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Pamelas monogram comparison


This thread is inspired from the "Pamelas A, B, C, D, E .... " thread.

After looking at the monogram comparison pic provided by roppo, I am not really convinced.

I took to my copy of Pam C and, as I do not have a Pam A, compared it to the decks with the same line drawings as Pam A.
That is: The PKT, the Blue Box RWS produces by Rider, the early yellow Box RWS by US-Games.
I also have a copy of De Laurence "The Key To The Tarot - Oracles behind the veil"
This copy is from 1916 and has yellow pictures with exactly the same line drawings you can find in all the above mentioned deck.
As the printing of this book is quite clear and provides pretty fine line drawings I choose these pictures to make the comparison.

After attentively comparing the monograms I must say that I am unable to decide wether A or B/C monograms have any difference in terms of better or one being more original than the other, or one set being from Pamela self and the other from a bad copyist.
To me in both sets of monograms there are some well made and some less well made.

Also I can hardly imagine a copyist being so dumb that he is not able to recognise Pams monogram.
After having a look to some cards, even a child with some sense for design is able to recognise it.
Also can a copist work on the design of 78 cards, makes a good job there, be able to artisticly reproduce Pams monogram on some cards and completely fails on other cards?
AFter all these copyist were professional and the surely knew their job!
There must be other reason for some not so well done monogram or for the fact that they are completely different!

I can see that the monogram on the death card is almost not there, but one could also interprete this as intentional.

To me I find it very difficult to make confident conclusions from the design of the monogram.
I can only conclude that they are different and even if sometimes it seems as if one could be the copy of the other, sometimes they are simply completely different in the same way BTW as the pictures line drawings of Pam B/C are different from the line drawings of Pam A!

I scanned the monograms of all majors and I upload them in this thread as I am curious to hear your comments on this.

There are two pictures on each attached pic.
On the left from the Pam C, on the right from the De Laurence book.
These are quite high resolution scans (600 dpi) in order to see the details.
The number in the name of each jpg correspond to the number of the cards: 01 for the Magician, 02 for the high priestess and so on.
I must spread the pics on several post in order to post them all.

Best regards
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Pamelas monograms 6 to 10
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Pamelas monograms 11 to 15
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Pamelas monograms 16 to 21
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Thanks for all these scans coredil. That must have been a big job!

The point roppo is making is that the Pam A monograms more closely match the black & white images from the Pictorial Key and Waite's 1909 Occult Review article. There are differences in the monograms even in the A. The question is, do those differences match the PK and the OR article? There are four large scans at roppo's Website; The Sun has already been shown and The Fool isn't any good for comparing. That leaves The Magician and The High Priestess.

In the process of comparing these scans it became clear to me that the De Laurence is almost certainly patterned on the Pam A, and in each case they virtually match roppo's images from the 1909 OR article exactly. The C not so much.

Someone would have to compare each card from the Pam A with pictures from the PK and the OR article to be sure, but based on the evidence I'd bet it's a match in every case.

Magician
High Priestess
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Thanks a lot for your effort, Coredil. In my eyes some of the Pam-C monograms ie, X, XIII, XIV and XIX are messes while XV monogram of Pam-A is imcomplete.

But first of all, the main point is whether you accept or not that the 13 drawings of OR 1909 Dec. are the most faithful reproductions of Pixie's original drawings. I sincerely believe that, and consequently believe Pam-B is not the first edition deck because of the absense of the Sun's oops line and the derogation of PCS monograms.

Also thanks a lot to Abrac for making a comparison pictures!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac
Thanks for all these scans coredil. That must have been a big job!
You're welcome and thanks for the additional pics

I would like to make some comments.

When I look to all the decks I have access to, I come to the conclusion that there are only two main sets of b&w line drawings.
The line drawings you can find on the Pam A
The line drawings you can find on the Pam B/C

I have not access to a whole Pam B deck.
I only can look at some scans from truelighht and at the pictures in Lo Scarabeos book, but it really seems that beside of the absence of the shit line on the sun, the line drawings of B and C are exactly the same.
Later edited
Well I must correct this statement, there are indeed more differences than the shit line between B and C. Pietro Alligo explains some of them in his essay, but it seems that these differences are not due to completely new redrawn (or translated) line drawings but due to some corrections made directly on the stone plate.
So I let it open until I can study more cards of a B deck and change my statement to "two main set of b&w line drawings".


