The Tobacco Tarot
While smoking, the oddest things might occur...as is shown by the cards of this funny deck. The Tobacco Tarot belongs to a large group of tarot decks that can be characterized as ‘Designer Decks’. These cards are only tarot cards by name as most of them don’t hold much regard for their traditional symbolism. However, although often a little silly, those cards are mostly very well designed. And that goes absolutely for the Tobacco Tarot.
The Tobacco Tarot consists of 22 cards published by Il Meneghello, each representing heavy smoker’s symbolism. The cards are printed on nicotine stained carton and all cards show images with cigarettes, cigars, pipes, ashtray’s and smoker’s paraphernalia. Why card number 5 shows the image of a cigar and is named ‘Il Papa’ instead of showing a pipe and renaming the card in ‘La Pipa’ remains unclear... The design is colorful and done in an elegant style that recalls the days when smoking and sniffing was the right thing to do and was a cure for all... Mysteriously, these cards open the tin box by themselves (see film above). The cards have no design on the back.
The American edition of the Tobacco Tarot was published in 1980 by Il Mengehello in a limited edition of 1000 copies, signed by the artist Osvaldo Menegazzi. The number of the deck shown is 896. The cards come in a beautiful small original metal tobacco tin and the stack of cards is held together by a specially designed cigar band.