Marseille Tarot - Grimaud vs. Universal?

DJP

Hi,

I wonder if I could ask for some help in making a decision......

Having recently decided to double my tarot collection by getting a Marseille deck, it's come down to a choice between Grimaud and Universal.

Cost and availability wise, whittling it down to these two was pretty easy.... but now I'm really battling to take it the next step and decide which one.

Getting both is, unfortunately, not an option at the moment.

The fact that Grimaud seems to have been the standard in the 20th century gives it gravitas in my book. But the bold figures and colours of the Universal version are really appealing. I probably also slightly prefer the Conver style artwork, but the Burdel Aces are wonderful. Could the Grimaud's colouring be too sparse, or would the richness of the Universal's colours serve as a distraction?

It's a stalemate...... Aaaaarrgghhh!

Any thoughts?
 

Wheel of Fantastic

I don't have a Universal but I can certainly recommend the Grimaud. The Grimaud does have a limited colour palette but the colours are bold and have a striking visual impact which provides for a solid reading.

I own both a modern Grimaud and a vintage copy from the '70s; the 70s deck has thick cardstock which gives the deck real heft and was pretty cheap on EBay - worth keeping an eye out for one of these. A modern deck has titles in French, you can find vintage decks with French titles; titles in French AND English, as well as titles in English only.

If your budget allows it I would try to get hold of the historical facsimile of the Burdel from Yves Reynaud (Tarot-de-Marseille-heritage). Called the Tarot Claude Burdel 1751, it's a reproduction of the actual deck and is one of my favourite Marseille decks.

The Grimaud is an excellent first Marseille style deck to start with though if you are on a budget.
 

Redfaery

I have a Universal, and I can say that the bright colors are indeed distracting.
 

Maskelyne

I'd go for the Grimaud. Its simple, bold graphics are truer to the Marseille tradition than the more prettified Universal. One of the things I like about the TdM is the iconic nature of the artwork. It's a refreshing contrast to the narrative and symbolic busyness of modern tarot. For me, the colored backgrounds of the Universal muddy the clarity of the TdM feeling.

Also, as you note, the Grimaud is historically significant in its own right. It's also a bit harder to find in the US, while the LoScarabeo Universal is more widely distributed, and will probably continue to be available for years to come.
 

gregory

I'd go for the Grimaud too - BUT - if you can get hold of Lee's book that comes with the Universal -it is very well worth having. Not easy to find on its own, though.
 

Yves Le Marseillais

And what about a Nicolas Conver 1760 ?

Bonjour DJP,

You may try a Nicolas Conver 1760 if you want a real old type tarot of Marseille.

Have a look at it. See picture attached.

It will be avaluable within one month if you are patient.

My new historical tarot published.

Salutations from Marseille City,

Yves
 

Attachments

  • nicolas_conver_networks.jpg
    nicolas_conver_networks.jpg
    145.4 KB · Views: 852

DJP

Wheel of Fantastic,

Thanks for the advice. The Grimaud I've got my eye on is the modern version with French on the packaging. I'm not sure why, but I have a bit of a mental block when it comes to buying a second hand Tarot deck.

The Claude Burdel 1751 looks wonderful!

Redfaery,

Yes, It was a fairly big worry. Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

Maskelyne,

Taking future availability into consideration is a good point! I also love the more iconic TdM artwork.... another score for Grimaud.

Gregory,

I'm pretty sure that the Universal I've come across is deck only. But thanks for the tip-off re: the book.

Yves Le Marseillais,

Truly beautiful. But I fear for my budget. Maybe one-day in the not too distant future.....

Thanks to everyone for all the great input. I feel the scales have been definitively tipped towards Grimaud. Quandary solved!

Arm-fulls of appreciation and blessings to you all. :)
 

DJP

UPDATE:

Well, the best laid plans.....

After deciding once and for all on the Grimaud as the better option..... I discovered that Amazon refuses to ship it to South Africa (living in a far flung corner of the world has its drawbacks)!

BUT!

Having been convinced against the Universal by everyone's helpful replies, I resumed my search and stumbled across a reasonably priced Camoin-Jodorowsky. Now, I know the deck has it's controversies, but I'm happy with my find and look forward to receiving it in a week or so.

Thanks again for all the advice.... otherwise I probably would have ended up with the Universal.

Peace.
 

Barleywine

Bonjour DJP,

You may try a Nicolas Conver 1760 if you want a real old type tarot of Marseille.

Have a look at it. See picture attached.

It will be avaluable within one month if you are patient.

My new historical tarot published.

Salutations from Marseille City,

Yves

A beautiful deck, Yves! The Conver is the one I'm most familiar with, and yours looks magnificent. I was always drawn to the Universal over the more faithful renderings of any tradition, but I think I just changed my mind. (It might even override my "no square corners" bias.)
 

Yves Le Marseillais

VIDEO NICOLAS CONVER FULL DECK UNBOXING

A beautiful deck, Yves! The Conver is the one I'm most familiar with, and yours looks magnificent. I was always drawn to the Universal over the more faithful renderings of any tradition, but I think I just changed my mind. (It might even override my "no square corners" bias.)

Hello Barleywine,

Did you see this video on You Tube I just received ?
It is official one for this new tarot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKAzeE9BThU


Corners have been very slightly rounded !!! (1 mm only) :))))

Enjoy !

Yves