Hadar's "Véritable" Tarot de Marseille - What is it true to?

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Rusty Neon  Rusty Neon is offline
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Rusty Neon 
Hadar's "Véritable" Tarot de Marseille -- What is it true to?

What true tarot is Kris Hadar striving for in his deck? Probably not the 1760 Conver. Like the Jodo-Camoin deck, Hadar's deck departs from the 1760 Conver (at least the Bibliothèque nationale copy photoreproduced in the Heron deck) in various material respects.

Examples in the case of the Hadar deck:

(1) Card titles are renamed:

e.g., Conver's "Valet de Coupe" becomes Hadar's "Vaslet de Coupes" (Note the pluralization)

I realize that Valet and Vaslet may be spelling variants, but why depart from what the Conver titles actually are?

Conver's "Cavalier de Coupe" becomes Hadar's "Chevalier de Coupes".

Similar change for the Queens.

(2) Features are added to the cards:

e.g., in the 10 of Batons, Hadar replaces the "X" numerals on the left and right hand sides with crowns.


The Tower card also puzzles me.

In the Conver card, the foreground earth is brownish, while the background earth is blue. In the Hadar, both the foreground and the background earth are brownish.

Hadar's "sun" in the Tower card is considerably bigger than the Conver's. The Hadar yellow portion of the Sun is not even visible in the Conver; in the Conver, the card edge cuts it off.

Top   #1
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jmd  jmd is offline
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I cannot talk for Kris Hadar, and hope that he responds himself to this query (whether directly or via another).

What follows, then, are my own reflections, based on considerations prior to the bringing out of his deck in the mid-1990s. I of course was not aware of his deck at that time.

From the 1930s until then, there were no real new Marseilles decks which came into existence - or certainly none which made it, to my knowledge, to mass production. Certainly, there was the photographic reproduction of the Conver by Héron, a couple of others made in small runs, and a few which sought to reproduce the Marseille in ways which seemed to not pay careful attention to what may be considered esoteric details. An example of this is the otherwise great Marseille deck from Spain.

I suppose I too had, in the late 1980s, seriously considered (and during times of errr... delusion (?!), reconsider) creating a 'true' Marseille. I am also certain that this was one of the motivations of Camoin & Jodorowsky. To bring out, afresh and new, the Marseille in its 'véritable' form. Here what is needed is a combination of access to older materials, but also, more importantly, discernment as to what aspect to include, and what may be dropped and considered more accidental detail.

It also gives the opportunity to highlight, bring out, or mildly alter detail which may be deemed not central. An example from the Hadar are the crowns on the ten Bastons.

With regards to the courts, for example, Hadar certainly did not stick to tradition with regards their respective horizons. On his deck (and this is especially obvious if the courts are placed alongside one another), their horizon forms a straight line, as opposed to the variagated ridges of virtually every other Marseille I have looked at in any detail. Yet, I do think he may legitimately call it a 'véritable' Marseille.

The 'true' Tarot he therefore seeks to bring out is not a copy of an older existing Marseille, but rather a true Marseille in the sense that it embodies and gives form to what I have now so often referred to as the Ür-Tarot.

Hadar's Tarot de Marseille stands, therefore, as an independent and different, yet one closely paralleling, existing Marseille decks.

It would be interesting to read, apart from the views of others, his own response
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firemaiden  firemaiden is offline
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Diana is unable to get to the boards for a few days, but she has asked me to let you know that in an e-mail she received from Mr. Hadar last year, he said:

"... le Tarot de Marseille du Dodal et même du Payen sont des modèles du canon original."

Translation: "The Dodal Tarot of Marseille, and even the Payen, are models of the original canon."

So the answer to Rusty Neon's post seems to be: he didn't use the Conver as his model.

Diana is going to e-mail Kris Hadar as soon as possible in order to try and get more details on this.
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jmd  jmd is offline
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In the thread on I Le Bateleur, I mention Goethe's concept of the Ürpflanze (outlined in more detail in that second link).

