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Published May 28, 2022 Updated July 15, 2023

Jean Noblet Tarot de Marseille

Jean Noblet: the oldest known ‘Tarot de Marseille’ deck, Paris, c.1650.

1650 France Jean Noblet Tarot Tarot de Marseille Add to Collection

Believed to be the earliest example of the ‘Tarot de Marseille’, this deck produced by Jean Noblet of Saint Germain, Paris, in around 1650 is highly esteemed by historians and experts due to its beauty and elegance of design. The whole composition, including serene facial expressions and neat colouring, is beautifully executed. It represents an original source of all later Tarot de Marseille decks in which the symbolism has not yet been corrupted.

Tarot de Marseille by Jean Noblet, Paris, c.1650, preserved in the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF Tarot de Marseille by Jean Noblet, Paris, c.1650, preserved in the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF

Above: cards from the Tarot de Marseille by Jean Noblet, Paris, c.1650, preserved in the Bibliothèque nationale de France. 78 cards: stencil coloured woodcut; 9.2 x 5.7 cm. Name and address on the two of cups, monogram "I. N." on the crest of the Chariot, another mention of address on the two of coins: "Iean Noblet Dm.t Av Favbovr St Germain". Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF • Jeu de tarot à enseignes italiennes dit "tarot Noblet"

Further Reading

Christine Payne-Towler: The Continental Tarots

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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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