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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

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Tarot

52 Articles

Tarot, originally a 15th century card game from Italy, has evolved into a form of personal mysticism and spirituality.

Perspectives on Tarot

Tarot, originally a 15th century card game from Italy, has evolved into a form of personal mysticism and spirituality.

Perspectives on Tarot

Egyptian Tarot

Egyptian Tarot published by Naipes La Banca, Buenos Aires, c.1980.

Egyptian Tarot

Iohann Christoph Hes Tarot c.1750

Facsimile of Tarot de Marseille by Iohann Christoph Hes, Augsburg, c.1750.

Iohann Christoph Hes Tarot c.1750

Bharata Major Arcana Tarot

Bharata Major Arcana Tarot by Ishan Trivedi & Sunish Chabba, 2018. Inspired by Indian art forms.

Bharata Major Arcana Tarot

Tarocchini Bolognesi by Carlo Zanardi

Tarocchini Bolognesi by Carlo Zanardi, c.1850

Tarocchini Bolognesi by Carlo Zanardi

Bourgeois Tarot by Piatnik 1987

Piatnik’s ‘Bourgeois Tarot’ in a version published in 1987 with nice quality images, especially the double-ended trump cards.

Bourgeois Tarot by Piatnik 1987

V. F. Solesio Tarot

V. F. Solesio Tarot, Genoa, mid-late 19th century

V. F. Solesio Tarot

Rolla Nordic Tarot

Rolla Nordic Tarot was drawn by Paul Mathison.

Rolla Nordic Tarot

Le Grand Tarot Belline

“Le Grand Tarot Belline” after drawings by Edmond Billaudot (1829-1881).

Le Grand Tarot Belline

Tarocchi di Mantegna, c.1465

The so-called Tarocchi di Mantegna (c.1465) reflect an ideological structure bringing to mind the soul's progress towards perfection.

Tarocchi di Mantegna, c.1465

Aleister Crowley Tarot – the sombre luminary

Aleister Crowley Tarot - Crowley and Lady Freda Harris worked on the illustrations between 1938 and 1943

Aleister Crowley Tarot – the sombre luminary

Perspectives on Tarot

Tarot, originally a 15th century card game from Italy, has evolved into a form of personal mysticism and spirituality.

Perspectives on Tarot

Nine Lives Tarot

Nine Lives Tarot by Annette Abolins, 2013

Nine Lives Tarot

Housewives Tarot

The ‘Housewives Tarot’ designed by Paul Kepple & Jude Buffum, published by Quirk Books, 2004.

Housewives Tarot

Héron French tarot

French edition of the ‘Bourgeois’ Tarot by Héron

Héron French tarot

Tarot des Pompiers de Paris

Tarot des Pompiers de Paris, a French Fire Brigade tribute tarot deck

Tarot des Pompiers de Paris

Tarot of Musterberg

Designed by Cesare Asaro to simulate decks from the 1700s or earlier, the Tarot of Musterberg is based on the traditional Tarot de Marseille but with an imaginary historical background.

Tarot of Musterberg

Wüst “Encyclopedic Tarot”

“Encyclopedic Tarot” by C. L. Wüst with “bourgeois” views of life on the Trumps.

Wüst “Encyclopedic Tarot”

Vandenborre Tarot

Belgian Tarot published by François-Jean Vandenborre, Brussels (1762-1803)

Vandenborre Tarot

OCCO Game of Tarot

Scott Hill has been working on a tarot pack which can also be used to play card games, the pack has been designed to revive tarot and make it a fun and social interaction.

OCCO Game of Tarot

Rider Waite Tarot - details compared

After the first edition of the Rider-Waite tarot in 1909 four further editions were published till approx 1940. These differ in several attributes: outline artwork, colours, lettering and card thickness.

Rider Waite Tarot - details compared

Rider Waite Tarot early editions

Rider Waite Tarot early editions

Rider Waite Tarot early editions

Rider-Waite Tarot

The Rider Waite Tarot was created at the beginning of the 20th century by Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Colman Smith.