It is in that sense that I first began using the term many months ago in this forum - a term which has since been used by others (fair enough!) in other locations.

In its Ür-Tarot form, it is neither yet formed, nor yet unformed. It remains, in a sense, as a leaf, which transforms (metamorphosises) into its myriad possibilities - where each instance of its different 'incarnations' or manifestations is a particlar instance of the Ür-Tarot being metamorphosed by its local conditions. It is in that sense that what I wrote above reflects why I personally see the Hadar as a genuine ('véritable') Marseille.
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Diana  Diana is offline
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Kris Hadar responded immediately and generously to my e-mail, in which I asked him about Rusty Neon's question. I am posting in the next post his reply in French, and in the following post, my translation. Thank you to firemaiden for having read through the latter and for suggesting improvements.

If anyone sees that I should have translated something better, or sees any glaring mistakes, they are please to PM me and I will correct the translation accordingly.

Kaz has been kind enough to put the images that Kris Hadar sent on one of her web-pages. I will give the link to it in both posts (French and English).

Kris Hadar will be only too happy to respond to any of our questions, but is unable, due to a lack of time, to become a member of Aeclectic. I will be happy to relay your questions and to translate the answers. I want to thank Kris Hadar for his willingness to share his knowledge and insights with Aeclectic.
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Diana  Diana is offline
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Kris Hadar's reply in French (translation in next post)

Je joins à mon envoi des images de Tarot provenant du Dodal, du Conver et de mon jeu, ainsi qu’une image comparant le Cavalier d’épée du Conver et du Payen, images que vous pourrez mettre en archives dans votre forum pour vos membres.


Voici ma réponse aux questions de votre membre :

Je salue les gens qui s’intéressent au Tarot de Marseille que j’ai restauré. Je suis en train d’écrire l’histoire du tarot de Marseille. Comme c’est un livre historique, cela avance lentement, car il faut constamment vérifier, mot après mot ce que l’on dit ! J’ai vraiment retrouvé les origines du Tarot et les clefs qui ont servi à sa construction. Vous conviendrez avec moi, que j’en conserve l’exclusivité pour ne pas nuire à la publication de mon livre.

On se pose la question pour savoir d’où proviennent les sources qui m’ont permis de faire une reconstitution du jeu de Tarot de Marseille. Alors, voici pour la petite histoire de ce jeu.

Mon ouvrage en français : Le grand livre du Tarot est un best-seller. Mon éditeur m’a demandé s’il se pourrait que je construire un jeu de Tarot de Kris Hadar. Personnellement, cela m’a dérangé, car je ne pouvais me permettre de m’approprier la connaissance d’une lignée si prestigieuse, qu’est celle du Tarot de Marseille ? Je proposais donc à mon Éditeur, de restaurer le Tarot de Marseille, ce qu’il accepta.

L’histoire des cartes peut sembler complexe pour cela qui n’en connaît pas les racines… Aussi, je vais rester pour l’instant sur de simples faits ! Voici des faits historiques allant de 1594 à 1703 :

1594, 31 mars. Rédaction des premiers statuts des maîtres cartiers de Paris au nombre de huit.

1605, 14 janvier. La confection des cartes n'est autorisée que dans les sept villes «où il y a maîtrise et visitation desdites marchandises».

1609, 9 mai. Arrêt du Conseil, qui surseoit à la perception des droits.

1631, 31 mai. La fabrication des cartes est autorisée dans onze villes, au lieu de sept.

1636, 4 avril. Déclaration du roi, prescrivant aux cartiers de porter leurs moules, patrons, figures, marques, couleurs et imprimures (pochoirs) dans un lieu «propre et commode pour travailler», désigné par le fermier et fourni gratuitement par lui.

1650, environ. À Paris, formation d'un patron caractéristique, ou portrait. Les noms adoptés pour les personnages sont encore en usage.

