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MikeH  MikeH is offline
Join Date: 03 Nov 2007
Location: Oregon USA
Posts: 443

I have some more information, or perhaps misinformation (I'm not sure) about Teheuti's question:
Huck - are you saying that Etteilla's card #1-"Etteilla" was really supposed to be the Sun God Apollo or was it supposed to be Chaos? What then, was his 2nd card, Eclaircissement, supposed to represent? My understanding was that Etteilla's original deck had for the 1st-Etteilla Card, simply an opening in the clouds with no Sun - and that the Sun was added later.

It is indeed curious that the Etteilla card should be somewhat like a Chaos card in one deck and an Apollo/Sun card in another.

But I'm confused, Huck, about the point you are making.
Huck made it clear, in his reply, that he was not addressing that issue.

Andrea Vitali's essay "Tarot, History, and Magic" shows pictures from a deck called "Grand Etteilla I" (find these words at In the second set of pictures (click on the numeral 2) you will see card 1 with a sunburst. In all other respects these cards are precisely like the ones shown in DDD, said there to be the original 1789 cards--however that set, owned by Depaulis, has no sunburst on card 1.

Now what is of interest is what Andrea says about these cards (actually, this was written by someone else, he tells me, in the years before DDD's book was published). I give the Italian first, and then the posted translation
Tarot “Egyptien” - Grand Etteilla I - 2, acqueforti dipinte a mano (Parigi , ?, inizi 1800)

Raro esemplare di “Tarocco Egiziano” fatto realizzare da D’Odoucet sulla base delle indicazioni fornitagli da Etteilla, suo maestro per dieci anni. Queste figure offrono l’idea più verosimile dell’iconografia del Livre de Thot disegnato da Etteilla, del quale non si è conservato alcun esemplare.

(Egyptian Tarot - Grand Etteilla I - 2, hand-painted etchings (Paris ?, ?, beginning 1800) .

A rare specimen of the "Egyptian Tarot" commissioned by D’Odoucet on the basis of information provided by Etteilla, his teacher for ten years. These figures give a more verisimilar idea of the iconography of the Livre de Thoth drawn by Etteilla.)
So according to this information the sunburst was added by D'Odoucet. This change might have been done on his own initiative, perhaps because he liked the way it was done on the decks that preceded Etteilla. For one thing, it was 9 years after Etteilla's death; and for another, Etteilla's nickname for D'Odoucet was "Dodo", in a 1790 quote which is uncomplimentary in other ways. Also, in that quote Etteilla says that this "Dodo" became his pupil in 1788. So presumably D'Odoucet was Etteilla's student for 2 years or less. Nonetheless D'Odoucet became Etteilla's self-appointed successor.

Nonetheless it may be true that the sunburst is due to D'Odoucet. Unlike many of Etteilla's designs, I never liked it anyway. I am hoping that there is some documentation for this attribution in Andrea's essay. An identical deck appears in Kaplan vol. 1 p. 141. All Kaplan says is "Etteilla Tarot Cards" -- which they almost are, except for the sunburst on card 1.
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