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oldest known tarot deck - can anybody tell me?

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oldest known tarot deck - can anybody tell me?


Hi everyone,
Just curious, can anybody tell me what the earliest known Tarot deck was, and is there a deck very close to it that is available today ??
I have been working with tarot for many years, but someone asked me what the oldest known tarot deck was ! I know a bit about the history of tarot, but would like to get a deck that was very close to the earliest known one to work with. anything that comes close ?
All advice and info welcome.
Regards Dark eyes.
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Thumbs up Hi, Dark Eyes!


I think that would be the Visconti-Sforza.
Take a look at the "Categories" section in the DECKS realm on the main part of AT; there's a list of historical tarots there where you can see the Visconti.
Also take a look at the Marseille--I think that's the oldest COMPLETE tarot. The Visconti has some cards missing or were never a part of the deck at all; those "missing" cards are artistically matched and replaced in the deck(s) now on the market. I believe the Marseille is a few centuries younger, but all of what you see is what cartomantics saw then.
Then, there's the argument that neither of these decks were used for divination--strictly gaming...
*sigh*
Can of worms, anyone?
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Diana  Diana is offline
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Re: Hi, Dark Eyes!


Quote:
Originally posted by Tauni
Then, there's the argument that neither of these decks were used for divination--strictly gaming...
*sigh*
Can of worms, anyone?
Some people will argue about anything. Even about worms in cans. As long as the decks are not eaten by the worms, then we are pretty safe.

Dark Eyes: When you've got your deck (or even before that), you are more than welcome to join us in the Historical section.
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As mentioned, the earliest decks around and in print are various renditions of the Visconti-Sforza (though there are various views as to not only whether it was a full Tarot deck, but also whether it may have followed an existing pattern) - and the Marseilles.

Of the Marseille, the Conver of 1761 is currently in print from three publishers, including LoScarabeo. My favourite (Conver Marseille) is the Héron publishing of the deck. It is worth noting that as later Tarot tends to closely match or even deviate from this deck, it is just about the closest available to an Ür-Tarot.

Other Marseilles decks, even if produced quite recently (such as the Camoin and the Hadar) have beautiful features which, nonetheless, seek to be true to traditional imagery.

And as Diana said, please join us for further commentary in the Historical AND Iconographic section!
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Thankyou so much Tauni, Diana, and jmd. I appreciate your replies and advice. It is good to know that there are still some very close to original decks available. I will begin on the path to purchasing one as soon as possible. I have the Thoth tarot deck, I love the cards, but I am having trouble relating to them. My other decks include... Juliet Sharman Bourke (Giovanni Caselli) , Rider Waite, and the Mythic Tarot by Juliet Sharman bourke. I love all these decks, especially the Juliet sharman boiurke, the pictures are beautiful and I can relate well to them. I just have trouble with the Thoth Deck, although I feel it's mysticism jwhen I study them.
Thankyou again, I will try to aquire a copy of the Marseilles deck, perhaps it will work for me.
Regards Dark eyes.
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P.S. Thankyou for inviting me to join in on the historical section. I will certainly visit that section, and hopefully be able to take part. It sounds really great, wow !! thanks so much guys.
warm regards Dark Eyes.
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Dusserre used to publish a deck that's a photoreproduction of a 1701 Dodal Tarot de Marseille deck (all 78 cards), but alas that Dusserre deck is out of print. Maybe somewhere, in some store in Europe, a copy of that Dusserre deck is languishing.

Héron publishes a deck that's a reproduction of the 1643-1664 Jacques Vieville tarot deck. I was told on a French tarot list that the Vieville is not a TdM but is a Tarot de Paris.

jmd ... You mentioned that the Conver 1761 TdM deck is currently in print from three publishers. I know of the Héron and Lo Scarabeo decks. And from reading the spare cards in the Héron deck, I noticed that the Héron deck is distributed in Italy by publisher Dal Negro. When you mentioned three publishers, was the third Dal Negro or a different publisher? It would be interesting if there were three different Conv 1761 museum specimens that have been photoreproduced.

Thanks.
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I bought the Conver published by Lo Scarabeo.

I was sad when I opened it. I had wanted the deck that has some of the Majors printed a little darker than the others. This I know helps tremendously with readings, because the darker ones stand out.....

Which publisher is it that published them like that? (I was told by that that is how they are supposed to be, but I doubt Lo Scarabeo researched that before printing their deck).
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Diana ... I have the Héron. The Héron edition of the 1760/1 Conver is a photoreproduction of a specimen Conver 1760/1 deck at the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris. The LS edition of the 1760/1 Conver is a photoreproduction of a different specimen Conver 1760/1 deck (French card titles) from a museum (or library) in Italy. The Italian specimen is less accurately printed than, and the colours used different from, the BN specimen. Thus, it's not just a difference in printing by Héron vs. LS; the specimens are different.

I also heard there's a difference between the two specimens in terms of random details of at least one of the pip cards. I don't remember exactly, but that pip card in the LS version has a flower where the Héron doesn't, or perhaps it's the other way around. If someone who has both the Héron and LS decks, it would be interesting to know what differences there are between the two specimens in terms of pip card random details.

In terms of colours and pip card details, the Jodo/Camoin would seem to be following the BN specimen of the Conver 1760/1 rather than the Italian specimen.

Edited to say: I have since found out that the difference in question between the two specimens is that the Lo Scarabeo specimen is missing the 6 of Batons, so the LS 6 of Batons is a doctored 7 of Batons.
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Tarot de Paris


Quote:
Originally posted by Tauni

Also take a look at the Marseille--I think that's the oldest COMPLETE tarot.
Actually, I believe the anonymous Tarot de Paris is the oldest complete deck. It follows the Marseilles ordering. A limited edition reproduction was done by Grimaud, but it is no longer in print.

http://it.geocities.com/a_pollett/cards59.htm

The deck by Jacques Vievelle that Rusty Neon mentioned is also older than any existing Marseilles deck, but the ordering differs slightly. The reproduction by Heron is still available; I've seen it at Alida.

http://it.geocities.com/a_pollett/cards61.htm

Felicity
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