1661, septembre. Par lettres patentes, le roi cède à l'Hôpital général de Paris le bénéfice du droit sur les cartes. Dans les onze villes où la fabrication est autorisée, les moules et instruments de travail doivent être transportés dans un «lieu particulier», où les cartiers sont tenus d'exercer. Les enveloppes doivent porter une bande de contrôle aux armes du roi.

1671, 1er avril. L'Hôpital général renonce à la dotation stérile qui lui avait été faite. Le Conseil surseoit à la levée des droits et rend aux cartiers la liberté de décorer les enveloppes à leur gré. Les cartiers parisiens quittent l'Hôtel de Nemours.

1701, 19 octobre. Rétablissement de l'impôt, fixé à dix-huit deniers. Les anciens moules doivent être détruits. Les cartiers perdent le droit de tailler leurs moules.

1703, 17 mars. Le droit est réduit à douze deniers. Les particuliers ne doivent plus se servir de cartes de l'ancien portrait.

Le plus ancien Tarot de Marseille de la lignée de Marseille « connu » est celui de Jean Dodal au début de 1700, Maître Cartier à Lyon. Vous remarquerez que son tarot que l’on dit de 1701, correspond précisément à l’époque où on demande de détruire les anciens moules et d’en construire de nouveau. Avant Dodal… on retrouve le tarot Parisien et surtout le tarot de Jean Noblet qui serait de 1650 à Paris, tarot dont les 22 arcanes majeurs furent restaurés par Jean-Claude Flornoy. Mais, malgré son excellent travail, le Noblet ne fait pas parti de la tradition de Marseille. Il est une adaptation libre des tarots italiens. Or j’insiste pour dire que les italiens « ont copiés » le canon de Marseille.

Comme point de départ, de ma restauration, je suis parti du principe que si les maîtres cartiers ont du détruire les moules anciens pour en faire de nouveaux, ils se sont nécessairement inspirés des anciens. Par conséquent, en étudiant les nouveaux tarots, on devrait retrouver les traces des anciens.

Le plus ancien en partant de 1700 est Jean Dodal, Maître Cartier à Lyon, suivit de Jean-Pierre Payen en 1713, Maître Cartier à Avignon et l’incontournable Nicolas Conver de Marseille en 1760, qui, disons le tout de suite, fut justement le responsable de la fameuse l’appellation : Tarot de Marseille.

Il n’est pas besoin de faire de grande recherche pour constater que Nicola Conver copia Jean-Pierre Payen. Il suffit de regarder le cavalier d’épée du Conver et du Payen pour y voir sur la croupe du cheval la même floriture ! Conver a redessiné complètement le tarot de Marseille et lui a ajouté des symboles propres, qui, si certains y voient des connaissances occultes, n’ont aucun rapport avec la lignée que représentait Jean Dodal.

J’ai donc étudié en détail le Tarot de Jean Dodal et effectivement, j’y ai trouvé des détails qui révélaient des structures anciennes cachées dans le dessin. J’en veux pour prendre la Reine d’épée. En étudiant sur ordinateur sa robe, ma surprise fut de constater que ses plis cachaient un escalier. Vous pouvez vérifier : Le symbole devenait évident : une femme enceinte demandait de descendre au fond de soi-même… pour renaître.

Un autre détail surprenant : en observant attentivement la dame de coupe… on voit un petit trait à gauche, à côté de la coupe… qui s’aligne horizontalement parfaitement avec le trait oblique à droite… pour former un lit. Ainsi, les éléments en haut cadre parfaitement avec un lit à baldaquin… et non, ô hérésie de Conver qui laisse entrevoir que cette dame est sous un dais. Ainsi le Roi de coupes prend toute sa signification. Il est dans un boudoir à attendre avec sa coupe ouverte, que sa Dame daigne lui ouvrir sa chambre pour lui offrir son cœur.

