This historic tarot deck is beautifully detailed in the Italianate style. The original was finely and delicately engraved by the highly regarded Milanese engraver/illustrator Carlo Dellarocca, whose name can be seen on the base of the King of Bastoni.
It was published by Ferdinand Gumppenberg of Milan but then reprinted by Bordoni in 1889. A facsimile edition of Bordoni's reprint was published in 1981 by Edizione del Solleone
and is shown here.
Some of the imagery in the cards is unique and not based on earlier examples. It is here that the engraver expresses his originality.
The Hermit carries a little open flame in a holder instead of a lantern →
Above: “Tarocchino Lombardo” c.1835, a limited facsimile edition of 2500 by Edizione del Solleone, Italy, 1981.
78 cards + title card. The original deck is hand coloured. The court cards conform to tradition, but have more individuality and personality than many decks.
The Major Arcana cards have several unique features. The Death card is unlabelled. The Hermit carries a little open flame in a holder instead of a lantern.
The Lover ('Gli Amanti') stands between his sweetheart and a king who rests his hand on his shoulder.
The young man seems to be in a quandry between love and duty and must presumably make a commitment one way or another.
Images courtesy Rod Starling.