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Animal Tarot by Andreas Benedict Göbl

Published December 17, 2023 Updated December 17, 2023

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

Germany Göbl Tarot Tarock Add to Collection

Tarot decks featuring French suit signs first emerged around 1750, particularly credited to Andreas Göbl of Munich. The imagery portrayed on the trump cards exhibited diversity, yet throughout the 18th century, there was a predilection for depictions of animals or scenes related to hunting. Sometimes the order of the trumps varied slightly. Göbl produced seveal different animal tarot decks. The trumps in this example are natural history subjects, some fancifully treated and all gaily coloured. The unnumbered Fool card is a harlequin playing a flute. Although Andreas Benedict Göbl died in 1786 his successors continued to sell the pack.

Tarock pack of 78 playing-cards of the Bavarian type published by Andreas Benedict Göbl, 18th Century. © The Trustees of the British Museum Tarock pack of 78 playing-cards of the Bavarian type published by Andreas Benedict Göbl, 18th Century. © The Trustees of the British Museum

The Court Cards

The court cards are derived from the Paris pattern, with the addition of cavaliers. The knave of clubs has the inscription “Andreas Benedictus Göbl”, and the king of clubs has the initials L.H. The king of diamonds “Minchin” and the initials B.H. On the king of spades the initials S.T. The king of hearts has an interesting coat-of-arms stamp on his robe. Both the red-suited knaves display the lozenges of the Bavarian badge.

Tarock pack of 78 playing-cards of the Bavarian type published by Andreas Benedict Göbl, 18th Century. © The Trustees of the British Museum Tarock pack of 78 playing-cards of the Bavarian type published by Andreas Benedict Göbl, 18th Century. © The Trustees of the British Museum Tarock pack of 78 playing-cards of the Bavarian type published by Andreas Benedict Göbl, 18th Century. © The Trustees of the British Museum Tarock pack of 78 playing-cards of the Bavarian type published by Andreas Benedict Göbl, 18th Century. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Above: Tarock pack of 78 playing-cards of the Bavarian type published by Andreas Benedict Göbl, French-suited, hand-coloured woodcut, edges gilt, backs printed with a diagonal pattern of red stars, 18th Century. © The Trustees of the British Museum • Museum number 1896,0501.177

References

O’Donoghue, Freeman M: Catalogue of the collection of playing cards bequeathed by Lady Charlotte Schreiber, (German 137) Trustees of the British Museum, London, 1901 [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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