Vous constatez que ma restauration ne repose pas sur l’escroquerie qui consisterait à rajouter des symboles provenant d’autres tarots, mais bien celui de faire ressortir les traits originels du canon de Marseille. C’est pour cela que je peux justifier chaque correction avec des faits. Quand j’en n’avais pas, je ne touchais à rien…

Il est évident que mes recherches pour restaurer le tarot de Marseille, ne se limitait pas à Jean Dodal, mais aussi à la tradition tarologique que j’ai retrouvé.

Si je devais refaire une nouvelle restauration, il y aurait encore des changements, suite à de nouvelles découvertes que j’ai faites entre temps.

Ceci étant dit, je peux maintenant répondre aux interrogations de votre membre :

Même si mon dessin conserve le dessin du Conver, mon tarot restauré n’a rien à voir avec le Conver qui est d’évidence pour moi un autre tarot. Je laisse le soin à Camoin de défendre sa restauration qui ne repose pas sur des faits historiques. J’en veux pour preuve qu’en 1760, Conver à fait plusieurs moules et tous ces moules n’ont pas dans la Papesse la petite boule qu’il s’évertue à mettre dans son tarot… surtout quand on découvre dans le Tarot de Jean Dodal, que les traits au fond du mur où Camoin y voit un œuf… est en fait les traits anciens d’un banc sur lequel est assise la Papesse… et que sa robe en bas à gauche… est en fait le sol qui fut malencontreusement coloré par Nicolas Conver… et depuis, tous ceux qui s’appuie sur le Conver reproduise la même erreur, Camoin, y compris.

Pour la désignation du nom des cartes, il faut savoir qu’originellement, les cartes de Tarot n’avait pas de nom. Pourquoi ? Parce qu’à l’époque où le Tarot fut créé, l’écriture reste le privilège des lettrés servant à écrire les lois et les édits et que même si les premiers livres commencent à être écrits, ce sont plus des livres fait pour être lus à des gens que être lus par soi-même ! En fait, l’écriture sur les jeux de cartes est tardive, vers 1600-1700 justement. Il faut savoir, qu’en déplaise aux chercheurs qui étudient les mots… que la plupart des écritures des cartes comme L’Empereup dans le Conver, provient des graveurs de moules, dont la plupart sont illettrés et aussi parce qu’avant l’époque de Molière où on vit un essai de structure de la langue et encore plus en 1800 que vient la naissance des règles grammaticales de la langue française, la langue des origines du Tarot est une langue phonétique. En ancien français, la langue sert à exprimer le son… C’est pourquoi on trouvera dans les textes anciens, plusieurs écritures du même mot. Exemple : le mot accueillir est né en 1080, il s’écrivait entre autres : acueillir, acoillir, acueldre. Par conséquent, il est vain de perdre son temps à trouver des pistes dans le nom qui désigne les cartes… surtout que ces nom étaient en fait de l’OCCITAN (L’Occitanie se trouve dans le sud de la France), lieu qui vit naître le Tarot. Dans le cas de L’Empereup dans le Conver, il est évident et logique de penser que le graveur n’a pas fini le « R », ce qui donne un « P » final.

Ainsi, la désignation des cartes de Tarot restauré fut de tenter de remettre les mots les plus anciens possible désignant ces cartes. Ainsi, vous devez savoir que dans l’ancien français, les mot ayant un s : comme, hospital, baston, vaslet, isle, etc., furent remplacé par un petit chapeau : un accent circonflexe, devenant : hôpital, bâton, valet, île, etc. Pour ceux que cela intéressent, on retrouve l’ancien français avec les mots actuels : hospitalier, bastonnade, Isle de Panama, etc.

En ce qui concerne le changement du mot CAVALIER… avec CHEVALIER, votre lecteur devrait savoir que le mot CAVALIER, vient du mot CAVAL. Ce mot est d’origine ITALIENNE. Il signifie entre autre chose, une jument en chaleur… Le mot italien Caval se traduit en français : Chevalier. Remettre ce mot sur les cartes de Tarot n’avait que pour objectif de rentre à César, ce qui appartient à César, c’est-à-dire : mettre les vrais mots !

