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Published December 28, 2023 Updated December 28, 2023

Mythological and Allegorical tarot

Mythological and Allegorical tarot produced by Peter Paul Fetscher junior, Munich.

Germany Fetscher Myths & Legends Tarot Tarock Add to Collection

This early 19th century double-ended tarot pack produced by Peter Paul Fetscher junior has intricate and detailed designs of mythological and emblematical subjects at each end of the trump cards, surrounded by decorative borders. These amount to about 40 miniature illustrations of various myths, legends or imaginary scenes. The unnumbered fool card shows a musician. On trump card II are tablets with "Peter Paul Fetscher junior Kurfurst Privil: Karten-Fabricant, München in der Sendlinger Gasse Nro. 39".

Tarots with French suit signs (hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades), usually called “Tarok” or “Tarock”, appeared around 1750. While animal tarots were popular, several other varieties evolved over time including natural history, oriental scenes, naval or miltary tarots, Æsop’s Fables tarot, Bourgeois tarot, costume tarots and so on.

Mythological and Allegorical tarot produced by Peter Paul Fetscher junior, Munich, 19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum Mythological and Allegorical tarot produced by Peter Paul Fetscher junior, Munich, 19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum
Mythological and Allegorical tarot produced by Peter Paul Fetscher junior, Munich, 19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum
Mythological and Allegorical tarot produced by Peter Paul Fetscher junior, Munich, 19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum

The court cards

The 16 court cards are also double-ended, but carry no inscriptions or heraldic motifs. Each card has the same decorative border.

Mythological and Allegorical tarot produced by Peter Paul Fetscher junior, Munich, 19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum Mythological and Allegorical tarot produced by Peter Paul Fetscher junior, Munich, 19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Above: Mythological and Allegorical tarock pack produced by Peter Paul Fetscher junior Kurfurst Privil: Karten-Fabricant, München in der Sendlinger Gasse Nro. 39, Munich, Bavaria. Hand-coloured etching, edges gilt, backs printed with a small blue pattern, in pasteboard case, early 19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum • Museum number 1896,0501.172

References

O’Donoghue, Freeman M: Catalogue of the collection of playing cards bequeathed by Lady Charlotte Schreiber, (German 136), 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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