Vintage & Rare (Tarot) Card Decks
We started e-mailing out a newsletter, which eventually was named the Tarocks Tribune. These newsletters were extensive from the beginning, so we decided to make them more accessibly by sharing them here. This is our fourth. To read them all, click on the Tribune category near the top of our blog page.
Greetings! We are happy to present you with our first newsletter of 2019 in which we will offer to you our latest findings and inspiring topics.
First of all, we want to thank you for visiting our website and signing up for our newsletter. We truly hope that you will enjoy the images and the descriptions of the decks shown on Tarocks.
If while reading this newsletter you think of someone in your life who loves cards as much as we do, feel free to share this link with them so they can sign up.
In this newsletter you can read about Michael Dummet's now out of print book 'The Game of Tarot.' We also share some interesting information about Oswald Wirth and a photo of a very rare printing that is not in the Oswald Wirth blog post, new novelty card decks & our newest additions to the blog.
As we continuously research the decks in our collection (and the ones we did not yet discovered but which nevertheless need to be researched), we often consult Michael Dummet’s Game of Tarot (Duckworth, 1980), a truly magnificent reference work that, unfortunately, is now out of print. When he wrote this work he was assisted by Ms Sylvia Mann, author of the book Collecting Playing Cards (Arco, 1966). This handbook deals with the many aspects of playing cards and reveals diverse and important elements invaluable to anyone interested in the backgrounds of (playing) cards. The book contains photographs of the author’s collection as well as many enlightening line drawings of historical cards.
In December 2018, we found a copy of this interesting work (signed by the author) in Portugal. Surely it will be a great help gaining insight during our quest finding beautiful as well as inspiring decks.
Reading upon the history of the Oswald Wirth Tarot we became more and more fascinated, if not under the spell, of these extraordinary cards. So much that we are playing with the idea of reprinting a special edition of the original edition of 1889.
The past years, the Wirth Tarot has been reproduced many times. One of the better-known editions is the one done by US Games Systems Inc. in 1976. Interestingly, the text on the box reads ‘The original and only authorized Oswald Wirth tarot deck’. That is truly interesting since this edition has 78 cards… while the first edition (1889) has only 22 cards. The minor arcana was never printed. Then in 1926, a ‘new’ version was printed. That edition, we are happy to announce, was just added to our collection. We found it in Berlin only 10 days ago. However, also the 1926 edition has only 22 cards. We are still searching across our entire planet Earth for the first edition.
The design of the original edition has a bleak coloring and the drawings have a fine but strong lining, making the images very characteristic. The 1926 edition has been printed with a certain type of gold coloring, in more recent reprint often reproduced with the help of gold foil. Though certainly beautiful, these editions are less powerful than the original. Whereas the new ones have a more shiny gold surface that under certain light can look almost brown, the older prints look gold from every angle.
After all this information, we must not forget to mention which novelties arrived. Here are some:
1. The Tattoo Tarot by Megamunden. Although this is not a real novelty as it has already been on the market for some time, it deserves to be mentioned because of its strong design that resembles real tattoos. So, when you’re a doing a spread with these cards, occasionally you might think you are studying someone’s body art instead of consulting cards. A great deck! Megamunden is a temporary illustrator and tattoo artist based in London. He compiled the Tattoo Tarot in collaboration with Diane McMahon Colin, who practiced Tarot for over 30 years.
2. The revised edition of the William Blake Tarot by Ed Buryn. This deck explains the mystical vision and artistry of the renowned English painter and poet William Blake (1757-1827), correlating his imagery with the traditional Tarot. In this strikingly beautiful divination deck, Blake’s prophetic ‘system’ becomes a powerful tool for creative inspiration, personal problem-solving and spiritual self-development. Its cards provide a vivid introduction to Blake’s thoughts and mythology.
The deck comes in a decent but non-descript wrapping and the design of the cards is as accessible as it is harmonious. A true present for the mystical “tarottist”. Comes with an instruction booklet and a paper by the author presented at the first international tarot conference in Melbourne, Australia, 1997.
If you like to obtain a copy of this deck you can buy it at Fabula Rosa.
3. Finally, we offer you a book! And not even on Tarot.... but on divination with Lenormand Cards. Working with Lenormand cards is often - and mistakenly - considered to be one of the more vulgar forms of divination. The Lenormand cards however, can offer a quick insight in complex situations, often faster than when Tarot cards are used… Christiane Renner (Hamburg, 1952) compiled A Practical Guide to the Lenormand Oracle Cards, a workbook with clear diagrams and keywords that teaches the understanding of these world-famous divination cards. Its charming design and the use of traditional images creates exactly the right mood for getting acquainted with the cards. Clothbound and available in English and Italian.
Oh, and before we forget, the Tattoo deck and the Lenormand book can be obtained through Tarocks. If you are interested send us a message and we will get back to you.
The following decks have been added to the archive since the last newsletter. Just click on the name of the deck to be taken directly to its page:
1. Sheridan Tarot
2. Playing Cards Geuens - Seaux
3. Egorov Tarot - Gold Edition
4. Universal Tarots
In case you need a little reminder, the Blog is where we publish two decks twice a month that include many detailed photos. You can take a look here.
All decks mentioned above are also available at our store Fabula Rosa in Amsterdam.
We are constantly extending the Index (the complete overview of everything in our collection) with decks that ultimately will also find their place in the Blog.
Until then please feel invited to browse through the Index, you will find many rare and interesting decks, some of which are for sale. If you are interested in purchasing anything, please contact us using our contact form.
If, while reading the newsletter, you think of someone who would also enjoy it, please feel free to forward them this e-mail and let them sign up by clicking here.
Finally, we hope again that this newsletter as well as the information provided on Tarocks will satisfy your expectations. In case you have any suggestions or discover any inconsistencies, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
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