Alors, Bâton est redevenu en ancien français Baston, Épées est redevenu Espee (sans accent), Valet est redevenu Vaslet, Cavalier est redevenu logiquement Chevalier, Roi est redevenu Roy, Reine est redevenu tardivement Reyne, mais il était originellement le féminin de Roy, donc Royne !

En ce qui concerne les rajouts sur le 10 de bastons, vous devrez savoir qu’originellement chaque couleur ou chaque série des mineures avait une carte qui portait sa noblesse. À la manière des Chevaliers, il y avait le nom, le blason, la devise, les armes. Ainsi, le 2 de deniers remplace la devise, le 2 de coupes le blason, l’as d’épée symbolise les armes… et évidemment, il s’était perdu le nom (ou le rang) que nous trouvons dans mon tarot par le couronnement du 10 de baston qui permettait que le nom devienne un nom de renom !

Vous conviendrez qu’il y aurait encore beaucoup de choses à dire, tant sur le sol que dans des détails. Je dirai encore ceci : Dans le Conver, pour ainsi dire, tous les sol sont devenus comme par magie uniforme et de couleur or. Observez le sol des cartes des Cavaliers dans le Payen comme le Dodal, vous verrez que le sol est de couleur noir… tout comme l’était le sol de la carte le Chariot ! Et cette symbolique est fondamentale, car elle indique que l’on évolue… en travaillant le sol pour en tirer sa richesse… C’est par le travail sur soi que l’on progresse !

Sur cette bonne devise, je ne peux que vous inviter à regarder les tarots anciens avec objectivité et vous serez surpris de découvrir au combien ils sont riches d’enseignement, surtout quand on sait que le tarot s’adressait à des gens qui ne savait pas lire et écrire… le dessin était pour eux le plus sûr moyen de partager la connaissance, car le dessin parlait de lui-même : il suffisait de voir, de bien voir, d’avoir le clairvoir, c’est-à-dire la claivoyance, don que détienne les âmes bien nées !

Kris Hadar
Top   #6
Diana  Diana is offline
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Translation of Kris Hadar's reply (original in above post)

I am attaching images from the Dodal, the Conver and my own deck, as well as an image comparing the Cavalier d’Epée to the Conver and the Payen. You may put these images in the archives of your forum for your members.


Here is my response to the questions asked by the member:

Greetings to those who are interested in the Tarot of Marseille that I have restored. I am writing a book on the history of the Tarot of Marseille. As it is a historical book, it is progressing slowly, as I have to constantly verify, word by word, what has been said! I have really discovered the origins of the Tarot and the keys which were used for its construction. You will understand that I reserve its exclusivity in order not to cause problems for the publication of my book.

People wonder where my sources come from, which have allowed me to reconstitute the Tarot of Marseille. Well, here is the story about this deck.

My book in French: “Le Grand Livre du Tarot”, is a best-seller. My editor asked me if I could design my own Kris Hadar deck. Personally, this bothered me, for I could not allow myself to appropriate such a prestigious tradition which is the Tarot of Marseille. I proposed to my editor that I restore the Tarot of Marseille, which he accepted.

The history of the cards may seem complex to those who do not know its roots…. So, for the moment, I will just mention simple facts. Here are some historical facts covering the period between 1594 to 1703:

1594, 31. March. Drafting of the first statutes of the Parisian maîtres-cartiers (master cardmakers), the number of which are eight.

1605, 14 January. The manufacturing of cards is authorised only in the seven cities “where there is mastery and inspection of the said merchandise.”

1609, 9 May. Ruling of the Council, which suspends the paying of duty.

1631, 31 May. The manufacturing of cards is authorised in eleven cities, instead of seven.

1636, 4 April. Declaration of the King, ordering the cardmakers to bring their moulds, models, figures, marks, colours and imprimures (stencils?) to a place that is “clean and practical to work in”, designated by the farmer (translator’s note: I don’t understand this reference to farmers) and provided free of charge by him.

