The Balbi Tarot was designed by Domenico Balbi in 1976 and published in 1978 by Heraclio Fournier in Spain.
From the accompanying instruction leaflet by Emilio Picciotto:
Domenico Balbi, a painter, designer and engraver, was born in Genoa in 1927 and passed away in 2005. After a study on the Art Academy of Genoa he moved to Paris where he continued his art studies and became interested in esoteric philosophy. Domenico Balbi took part in many art exhibitions in Italy and abroad. He also gave numerous conferences on the symbolism of the Cabala and the Tarot, that can be found on the design of his cards.
The Tarot Mitico Vasco / Euskal Tarot / Basque Mythical Tarot was published in 1982 by Fournier, Victoria Spain.
It is said that the cards offer an interesting insight in Basque symbolism. It is certain, that one has to be familiar with that symbolism in order to work with it. If it adds to the interpretation of the tarot in general is open for discussion. In any case, it is very colorful and the typical images are absolutely inspiring.
The Hermetic Tarot was published in 1979 by US Games Systems Inc. (copyright mentioned on the cards). The booklet shows a copyright of 1980. This first edition was printed in Spain by Fournier and distributed by US Games System Inc. We don’t know how big the first print run was, but according to the enclosed control paper, this one might be copy number 5618.
The cards are printed entirely in black and white and the details and symbols in each card reveal many of the esoteric workings of the Secret Order of the Golden Dawn, which flourished around the turn of the century.
‘The Great Esoteric Tarot is the first true and wholy Spanish Tarot in origination and design – on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the existing of playing cards in Europe’. Thus, wrote Heraclio Fournier in April 1976 in Vitoria, Spain.
The design of the cards by Luis Pena Longa resembles the standard TdM but is more colorful.
The major arcana cards are numbered and have titles in Spanish. Card number XIII, Death, is not numbered, probably because number 13 is considered an unlucky number. Astrological symbols and Hebrew letters have been assigned to the cards of the major arcana and the court cards. The minor arcana cards have numbers, but no titles.
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