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Published December 11, 2023 Updated December 11, 2023

Swiss Scenic Tarock

Scenic Tarock deck produced by Fabrique de Cartes J. Müller & Cie (Schaffhouse), Suisse.

1890 Switzerland Müller & Cie Scenic Souvenir Tarot Tarock Add to Collection

French suited Tarot with 78 double-ended cards; the trumps are named, double-ended scenic views of places in Switzerland with large Arabic numerals at top and bottom of each card. The wrapper states “Jean Muller, Taroc, Fabrique de Cartes, Schaffhouse, Suisse.”

In the late 19th century the Swiss tourist industry experienced significant growth and development. Several factors contributed to this evolution, turning Switzerland into a popular destination: scenic beauty and natural attractions, political stability, health tourism, spa culture and the development of winter tourism, grand hotels and the growing hospitality industry. The foundations laid during this period continue to contribute to Switzerland's status as a popular tourist spot today. Müller, together with Wüst and Dondorf, were in the forefront of packs which either displayed the costumes of Swiss Cantons or picturesque scenes.

Scenic Tarock deck, Fabrique de Cartes J. Müller & Cie (Schaffhouse), c.1890. © The Trustees of the British Museum

The Court Cards

The French-suited court cards are fancifully treated and also double-ended. The numeral cards are all standard with no illustrations.

Scenic Tarock deck, Fabrique de Cartes J. Müller & Cie (Schaffhouse), c.1890. © The Trustees of the British Museum
Scenic Tarock deck, Fabrique de Cartes J. Müller & Cie (Schaffhouse), c.1890

Above: cards from a Swiss Scenic Tarock deck produced by Fabrique de Cartes J. Müller & Cie (Schaffhouse), c.1890. 78 cards; hand-coloured lithograph; backs printed with a plaid pattern in black and brown. © The Trustees of the British Museum • Museum number 1896,0501.806

References

O’Donoghue, Freeman M: Catalogue of the collection of playing cards bequeathed by Lady Charlotte Schreiber, (Swiss 10), 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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