italian.jpg (17204 bytes)The Ancient Italian Tarots
(Antichi Tarocchi Italiani: stampati dalla Cartiera Italiana in Serravalle Sesia nel 1880)

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This deck is a reproduction of an 1880 Italian deck. It is similar to the Marseilles in style. It is much more finely detailed than the woodcut Marseilles decks and much more richly colored. The cards are slightly narrower than average at 2 5/16" X 4 1/2". The suits are Cups (Coppe), Coins (Danari), Wands (Bastoni) and Swords (Spade). The Court consists of King (Re), Queen (Regina), Knight (Cavale) and Page ( Fante).

The Major Arcana are also named in Italian and the scenes are also based on the Marseilles. The card number is written in all four corners of the card and the card name is written in the bottom border. Justice is XI and Strength is VIII. The art is good. It appears to be engraving which has been painted in. The scenes are very detailed and are meticulously painted. The colors are varied and deep. The scenes are on an off-white background. The backs are pink with a diamond pattern.

This deck does not come with a little booklet. It does have nine additional cards which give very sparse directions and meanings in Italian, German, English, French and Spanish. The reading directions describe a variant of the Three card spread which first divides the deck into Major and Minor Arcana and then into suits. The reading is done with the suit that applies to the question - Cups for Love, Coins for Business, etc. The meanings consist of a few key words.  I would recommend this deck as a nice alternative to the Marseilles. I would also recommend it to collectors. Lo Scarabeo has several of these reproductions on the market which are currently being distributed by US Games.

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Ancient Italian Tarots (Antichi Tarocchi Italiani)
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
Distributed by Llewellyn Publications
Images copyright (c) 1996 Lo Scarabeo

This page is Copyright 1998 by Michele Jackson