The Épinal tarot cards are believed to have been first published in 1830 by the art printers Pellerin & Cie, who were established in the Vosges district of France since 1796 producing card games, religious prints and other imagery, all inexpensively printed for popular distribution. The cards were in production until the 1870s. They have been reproduced more recently in several re-prints, including the edition shown here.
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. As Épinal is located close to Besançon and Strasbourg, Georgin appears to have been inspired by packs in the Tarot de Besançon style which were already being produced locally and which include Juno and Jupiter on trumps nos II and V, instead of The Popess and The Pope, and who in the Roman pantheon were the emperor and empress of the gods. This feature originated during the earlier religious wars between Catholics and Protestants.
The colours are bright and cheerful. Some of the card titles and iconography depart from the traditional ones, such as Escamoteur instead of The Magician and Le Capucin instead of The Hermit. The Justice card shows a mirror and snake next to a book and Laws engraved in stone.
The minor arcana numeral cards are attractively designed with elegant sword hilts, graceful handles on the batons, decorated with foiliage and flowers.
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Rod Starling is one of the founding members of the 52 Plus Joker card collectors club. He has written many articles for the club's quarterly newsletter, Clear the Decks. His collection still encompasses both foreign and American decks. Rod has also authored a book titled The Art and Pleasures of Playing Cards.
Also by Rod Starling
Egyptian Tarot published by Naipes La Banca, Buenos Aires, c.1980.
Facsimile of Tarot de Marseille by Iohann Christoph Hes, Augsburg, c.1750.
Bharata Major Arcana Tarot by Ishan Trivedi & Sunish Chabba, 2018. Inspired by Indian art forms.
Tarocchini Bolognesi by Carlo Zanardi, c.1850
Piatnik’s ‘Bourgeois Tarot’ in a version published in 1987 with nice quality images, especially the double-ended trump cards.
V. F. Solesio Tarot, Genoa, mid-late 19th century
Rolla Nordic Tarot was drawn by Paul Mathison.
“Le Grand Tarot Belline” after drawings by Edmond Billaudot (1829-1881).
The so-called Tarocchi di Mantegna (c.1465) reflect an ideological structure bringing to mind the soul's progress towards perfection.
Aleister Crowley Tarot - Crowley and Lady Freda Harris worked on the illustrations between 1938 and 1943
Tarot, originally a 15th century card game from Italy, has evolved into a form of personal mysticism and spirituality.
The Sola-Busca Tarocchi, c.1491
Nine Lives Tarot by Annette Abolins, 2013
The ‘Housewives Tarot’ designed by Paul Kepple & Jude Buffum, published by Quirk Books, 2004.
French edition of the ‘Bourgeois’ Tarot by Héron
Tarot des Pompiers de Paris, a French Fire Brigade tribute tarot deck
Stefano Vergnano’s Tarot and playing card factory holds a special place in the history of the Tarot.
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.
The highly individual Sicilian Tarot has the Italo-Portuguese suit system with straight, interlocking swords and batons, and maids instead of jacks
“Encyclopedic Tarot” by C. L. Wüst with “bourgeois” views of life on the Trumps.
Belgian Tarot published by François-Jean Vandenborre, Brussels (1762-1803)
Original Tarot designs in Italian Renaissance style by Oliver Mundy.
Marseille Tarot cards by Charles Cheminade of Grenoble, France, early 18th century.
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.
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 early editions
The Rider Waite Tarot was created at the beginning of the 20th century by Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Colman Smith.
Serravalle-Sesia Tarot published by Fratelli Avondo, c.1880.
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...
The vibrant colours and artwork glorify the symbolism, mood and positive energy in this exciting new tarot deck from Australia.
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.
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.
The title refers to “a new form of Tarocchini”. Mitelli's designs are to a high standard of artistic quality and a complete departure from the old tradition, especially the 22 Trump cards which are unnamed and unnumbered.
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.
Artwork for The Watersprite Tarot© designed and painted by Alison McDonald.
Russell Grant astro-tarot
Bourgeois Tarot by Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten-Fabriken.
A “Questions & Answers” family game from France produced by Imagerie Pellerin.
Ramses II Tarot deck was published c.1975 in conjunction with a Peruvian occult or esoteric magazine.
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.