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Tarock or Tarok

Tarock or Tarok

Tarock and Tarok are traditional card games, distinct from tarot cards used in divination. Originating in the 15th century, these games involve strategic, trick-taking gameplay and have various regional versions across Europe. Unlike modern tarot decks for cartomancy, Tarock and Tarok decks are designed for gaming, featuring a special set of trumps with outdoor scenes and Roman numerals. Trump I often depicts a musician. Our collection of articles explores their card designs and the different regional variations.

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Adametz, Vienna 1948

Adametz, Vienna

Cards from a 54-card "Austrian Tarock" or "Industrie und Glück Tarock" pack made by Franz Adametz of Vienna, c.1948. This type of pack originated around the middle of the 19th century and was used (and still is) in Austria and Hungary.

Animal Tarok by Jean Friedrich Mayer (1752-1783)

Animal Tarok by Jean Friedrich Mayer (1752-1783)

Animal Tarok by Jean Friedrich Mayer (1752-1783).

Animal Tarot

Animal Tarot

Woodblock and stencil Animal Tarot cards, probably of Swiss origin, 2nd half 18th century.

Animal Tarot by Andreas Benedict Göbl

Animal Tarot by Andreas Benedict Göbl

French-suited Animal Tarot deck produced by Andreas Benedict Göbl, Munich.

Animal Tarot by G. Larmoyer 1753

Animal Tarot by G. Larmoyer

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

Animal Tarot by J. B Dubois 1790

Animal Tarot by J. B Dubois

French-suited Bavarian Animal Tarot by J B Dubois, Liège, Belgium, late 18th C.

Animal Tarot by J. T Dubois 1830

Animal Tarot by J. T Dubois

Early 19th century Animal Tarot pack produced by J T Dubois, Liège, Belgium.

Animal Tarot by Johann Jobst Forster

Animal Tarot by Johann Jobst Forster

French-suited 78-card animal tarot deck of the Bavarian type.

Animal Tarot by Johann M Backofen 1790

Animal Tarot by Johann M Backofen

French-suited ‘Bavarian Animal Tarot’ by Johann Matheus Backofen, Nürnberg, late 18th C.

Animal Tarot by Joseph Fetscher 1820

Animal Tarot by Joseph Fetscher

French-suited Natural History Tarot deck by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1820.

Æsop’s Fables tarot 1800

Æsop’s Fables tarot

French-suited Æsop’s fables tarot produced by Leipzig Industrie Comptoir, c.1800-1825.

Bourgeois Tarot

Bourgeois Tarot

Bourgeois Tarot by Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten-Fabriken.

Cartas Gitanas 1955

Cartas Gitanas

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

Costumes of Turkey Tarot 1800

Costumes of Turkey Tarot

‘National Costumes of Turkey’ tarot by Industrie Comptoir, Leipzig, c.1800-1825.

Danish playing cards - Tarock trumps

Danish playing cards - Tarock trumps

Two versions of trump no.15 depicting the Thorvaldsen Museum.

Danish Tarok Cards - Holmblad, c.1850 1850

Danish Tarok Cards - Holmblad, c.1850

The traditional animal images on tarok decks are here substituted by images of buildings from Copenhagen and the surrounding area. The deck had several editions, with each new edition updating the latest changes to the buildings that had taken place since the previous edition.

Danish Tarok Cards - Salomon & Co., c.1906 1906

Danish Tarok Cards - Salomon & Co., c.1906

Danish Tarok cards published by S. Salomon & Co., Kjøbenhavn, c.1906.

Dondorf Tarot 1870

Dondorf Tarot

Dondorf's “Microscopique Tarock“ was first published in c.1870. The scenes portrayed at each end of the trump cards are marvels of miniature graphic artwork and printing.

Dondorf Tarot Aces

Dondorf Tarot Aces

The four suits are associated with four countries: Clubs = Germany, Diamonds = UK, Spades = Russia and Hearts = France.

Estel Tarok 1820

Estel Tarok

J. Estel Tarok, 1820.