royal.jpg (12245 bytes)Royal Tarot

This deck seems to have sprung up out of nowhere to appear on ebay as a frequent and inexpensive auction product. The cards are made in Taiwan and are smaller than average at 4 1/4" X 2 1/4". The Major Arcana maintain the traditional names. Justice is VIII and Strength is XI. The suits are Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles and the Court consists of King, Queen, Knight and Page.

The art is rather poor. The Major Arcana scenes appear to be based on the Rider Waite, though some liberties were taken with Pamela Colman Smith's work. For example, the Fool is dressed in a clown costume,  the Magician has smoke coming from the cup on the table and the High Priestess is reading the book on her lap - with her finger marking her place. The card number is in the top margin of the card and the card name is in the bottom margin. The backs are orange with a red design featuring a wheel. There are errors in the numbers: Temperance is numbered XIY vice XIV and the Sun is numbered XIL vice XIX. The Minors are pips with crudely drawn suit symbols. The colors are amateurish and we are presented with things like purple skies, and lavender backgrounds embellished with orange hash marks. The deck looks like someone gave the artist the Rider deck and the Marseilles and told him or her to "draw something like these, only make it quick." The cardstock is rather flimsy, but the cards are coated and they shuffle just fine. The backs are light orange with a red design and there are two blanks included with the deck.

There is no little booklet. There is a small fold out sheet which provides instructions for playing a bidding game with the deck. No card meanings or mention of Tarot as an occult or divinatory tool. The entire thing is packaged in a flimsy cardboard box.

I hesitate to even recommend this deck to collectors. If you can get one cheap it may be of minor interest.

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Royal Tarot
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This page is Copyright 1998 by Michele Jackson