sopra.jpg (12371 bytes)The Soprafino Tarot Deck (Tarocco Soprafino di F. Gumppenberg Milano 1835)

This deck is a reproduction of a nineteenth century deck. To quote from the accompanying information sheet: "The Soprafino originates from 1830 when Fernando Gumppenberg, one of the most ingenious innovators of playing cards, commissioned Carlo Dellarocca to redesign the classic 78-count deck. Each card is delicately colored by hand, earning it name Soprafino (very refined)." This deck is by Osvaldo Menegazzi and is a meticulous reproduction down to the age stains on the cards. The art is excellent. It is very detailed and the colors are soft and warm. Each scene has a central character. The scenes are based on the Marseilles, but look colored engravings rather than wood block images. The people have colorful outfits and rosy cheeks. The court cards are exceptionally beautiful. The pips are nicely decorated, with ribbons, flowers and flourishes liberally, but tastefully used. Again, the wonderful colors make this deck a pleasure to behold. The deck is a little smaller than average at 4 1/8" X 2 1/8". The cards appear to be lightly coated and could be shuffled and read with.

There is no little booklet, rather there is a handout by Osvaldo Menegazzi. It is written in English. It provides a brief history and some instructions on how to use the cards. Menegazzi states that he bases his instruction on Oswald Wirth because of the simplicity of Wirth's system. Since this deck has pips, vice illustrated scenes you could use any system you want with it if you decide to read with it. Menegazzi's claims of simplicity to the contrary, the instruction given on this sheet explain a rather drawn out and complicated method for reading the cards using only the Major Arcana. The sheet provides meanings for the Majors only as well. The deck is packaged in a two piece papered plywood box.

This deck is issued in a limited edition of 2000 numbered decks. I recommend it for collectors and for anyone who wants a beautiful deck in the Marseilles style.

See more images from the Soprafino Tarot

Soprafino Tarot (Tarocco Soprafino di F. Gumppenberg
Il Meneghello
di O Menegazzi
Milano 1992
Images Copyright 1992 O. Menegazzi

This page is Copyright 1998 by Michele Jackson