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Published April 07, 2023 Updated April 07, 2023

The New Game of Tarot (or Tarock)

Regional costumes and alpine flora on a French Tarot game pack marking 600 years of playing cards in Europe.

1977 France Spain Heraclio Fournier Commemorative Tarock Add to Collection

Heraclio Fournier decided to commemorate 600 years of playing cards in Europe (1377-1977) by issuing this French-suited Tarot game pack with an alpine flavour. The court cards feature 19th century regional costumes from Italy (S), Austria (H), France (D), and Switzerland (C), while most of the trump cards have photographic images of alpine flora. All the designs are double-ended. The artist or designer is not mentioned by name. Strangely, although the indices are in French, the game rules are in English. The old confusion between Tarot and Tarock is perpetuated here, as the first appears on the title card while the second is used on the box and on the leaflet with the rules. The title of the pack – ‘Nuevo Juego del Tarot’ or ‘The New Game of Tarot’ – is rather odd, given the long history of Tarot, but presumably Heraclio Fournier are referring to the fact that this pack has completely new designs.

‘The New Game of Tarot’ made by Heraclio Fournier, S.A., Vitoria, Spain, 1977 ‘The New Game of Tarot’ made by Heraclio Fournier, S.A., Vitoria, Spain, 1977
‘The New Game of Tarot’ made by Heraclio Fournier, S.A., Vitoria, Spain, 1977

Above: ‘The New Game of Tarot’ made by Heraclio Fournier, S.A., Vitoria, Spain, 1977. 78 cards + 2 (double-sided) title cards + rules in English, in drop-lid box. Size: 60 x 110 mm.

• See the box

• See the leaflet

• See the title cards

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By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.


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