The highly individual “Sicilian Tarot” has the Italo-Portuguese suit system (found also in Minchiate and some early Spanish packs) with straight, interlocking swords and batons, maids instead of jacks in all suits, and suppresses the four aces and lower numeral cards. Several of the 22 trumps have new classicised images replacing the older ones which were seen as offensive (and some are derived from Minchiate). Trump 1 (i Picotti) shows some lads playing. The banner held by trump 4 sometimes reads “La Constanza” which identifies it as one of the ethical virtues. Trump 11, the Hanged Man, shows a man lynched from a tree. Trump 14 shows a ship, trumps 16, 17 & 18 are not the customary scenes. Trump 19 shows Atlas holding the celestial globe and trump 20 shows Jupiter. In early packs the trumps carried roman numerals but from the 19th century arabic numerals are found.
The Court Cards
The cards are of a relatively small size compared to other tarocchi sets. The suits are of the Portuguese type, and the court cards are based on the Archaic South Italian or Portuguese pattern with Maids (Donne) as the lowest court figures of all suits, and intersecting batons and swords on the numeral cards. No aces are used in the game.
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Curator 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.
English pattern by Litografia Maia, Porto, Portugal, c.1960.
Kings and Queens of Portugal between 1185 - 1279. by V. de J.J. Nunes , Lisbon, Portugal, 1977.
Portuguese regional costumes published by the French division of Banco Pinto & Sotto Mayor.
Tarot game pack with fantasy sci-fi artwork on the trumps published by Pocket SF, France.
Portuguese proverbs in combination with special courts and suit-signs published by Apenas Livros, Lisbon.
Carte da Gioco Toscana souvenir deck, 2002.
Stylish monochrome designs by the Archinstudio of Guido Bolzani and Gian-Piero Spagnolo, printed by Masenghini, Bergamo, Italy, 1977.
Gó Succo fruit juice promotion deck featuring Walt Disney cartoons.
San Marino stamp designs combined with photographic views by La Fotometalgrafica Emiliana, c.1975.
Myriorama of Italian scenery, 1824.
Portraits of a Lady by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Alice with artwork by Jesús Blasco, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Liberty playing cards designed by Antonella Castelli, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Il Circo illustrated by Jules Garnier, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2004.
Facsimile of Swiss William Tell deck from c.1870 published by Lo Scarabeo.
Baracca & Burattini puppetry deck printed by Dal Negro, 1998.
Martin Mystère based on the comic book by Alfredo Castelli. The cards were designed by Giancarlo Alessandrini.
Sapra Studio Original playing cards featuring wild animals of S Africa, 1999.
Middle Ages by Germano & Cª, (Litografia Maia),
Facsimile of “Le Jeu de la Guerre” designed by Gilles de la Boissière in 1698.
Matching game by Majora, Lisbon, c.1970, featuring figures in national dress from Portuguese provinces and colonies
Egyptian Tarot published by Naipes La Banca, Buenos Aires, c.1980.
Facsimile of Tarot de Marseille by Iohann Christoph Hes, Augsburg, c.1750.
Avventure di Pinocchio by Dal Negro, based on Carlo Collodi’s famous 1883 novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio”.
Facsimile of Dondorf’s “Musikalisches Kartenspiel” (c.1862) published by Lo Scarabeo, 2004
Pinocchio fairy tale playing cards illustrated by Iassen Ghiuselev for Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Jeu Grotesque was first published in France c.1800.
Dal Negro Bridge set featuring old Vienna pattern courts.
“Carte Romane” designed by Giorgio Pessione, 1973, celebrating the history of Rome.
Cuccù or Cucco, an ancient Italian card game, published by Masenghini, 1979.
Sarde pattern published by Modiano, c.1975, based on early XIX century Spanish model.
The Triestine pattern is derived from the Venetian (Trevisane) pattern but with its own characteristics.
Primiera Bolognese by Modiano, c.1975
Bergamasche Pattern by Modiano, 1970s.
Bharata Major Arcana Tarot by Ishan Trivedi & Sunish Chabba, 2018. Inspired by Indian art forms.
Tarocchini Bolognesi by Carlo Zanardi, c.1850
“Money Bag” pattern by Hermanos Solesi, late 18th c.
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