The Parisian Tarot, from the early 1600s, is the first wood-block printed deck that is conplete with 78 cards. Although the titles are in French and numbers on the trump cards correspond with the standard Tarot de Marseille sequence, the imagery and design contain elements of several foreign influences. For example, the four aces depict animals with banners indicating the suit signs, the numeral cards have imaginative arrangements, and the chequered framing of the cards is a trompe-l'oeil reminder of Italian tarots with edges folded over from the backs.
The finer details of the designs unfortunately have been obscured by the stencil colouring process which lacks delicacy. It is unclear what it's purpose may have been... was it intended for divination, or to play the game of tarocchi? Mystery teachings veiled as a pack of cards, or maybe a limited edition curiosity for collectors?
The Swords and Batons are neither of the usual Italian shape, nor the Spanish one, they do, however, for the most part intersect with one another. The swords (and the aces) remind us of those in the pack by the South German Engraver. The small cartouche with two lions at the top of each card has the initial of the suit in Italian: S for spade, etc. In all later French Latin-suited Tarot packs, including the Marseille tarot, the Italian suit-system is used.
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.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
A political pack designed by Pino Zac and published in 1977 by Editions Arts et Lettres.
Etchings of cats on a set of major arcana created by Evelyne Nicod.
Geometric designs by the French artist Jean Garçon for Knoll International, the furniture company.
Standard French cards but printed with fluorescent inks on a black background.
Black-and-white photographs of models whose faces are made up using elements found on the major arca...
Free reinterpretation of the traditional Paris pattern courts by the artist Claude Weisbuch.
Publicity pack for the Campanile hotel and restaurant chain featuring French provincial costumes, wi...
Mythological tarot by Michael Schatzberger, Passau, Bavaria, early 19th century.
French-suited Natural History Tarot deck by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1820.
Mythological and Allegorical tarot produced by Peter Paul Fetscher junior, Munich.
Roy Huteson Stewart's The Tarot Strikes Back combines Star Wars with Rider-Waite tarot imagery.
French-suited Animal Tarot deck produced by Andreas Benedict Göbl, Munich.
Scenic Tarock deck produced by Fabrique de Cartes J. Müller & Cie (Schaffhouse), Suisse.
‘National Costumes of Turkey’ tarot by Industrie Comptoir, Leipzig, c.1800-1825.
French-suited Bavarian Animal Tarot by J B Dubois, Liège, Belgium, late 18th C.
French-suited Æsop’s fables tarot produced by Leipzig Industrie Comptoir, c.1800-1825.
Early 19th century Animal Tarot pack produced by J T Dubois, Liège, Belgium.
“Les métiers et leurs protecteurs” playing cards published by Editions Dusserre, c. 1995.
Famous people associated with Nicolas Fouquet’s splendid château of Vaux-le-Vicomte.
Recoloured version of the Rider/Waite/Smith tarot produced by Frankie Albano, 1968.
French navigators and explorers on a promotional pack for the C.M.C.R shipping company.
Characters from the 2007 film Shrek the Third, a DreamWorks Animation production.
Advertising pack designed by James Hodges for a company specialising in regional cakes and biscuits....
Based on the knowledge, wisdom and interpretation of Paul Foster Case and Arthur Edward Waite.
Joan of Arc and her contemporaries in a colourful pack designed by Patrice Louis.
“The New Palladini Tarot” by David Palladini published by U.S. Games Inc., in 1996.
Typical costumes and views of Alsace together with lists of the principal sights.
The Aquarian Tarot Deck illustrated by David Palladini, published by Morgan Press, Inc., 1970.