1650, thereabout. . In Paris, development of a characteristic model [pattern], or portrait. The names adopted for the characters [people] are still in use.

1661, September. By letters of patent, the King transfers to the General Hospital of Paris, the benefits of the duties on the cards. In the eleven cities where the manufacture of these are authorised, the moulds and working tools must be transported to a “particular place”, where the cardmakers have to work. The envelopes must carry a verification band bearing the arms of the King.

1671, 1st April. The General Hospital renounces the sterile endowment given to it. The Council lifts the levying of taxes and allows the cardmakers to decorate the envelopes as they wish. The Parisian cardmakers leave the Hotel de Nemours.

1701, 19 October. Reimposition of the taxes, fixed at eighteen deniers. The old moulds must be destroyed. The cardmakers lose the right to carve their moulds.

1703, 17 March. The tax is reduced to twelve deniers. Private individuals can no longer use cards with the old portrait.

The oldest Tarot of Marseille, from the lineage of the “known” Marseille is that of Jean Dodal, Master Cardmaker in Lyon, at the beginning of the 1700s. You will notice that his Tarot is said to date from 1701, which corresponds exactly to the time when orders were given for all the old moulds to be destroyed and to make new ones. Before Dodal…. there was the Parisian tarot, and especially Jean Noblet’s tarot, which would be a 1650 Paris tarot, the tarot of which Jean-Claude Flornoy has restored the 22 Major Arcana. However, despite his excellent work, the Noblet is not part of the tradition of the Marseille tarot. It is a free adaptation of the Italian tarots. And here, I insist in saying that the Italians “copied” the Marseille canon.

As a point of departure, for my restoration, I started out from the principle that if the Master cardmakers had to destroy the old ones to make new ones, they must necessarily have been inspired by the old ones. Consequently, by studying the new tarots, one should find the traces of the old ones.

The oldest, starting from 1700, is the Jean Dodal, Master Cardmaker in Lyon, followed by Jean-Pierre Payen in 1713, Master Cardmaker in Avignon, and the inescapable Nicolas Conver of 1760, which must be said, was the one responsible for the famous appellation: Tarot of Marseille.

One needn’t do much research to discover that Nicolas Conver copied Jean-Pierre Payen. All one needs to do is to look at the Cavalier d’Epée of the Conver and the Payen to see on the horse’s croup the same flowery design. Conver completely redrew the tarot of Marseille and added his own symbols, in which, even if some people do see occult knowledge, have nothing to do with tradition inherited by the Jean Dodal.

Therefore, I studied the Tarot of Jean Dodal in detail and indeed, I found details that revealed ancient structures hidden in the drawing. For instance, the Reine d’Epée. While studying her robe on my computer, I was surprised to notice that the folds hid a staircase. You can verify this: The symbol became evident: a pregnant woman was wanting to descend into her depths… to be reborn.

Another suprising detail: if one observes attentively the Dame de Coupe…. one will notice a small line on the left, next to the cup… which aligns itself perfectly horizontally with the oblique line on the right… to form a bed. Thus, the elements at the top fit in perfectly with a canopied fourposter bed… and not, oh heresy! as in the Conver which makes us think the lady is under a canopy. And because of this, the King of Cups’ meaning is revealed. He is in a boudoir waiting with his open Cup, for his Lady to deign to open the door to her room so as he can offer her his heart.

You will see that my restoration does not depend on fraudulence which entails adding symbols taken from other tarots, but depends on drawing out the original traits of the canon of Marseille. That is how I can justify every correction with facts. When I had no facts, I made no changes….

It is evident that the research I did in order to restore the Tarot of Marseille did not limit itself to Jean Dodal, but also included the tarological tradition that I rediscovered.

If I had to make a new restoration, there would be more changes, due to new discoveries I have made since then.

