Tarot Jacques Vievillevievill4.jpg (24280 bytes)

I purchased this deck as a result of attending a lecture by Bob O'Neill at the 1999 World Tarot Conference in Chicago. During his lecture, Bob discussed similarities between the Waite deck and several other decks including the Visconti-Sforza, the Mantegna, Charles the VI. One of the decks he mentioned several times was the Vieville. I was not familiar with the deck so when I saw one at Alida, I ordered it. It is a reproduction of a 17th century French deck. The original was a woodblock deck colored by stencil. The Major Arcana are numbered, but not named. Eighteen of the Major Arcana names appear on the Two of Cups and Ace of Coins. Justice is VII  and Force (Strength) is IX. These are not typos. The numbering in this deck is a bit different:

Fool - Unnumbered VIII - Chariot XVI - Lightening
I - Juggler IX - Force XVII - Star
II - Popess X - Wheel XVIII - Moon
III - Empress XI - Hermit XIX - Sun
IV - Emperor XII - Hanged Man XX - Judgment
V - Pope XIII - Death XXI - World
VI - Lovers XIIII - Temperance
VII - Justice XV - Devil

The Hanged Man is shown upside down - that is to say that he appears to be standing upright on the scaffold rather than hanging from it. Per Kaplan's Encyclopedia of the Tarot, Volume II, the card names listed on the Two of Cups and Ace of Coins provide a running commentary on twenty of the Major Arcana. Per Kaplan, the loosely translated text reads:

Holy Father, render me Justice (VII) by this Old Man (XI Hermit), The Fool, and the Juggler (1), The Lovers (VI) of this lady (XIIII Temperance) who would shout at the sound of the trumpet (XX Judgment) for all of the World (XXI) in the name of the Pope (V), The Popess (II), The Emperor (IV), The Empress (III), The Sun (XIX) [continuing on the Two of Cups] The Moon (XVIII), The Star (XVII) and Lightening (XVI) to take by Force (IX) The Hanged Man (XII) to drag him (VIII The Chariot?) to the Devil (XV).

The Wheel of Fortune and Death are not mentioned. None of the Minor Arcana or court cards have their names or numbers written on the card. Kings have thrones, and Knights are on horses, making them distinguishable. The numbered cards were probably recognizable by sight by the pattern of the pips. Some images are very similar to the Marseilles, but others are different.

The deck is on a glossy cardboard stock. The cards measure 2 3/8" X 4 3/5". The corners are not rounded and they are not lined up precisely in the center of the card stock, just as the originals were probably off center a bit. The booklet is in French and appears to discuss the background and history of the deck.

I recommend this deck for those interested in Tarot history and for collectors. I have not seen this deck in the stores. I ordered mine from Alida, but you can also get it at Mabel's Card Shack.

See more cards from Tarot Jacques Vieville:

Tarot Jacques Vieville
Publisher: Heron - Matres Cartiers Boechat - Tel (56) 34.38.30


This page is Copyright 1999 by Michele Jackson