Cards backs



I was wondering what the backs of the old decks (Marseilles, italian in general, these are the only ones i know a bit about) looked like. For example, i read that lo scarabeo re-designed the backs of some old deck reproductions to make them look more "antique". But how did the original backs look like ??? What was behind the gorgeous soprafino images ? etc ...



I know that the Crystal Tarots (LS) has been released with different coloured backs. My version, I think its the newer release has a sky blue back but the version they had opened in the shop had a darker denim blue back. The designs were the same but I liked the paler version blue much better than the denim blue one.


In French, I know that the traditional design that's called tarotée describes a sort of plaid design made of lines that intersect to form parallelogram shaped lozenges. Not sure how this word came about, but the pattern has been applied to playing cards that were not in fact tarots.

The idea, of course, with any sort of card deck is to make sure that you can't see through them. The pattern does a good enough job of that. It probably was pretty easy to make, especially in the days before engraving was put to service in the making of cards, and they had to be pressed from woodcuts. Of course, the main reason that French suited playing cards replaced tarot suited cards was that they were even cheaper to make: the pips could all be stencilled on.

The tarotée design was fine enough that it could be put on the whole sheet prior to printing the cards; no one would be able to tell one card from another from any differences in the backs.


thanks for answering!

i have this reproduction of tarocco italiano dotti (1845) and it has small greyish spots forming circles on the back. i was just wandering if these too are the reproduction of the original deck. i am familiar with this tarotée ihcoyc talks about, i just think my little grey spots look better!