This having been said, I can now answer the questions the [Aeclectic] member asked:

Even if my drawings preserve the Conver design, my restored Tarot has nothing to do with the Conver which, and in my eyes this is evident, a different Tarot. I will leave it up to Camoin to defend his restoration which is not supported by historical facts. The proof of this is that in 1760, Conver made different moulds and all these moulds do not have the little ball that he has insisted on putting in his Tarot…. especially when one discovers in the Tarot of Jean Dodal, that the lines on the wall where Camoin sees an egg… are in fact old lines of a bench on which the Papess is seated…. and her robe on the bottom left… is in fact the ground which was unfortunately coloured in by Nicolas Conver… and this error has since been reproduced by all those who rely on the Conver, including Camoin.

Now when it comes to the naming of the cards, one must be aware that originally, Tarot cards had no name. Why? Because during the period when Tarot was created, writing was the privilege of the scholars, and was used to write laws and edicts; and even if the first books were beginning to be written, they were more books to be read to other people, than books one read oneself! In fact, the writing on card games began late, round 1600-1700 precisely. One should know, although this may not please the researchers of words… that most of the writing on the cards, for instance, L’Empereup in the Conver, was made by the engravers of the moulds, most of whom were illiterate, and also because before Molière when language started to become structured in some way, and even more in 1800 when French grammar rules were being born, the language in which the Tarot finds it origins, is a phonetic language. In old French, language is used to express a sound… That is why one finds in old texts, different kinds of spelling of the same word. For example: the word “accueillir” [to welcome] was born in 1080, and was spelt amongst others: acueillir, acoillir, acueldre. Consequently, there is no point in wasting one’s time in trying to track down the name designated on the cards… especially when these names were in fact in OCCITAN (Occitania is in the South of France), the place where Tarot was born. In the case of the Empereup of the Conver, it is evident and logical to think that the engraver did not finish the “R” which gives a final “P”.

Thus, the designation of the restored Tarot cards was an attempt to replace the most ancient words possible which designate these cards. Therefore, you need to know that in old French, the words that have an “s”, like hospital, baston, vaslet, isle, etc., were replaced by a little “hat”: the circonflex accent, and became: hôpital, bâton, valet, île, etc. For those who are interested, one can still find the old French in words used today: hospitalier, bastonnade, Isle de Panama, etc.

Concerning the modification of the word CAVALIER… with CHEVALIER, the [Aeclectic] member must know that the word CAVALIER, comes from the word CAVAL. This word is of ITALIAN origin. It means, amongst other things, a mare in heat… The Italian word Caval is translated into French by: Chevalier. The reason this this word was put back on the Tarot cards was to “give back to Cesar what belongs to Cesar”, in other words: using the real words!

Therefore, Bâton has become again the old French Baston, Epées has again become Espee (without an accent), Valet has again become Vaslet, Cavalier has logically become again Chevalier, Roi has become again Roy, Reine has later become Reyne, but originally it was the feminine of Roy, therefore Royne!

Concerning the additions on the 10 of Bastons, you need to know that originally each suit or each series of minors had a card that portrayed its nobility. In the manner of the Chevaliers, there was a name, a heraldic shield [coat of arms], a motto and arms. Therefore, the 2 de Deniers replaces the motto, the 2 de Coupes the coat of arms, the Ace de Epées symbolises the arms… and obviously, it had lost its name (or rank) which one can find in my Tarot by the crowning of the 10 de Bastons which allowed for the name to become a name of renown!

You will agree that there is still a lot to be said about the ground as well as the details. I have one more thing to add: In the Conver, one can say all the ground has become suddenly uniform and a golden colour. Observe the ground on the cards of the Cavaliers in the Payen and the Dodal, and you will see that the ground is a black colour… just like the ground was in the Chariot card! And this symoblism is fundamental, for it indicates that we are progressing…. by working the ground to bring out its riches…. It is by working on oneself that one progresses!

