Mitelli Tarotmitel8a.jpg (20580 bytes)

I Tarocchini Gioseppe Maria Mitelli published by Dal Negro

Tarocco Bolognese di G.M. Mitelli published by Il Meneghello

This is a combined review for two versions of this deck - the Dal Negro and the Il Meneghello. These decks are recreations of a deck by Gioseppe Maria Mitelli, who lived from 1634 to 1718. The deck was originally drawn in 1664. The Dal Negro version has coated cards and is in color. The Il Meneghello version is non-coated, textured card stock and has uncolored engravings. This is not exactly a Tarot deck. It consists of 62 cards - 22 Atouts and 40 suit cards. The suit cards have the traditional court cards - King, Queen, Knight and Page. The numbered cards are different, consisting of the Ace, then skipping to the six through ten. The Atouts are also different from the traditional Major Arcana. They are unnumbered in my two versions of this deck, but four cards are numbered in the version shown in the Encyclopedia of Tarot, Volume One. The question marks indicate that the title is a guess.

Dancing Fool Temperance Devil
Juggler Justice Tower? (Kaplan)
Bearded Emperor Strength Rag Picker
Emperor Fortune Diana (Moon)
Seated Pope Father Time Apollo (Sun)
Standing Pope The Traitor? (Kaplan) Atlas (World)
Cupid Death Angel

The Dal Negro cards measure 2 13/16" X 5 1/2". As previously stated, the cards are in color and appear to have been colored with watercolor. The cardstock is cream colored and there is no design on the backs. The corners are rounded. The Il Meneghello version measures 2 3/4" X 5 1/2". The card stock is textured and has a yellowish marble pattern. The corners are not rounded. The numbered cards are pips and are decorated with ribbons, animals and small scenes. The pips have some interesting touches. Swords are decorated with different types of swords - from rapiers to scimitars. Coins are embellished with different birds, animals or faces. Cups are of different styles, as well. Only the wands are of the same type on each card. The art is excellent. The images take up most of the card and are nicely detailed. The figures look very graceful. Even the Devil is attractively posed.

mitel8b.jpg (21286 bytes)The Dal Negro version has a little booklet written in Italian. It seems to contain historical or background information, vice card meanings and reading instructions. The Meneghello version has a generic folded sheet in Italian that is supplied with most of their decks. It has card meanings for the Major Arcana. The Dal Negro version comes in a regular cardboard box similar to those supplied with most tarot decks. The Il Meneghello version comes in a cardboard sleeve that slides into a book-like cover tied with ribbon. A card is pasted to the cover and the back spine is decorated with red sealing wax. The Meneghello version is from a numbered, limited edition of 1000 decks. There were some differences in the way certain cards faced between the two versions (Diana and the Tower), though Kaplan's Encyclopedia shows the Dal Negro version to be the correct one.

I recommend either of these decks for collectors. The Dal Negro is more attractive in my opinion, but the textured card stock and beautiful packaging of the Il Meneghello makes it very nice as well. Rather than torture myself with trying to decide which one to get, I bought both. Both versions can be purchased from Alida.

I Tarocchini Gioseppe Maria Mitelli published by Dal Negro -- see more cards from this deck

Tarocco Bolognese di G.M. Mitelli published by Il Meneghello -- see more cards from this deck

This page is Copyright 2000 by Michele Jackson