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Published December 03, 2023 Updated December 03, 2023

Animal Tarot by G. Larmoyer

Flemish Animal Tarot deck by G. Larmoyer, Liège, 1753.

1753 Belgium Larmoyer Tarot Tarock Add to Collection

This charming 78-card Animal Tarot deck with French suits (instead of Italian suits) was produced by G. Larmoyer, Liège, Belgium in 1753. Tarot-playing countries outside Italy, including Germany and the Low Countries, tended to use packs with French suit signs and a different style of trumps from around this time. The trump cards are single-ended, have roman numerals and depict natural history subjects instead of the classical allegories - except the first and last, the juggler (no.1), and the fool (unnumbered). Over time, during the late 18th and 19th centuries, tarot (or tarock) packs started being made with fashionable musical, mythological or military themes on the trumps and did not always have a divinatory purpose. See the case


The numeral cards run from ace - 10, plus four single-figure court cards per suit: jack, knight, queen & king. The jack of spades has the inscription “G. Larmoyer”; the jack of hearts holds a banner with the initials “G L” and the queen of hearts “A Liege 1753”. The four aces have ornamental frames, but no inscriptions.

Animal Tarot by G. Larmoyer, Liège, 1753. © The Trustees of the British Museum Animal Tarot by G. Larmoyer, Liège, 1753. © The Trustees of the British Museum Animal Tarot by G. Larmoyer, Liège, 1753. © The Trustees of the British Museum Animal Tarot by G. Larmoyer, Liège, 1753. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Above: Animal Tarot by G. Larmoyer, Liège, 1753. Hand coloured woodcut; backs printed with a pattern of black dots; square corners; size = 115 x 68 mm. © The Trustees of the British Museum • Museum number 1896,0501.759

References

Mann, Sylvia: Collecting Playing Cards, Arco Publications, 1966

O’Donoghue, Freeman M: Catalogue of the collection of playing cards bequeathed by Lady Charlotte Schreiber, Trustees of the British Museum, London, 1901 (Flemish 9) [digital version here]

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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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