Here is a list of the main deck using one of this line drawings set.
Of course the b&w line drawings include Pams monogram.

Pictures with the Pam A line drawings:
1. All main editions of the PKT (including De Laurence and University Books editions)
I have not access to the Occult Review, so I let it by side.
2. Pam A (either with lilie and roses cardback or with marble cardback)
3. Pam D
4. Blue Box RWS published by Rider until the early seventies of the last century
5. Yellow Box Decks published by US-Games from the beginning of the seventies, either without or with copyright
(this includes all decks published in other countries under the US-Games license)
6. The centennial Edition from 2009 by US-Games (though I discovered some very little corrections probably due to modern computer technic, but this is a Pam A)

Pictures with the B/C line drawings:
1. Pam B
2. Pam C
3. The original Rider Waite published in 1993 by Rider with the blue lilies and roses cardback

I come to this conclusion after very attentively comparing the pictures with very small details like for example the tiny lines or points in the grass in the Moon card or similar.
This kind of details shows very clearly that drawings come from the same source.
If you translate a complex drawing, at one point or the other you will stop to accurately translate each tiny dot or point as it really does not matter in such case like the grass on the moon card.
I know this from practice as I had quite often to do similar work for my job.
The differences in a translation by a copyist (or even by the artist self) will much more look like the differences between A and B/C
And if you look attentively, there are a lot of differences in each of the 78 cards between a A and a C deck!
To me it means that if a picture has exactly the same number of little tiny dots or lines at the same place, then it is not a translation any more but it has been printed from the same source (either stoneplate or photo or whatever)

The difference one can see in the line drawings of all pictures with the A design I mentioned above are only about thickness of the lines or about some differences due to the printing process.
They all have 100 % the exact same line drawings.

Also there are absolutely no differences in my copy of the Pam C and the Original Rider Waite from 1993!
So if you want to see a Pam C, just have a look to the Original Rider Waite.
The only difference I can see is that in my deck there are some shifting of the color.

Important: What I just described applies only to the b&w line drawings!

There are a lot of differences in the color and also particulary in all line drawings elements which are not black but colored in all the decks using the b&w A line drawings!
Flowers (like the red flowers on the 9 of pentacles or on the Empress for example) may vary.
An other interesting difference is the technic used for the coloring.
In the 8 of swords for example, the coloring of the robe is made with lines in different direction on the D deck than on a A deck.

One day I will post some examples with pictures to illustrate this.
But it means that the Pam D cannot be only a bad copy of the A- Deck as it is usually assumed.
There must be something else going on here.

Conclusion:
There are only two main sets of b&w line drawings: A or B/C
There are a lot more color plates sets!

I just wonder how this can help us?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by roppo
Thanks a lot for your effort, Coredil. In my eyes some of the Pam-C monograms ie, X, XIII, XIV and XIX are messes while XV monogram of Pam-A is imcomplete.

But first of all, the main point is whether you accept or not that the 13 drawings of OR 1909 Dec. are the most faithful reproductions of Pixie's original drawings. I sincerely believe that, and consequently believe Pam-B is not the first edition deck because of the absense of the Sun's oops line and the derogation of PCS monograms.
Thanks for your answer
I need more time to answer to your comment and to ask you some questions
So I will reply later.

Best regards
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Today I received Frank Jensens book "The Story of the Waite-Smith Tarot".
I wanted to read this book first before expressing any further comment.

I love this book as it contains quite a lot of informations and pictures.
A whole book on the making of the RWS
But concerning the problematic of the Pam A, B, C and D, I do not find that it adds a lot more than in his essay "Early Waite-Smith edition" that appearred in Manteia Courier from 1998-1999.

For anyone interested in this subject I would like to point to the comment of Jensen on Pietro Alligos thesis (of course it has already been mentioned on this forum).
Frank Jensen seems to agree with Alligos thesis about the printing date B and C being the first deck printed followed by A.
You can fin Jensens comments to Alligos thesis here:
http://www.manteia-online.dk/waite-smith/alligo-cts.htm

These comments are also a possibility for those who do not own Lo Scarabeos book to get a more precise idea of Aligos thesis, because Jensen describes it.

On a personal note I cannot find the art of B and C being inferior to the art of A.
It may be right for some single cards but not if you attentively compare all the 78 cards.
Also simply comparing Pams monogram from C and A cannot lead to say that one is better than the other.

Best regards
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