XV & XI questions re Harmonious Tarot, artist Walter Crane

Dancing Bear

I do not know where to post this thread and am hoping I am in the right spot.
I need help with a couple of cards from a newly aquired deck, The Harmonious Tarot. The Devil and Strength. They are not what i expected and am having a hard time with the Images, and what was the Artist thinking when making these. hwat do the figures represent???? I would like to think the young knight is saving the dragon from falling over the cliff as i love dragons. And the Monkey/man riding a black cat in the devil card, i have always seen black cats as lucky and the turkry in the background i see symbolising Give Away. Something that gives itself as in Thanksgiving. Could mean be more like the Turkey?? I really love this deck and would love to solve the mysteries behind these images. Where do they come from? What beleif system do they come from, could it just be old wives tales or folklore? I really have no Idea.
The Artist Walter crane was an illustrator of childrens books in the 19th century, But in saying that Ernest Fitzpatrick modified the original paintings to suit the Tarot.There are no books regarding the Harmonious Tarot and their symbology, the booklet they came with was no help. They are distributed by La Scarabeo, Italy.

Devil XV & Strength XI.jpg:

I really hope this is the right spot
Dancing Bear:)


Hmm, I was asked to reply to this thread but I'm not sure what I can say to be of help. Having just produced a deck based on old fairytales, I know that there is always some issue in matching imagery to cards when it comes to fairy stories. I'd guess that in the Harmonious most of the cards are based on Crane's fairytale imagery (although some look like nursery rhyme illustrations - or other subjects).

In the Strength card I think we are supposed to see that the young knight is showing strength in slaying the many-headed dragon (using a mirror - Medusa and Perseus style). In European stories dragons are almost always symbols of evil. However, I think I agree that this isn't a particularly good image for this card - although on some levels it does work. As for The Devil, well, I'm not sure either. I'm not even sure which fairytale this is - is it a Chinese tale? If so, it isn't one I know offhand. I assume the monkey is a Chinese demon? But no, I don't understand the turkey either (although as a picture I kind of like him!)

Sorry not to be of more help - I'll have another think to see if I can identify the story being depicted in The Devil.

By the way, having been a bit unenthused about these two cards maybe I should say that on the whole I like this deck - but then, I love Walter Crane (though not unreservedly, I find some of his work a little too sweet - but that's a whole other conversation).


Oh - found it! It's actually NOT Chinese, it's from The Yellow Dwarf (it's in one of the Lang coloured story books, I can find the story if you like). Well, the dwarf was pretty evil. I'll go find the tale and remind myself where the turkey fits in.

You can see a rather poor scan of the original here (sorry, ludicrously long address):


Edited to add - yes, the Blue Fairy Book in fact - the story is here:

Hope all that is some help!

Dancing Bear

Thankyou so much for your help. what a sad little story. The yellow dwarf deffinately fits the description of being obssesive, materialistic, and everything that represents the devil. Just doesnt look like he should . :)
The Turkey i quite like him too but in the book says he is a Basilisk and fire flow from his mouth and works with the Yellow Dwarf. :(

I love the Harmonious Deck, but these two cards. I thought if i understood them more i would maybe then be able to connect a bit better. :)

Thankyou so much for your time and efforts for me.

Dancing Bear :)