Rider-Waite Tarot

Inner Realms Tarot

Inner Realms was conceived from sacred geometry that inspired me to create and then pick out pieces of that design that amazed me, or inspired me to create another design...

Inner Realms Tarot

Watersprite tarot

The vibrant colours and artwork glorify the symbolism, mood and positive energy in this exciting new tarot deck from Australia.

Watersprite tarot

Épinal Tarot

The woodcuts were produced by Francois Georgin (1801-1863), a famous engraver during the Napoleonic period, retaining the composition and general features of the Tarot de Marseille.

Épinal Tarot

Stairs of Gold Tarot

Whilst the titles of the cards are in Italian, the Hebrew and Sanskrit letters on the Trump cards denote, respectively, associations with the Cabbala and Vedic metaphysics.

Stairs of Gold Tarot

Insight Institute

During the late 1940s and 1950s The Insight Institute, of New Malden in Surrey, ran correspondence courses on the Tarot, which consisted of lessons with homework which was checked by tutors as well as a set of 'Authenticated' Tarot cards.

Insight Institute

Alison McDonald

Artwork for The Watersprite Tarot© designed and painted by Alison McDonald.

Alison McDonald

Russell Grant tarot

Russell Grant astro-tarot

Russell Grant tarot

Bourgeois Tarot

Bourgeois Tarot by Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten-Fabriken.

Bourgeois Tarot

Ramses II tarot

Ramses II Tarot deck was published c.1975 in conjunction with a Peruvian occult or esoteric magazine.

Ramses II tarot

Taroquis ‘Obelisco’

78-card 'Taroquis Marca Obelisco' published by Mario Colombo, Buenos Aires, during the 1950s, 60s & 70s, in the style known as "Tarocco Piemontese" which had been developed by Italian cardmakers during the nineteenth century.

Taroquis ‘Obelisco’

Tarocco Piedmontese by Fabrica de Naipes La Primitiva, Bs Aires

Tarocco Piedmontese by Fabrica de Naipes La Primitiva, Defensa 125, Buenos Aires c.1890.

Tarocco Piedmontese by Fabrica de Naipes La Primitiva, Bs Aires

Tarocco Piedmontese, Buenos Aires c.1900

Tarocco Piedmontese by Fabrica de Naipes La Primitiva, Moreno 248, Buenos Aires c.1900

Tarocco Piedmontese, Buenos Aires c.1900

Tarots Egipcios Kier

The “Tarots Egipcios” was first published by Editorial Kier S.A. in c.1971 with Spanish titles, with a booklet (also in Spanish) explaining the cabbalistic meanings of the cards.

Tarots Egipcios Kier

The Visconti-Sforza Tarot, c.1460

This pack of tarot cards appears to have have been made in the Bembo workshop in Cremona for Bianca Maria Visconti, c.1460.

The Visconti-Sforza Tarot, c.1460

Italian tarot cards, Lamperti (Milan) c.1850

Italian tarot cards, Lamperti (Milan) c.1850

Italian tarot cards, Lamperti (Milan) c.1850

Tarocco Bolognese

Tarocco Bolognese

Tarocco Bolognese

Hand-Painted Tarocchi Cards

Hand-Painted Tarocchi Cards

Hand-Painted Tarocchi Cards

The Llewellyn Tarot - Welsh tarot cards

The Llewellyn Tarot - Welsh tarot cards

The Llewellyn Tarot - Welsh tarot cards

Self-Guided Tarot

Human beings have always yearned to understand the experience of life. The knowledge that we seek is not really hidden, we each have to find it within ourselves.

Self-Guided Tarot

Kart do Tarota

78-card Polish tarot pack designed by Edyta Gdek.

Kart do Tarota

Thomson-Leng Tarot

The Thomson-Leng Tarot Cards were issued by the publishers of women's magazines during the 1930s. The cards are loosely based upon the Rider-Waite tarot.

Thomson-Leng Tarot