This deck is a reproduction of a deck first published in Belgium in 1770. It is similar to the Marseilles in style though there are a few major differences. The High Priestess has been replaced with Le'Espagnol Capitano Eracasse (The Spanish Captain), the Hierophant has been replaced by Bacus (Bacchus), The Tower has been replaced by La Foudre (Thunder) and the Fool is numbered XXII. Justice is VIII and Strength is XI. Per Kaplan in The Encyclopedia of Tarot, Volume One, "Capitano Eracasse [The Spanish Captain] appears to be based on the character of Captain Fraccasse in the French version of the Commedia dell'Arte. He is a stock character, a braggart and swaggering soldier in the tradition that extends back to Greek and Roman satire." There are other differences - The Hanged Man is portrayed right side up; The Star shows a seated man holding a divider looking at the sky like an astronomer; The Moon depicts a seated male figure as well. The Court consists of Roi (King), Reine (Queen), Chevalier (Knight) and Valet (Page). The art is a woodblock style colored in red, blue, green, yellow and beige. The cards measure 4 5/8" X 2 3/4". The card stock is uncoated on the face of the card, but coated on the backs. The face of the card is a light tan, giving the appearance of age. The backs are white and have a simple Sun in a honeycomb pattern done in blue. The suits are Epees (Swords), Deniers (Coins), Batons (Wands) and Coupes (Cups). The Minor Arcana are pips.
I recommend this deck for collectors or those who want a Marseilles style deck that is different, though I don't think the non-coated faces will hold up well under regular use. I don't know if this deck is still in print. It was distributed by US Games years ago, and one can find them used from time to time.
See more cards from the Vandenborre Tarot Deck
- Vandenborre Tarot
- Made in Belgium by Aurelia Books