Tarocco della Felicita
This art deck is no longer in print and is difficult to find. It was sold by US Games as the Felicita Happiness Deck, but I have the Italian version. It is by prolific tarot artist, Amerigo Folchi, who did the Erte deck among others. The Felicita is one of my favorites. The cards measure 2 5/8" X 4 1/2". The cards have the name and number in Italian in the top border and the name in English in the bottom border. The Major Arcana have traditional names. Strength is eight and Justice is 11. The suits are Pentacles, Cups, Swords and Wands, and the court consists of King, Queen, Knight and Page. The art is excellent. The scenes are very detailed and very colorful. The Minor Arcana are pips, but they are highly embellished pips. Wands are set against a beautiful sun. Swords are on a graduated peach background within a black border decorated with Lily of the Valley and other flowers. Cups are set against a yellow sun decorated with Morning Glories. Pentacles are set against a black and blue background decorated with tulips and tulip buds. There is only one ouch in this art, for me, and that is the faces. Some of the faces look like they were hastily drawn. They all have sloping eyes that are sometimes not even the same size. That is a small detail, though, in an otherwise truly beautiful deck. Even the backs are highly detailed and beautifully rendered.
Flowers appear in almost every card. They lend to the feeling of gaiety. The colors are a mixture of pastels and primary colors. The deck also has a pagan feel, perhaps due to the flowers and greenery. Most of the cards are set in nature. The topless Empress, the astrological symbols in the Wheel of Fortune and the tree-limb arms in Temperance add to this feeling. Some of my favorite cards in this deck are the High Priestess, the Empress, The Chariot, The Star, The Moon and Judgement. My favorite court cards are the King of Swords and the Queen of Pentacles.
The little booklet that comes with this deck is a fold-out sheet written in Italian. From what I can make out, it gives the meanings of the Major Arcana and some information about the artist. The deck comes in a slip-sleeve case. If you find this deck somewhere, snatch it up quickly. Highly recommended.
Images Copyright 1984 Solleone