
‘National Costumes of Turkey’ tarot by Industrie Comptoir, Leipzig, c.1800-1825.
French-suited Bavarian Animal Tarot by J B Dubois, Liège, Belgium, late 18th C.
French-suited Æsop’s fables tarot produced by Leipzig Industrie Comptoir, c.1800-1825.
Early 19th century Animal Tarot pack produced by J T Dubois, Liège, Belgium.
Pack featuring six images from the Disney film of the same name, on cards made for Eastern Europe.
Katie Abey’s rainbow-coloured designs using crazy animals to convey motivating phrases.
Characters and scenes from the Disney film of the same name, on a pack made for Eastern Europe.
Featuring Disney Princesses and Enchanting Tales in two sizes of pack made for Eastern Europe.
Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and other Disney characters on a pack made for Eastern Europe.
Royal Hawaiian playing cards published by the Royal Hawaiian Playing Card Company, Honolulu.
A celebration of some of Ireland’s most famous patriots, politicians and poets.
Conventional Lenormand designs on a pack from Piatnik but with unconventional numbering.
Cowboys and American Indians on a pack for Neiman Marcus, the Dallas department store.
Museo del Prado: Pintores y familias reales / Painters and royal families playing cards.
Soviet and other Communist celebrities depicted on every card, designed by Vladislav Pankevitch.
Regional costumes and alpine flora on a French Tarot game pack marking 600 years of playing cards in...
Facts, figures, stories and scandals about the 1906 Earthquake published by the Golden Gate National...
Playing cards issued to mark the German federal elections held on 2 December 1990.
Trumps have oriental scenes on one end of the card, and mermaids, mermen, assorted sea serpents and ...