This being said, I can only ask you to look at the ancient Tarots with objectivity and you will be surprised to discover how rich they are with teachings, especially when one knows that the Tarot was made for people who did not know how to read and write… pictures were for them the surest way to share knowledge, because a picture speaks of itself: all one needed was to look, to look well, do see clearly, that is to have clairvoyance, a gift that well-born souls all possess.

Kris Hadar
Top   #7
tmgrl2's Avatar
tmgrl2  tmgrl2 is offline
Join Date: 15 Feb 2004
Location: NY, US
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Diana, thank you for this piece and the translation....it is a wonderful lead...I got here via link in another thread! I was able to read about 90% of the French without my dictionary...so no can't wait to get my books in French...

This is very interesting...the complexity of the data in the history is amazing..and now....back to the Ur-Tarot thread that sent me here...

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Ross G Caldwell  Ross G Caldwell is offline
Join Date: 07 Jul 2003
Location: Béziers, France
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Ross G Caldwell 

Originally posted by Diana
Translation of Kris Hadar's reply (original in above post)

1701, 19 October. Reimposition of the taxes, fixed at eighteen deniers. The old moulds must be destroyed. The cardmakers lose the right to carve their moulds.

As a point of departure, for my restoration, I started out from the principle that if the Master cardmakers had to destroy the old ones to make new ones, they must necessarily have been inspired by the old ones. Consequently, by studying the new tarots, one should find the traces of the old ones.

The oldest, starting from 1700, is the Jean Dodal, Master Cardmaker in Lyon, followed by Jean-Pierre Payen in 1713, Master Cardmaker in Avignon, and the inescapable Nicolas Conver of 1760, which must be said, was the one responsible for the famous appellation: Tarot of Marseille.

One needn’t do much research to discover that Nicolas Conver copied Jean-Pierre Payen. All one needs to do is to look at the Cavalier d’Epée of the Conver and the Payen to see on the horse’s croup the same flowery design. Conver completely redrew the tarot of Marseille and added his own symbols, in which, even if some people do see occult knowledge, have nothing to do with tradition inherited by the Jean Dodal.

Therefore, I studied the Tarot of Jean Dodal in detail ...
I appreciate Kris' work - it is a labor of love which has resulted in a masterpiece - although I do not agree with his overall thesis. His use of Payen and Dodal is good methodology.

I have never read of the edict to destroy all the old moulds - I assume it is in d'Allemagne vol. II.

Two points only to clarify -

1. Avignon did not become part of France until 1791; until then, it was a Papal dominion. According to Chobaut, who studied the Avignon cardmakers most deeply ("Les Maîtres-Cartiers d'Avignon du XVe Siècle à la Révolution" 1955) No Parisian or Royal Edict concerning cards was promulgated there until 1756 (no legislation concerning cardmakers whatsoever in fact) when the King forced the Pope to allow the same tariffs on cards from Avignon as in France. Avignon was effectively dominating the market with much cheaper cards, to the detriment of Marseilles.

Therefore the Payen family, who were cardmakers in Avignon from 1686 until after the Revolution (the first Payen had been a card-maker in Marseille until 1686), could easily have preserved an *unbroken* tradition, and Payen's 1713 deck from Avignon therefore does not represent a recreation after the destruction of 1701. In Avignon, there was no destruction.

2. Dodal's deck could be dated anywhere from 1701 to 1715. There is no date on the pack. 1701-1715 are simply the dates when Dodal was active in Lyon. Therefore, Payen's could be earlier than Dodal's, strictly technically speaking.

And if Dodal had to recarve his plates, then Payen's is certainly to be preferred.

It is a pity there is no real facsimile of Payen's deck...
Top   #9
Diana  Diana is offline
Join Date: 01 Jan 2002
Posts: 8,204

Ross: Thank you for this. I have translated it and sent it to Kris. I will post his response as soon as I get it.

(edited to add: Kris already e-mailed me back and said that he is very busy right now with other priorities, but that as soon as he finds the time, it will be his pleasure to reply to you, Ross.)
Top   #10
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