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Published January 30, 2015 Updated December 06, 2023

Wüst “Encyclopedic Tarot”

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

1890 Germany Wüst Bourgeois Tarot Add to Collection

“Bourgeois Tarot” by C. L. Wüst

The double-ended, French-suited “Encyclopedic Tarot” or “Bourgeois Tarot” originated with C. L. Wüst of Frankfurt in c.1865. It has scenes of well-to-do European “bourgeois” views of life on the Trumps, in an engraved gothic style and with large Arabic numerals at the top & bottom of each trump. This pack inspired other makers to imitate the pattern or to introduce variations on the theme. It is more popular in France for playing games than the Tarot de Marseille.

Encyclopedic Tarot by C. L. Wüst

This tarot produced by Wüst became a great classic. The date of its design can be estimated from the 4 of trumps which depicts a bookkeeper with a calendar dated 1865 on the wall.

Encyclopedic Tarot by C. L. Wüst, c.1890

Above: Encyclopedic Tarot by C. L. Wüst, Frankfurt, thick paste-board cardstock, c.1890. 78 cards. The Ace of hearts has the German tax stamp from that period, and the Ace of diamonds has the Wüst trade mark. The court cards and numerals have no corner indices, which were added to later editions. Images courtesy Lauren Forestell [the Game of Hope].

Note: C. L. Wüst (1811-1927) was eventually taken over by the Vereinigte Altenburger Stralsunder Spielkarten Fabriken AG (V.A.S.S.), Altenburg (1931-1945), who from time to time made use of the old designs and plates.

REFERENCES

Shaw, Martin & Symons, Paul: Playing cards from the factory C.L.Wüst, Frankfurt, Germany (1811-1927), Catalogue of the exhibition held at the Nationaal Museum van de Speelkaart, Turnhout, Belgium, 23 September-31 December 2005.

See also: Bourgeois Tarot by GrimaudBourgeois Tarot by V.A.S.S.

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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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