created since 2003       

Unusual Tarocchi cards, described 1849 (Gentleman's Magazine)

The following passage is from the "Gentleman's Magazine", 1849. It describes a fragmentarious Tarocchi deck consisting of 19 cards (13 pips, six trumps), which is estimated by the author of being ca. 2 1/2 centuries old, so would be from ca. 1600.
Well, if all this is true, than the trumps have curious numbers and it is difficult to compare it to any other known deck. The Magician I is very unusual, a Devil has the unusual number XIII, a Justice the number XVIII and the Hermit the number XX.

Gentleman's Magazine 1849, Jan. - June p. 493

"These cards are nineteen in number: thirteen being of the ordinary suits, and six Tarocchi. They are considerably larger than our own cards, measuring 5 inches in length by 2 inc. in width. Of the suits there are:

Spade, 6, 9.

Coppe, 3.

Bastoni, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10.
The 2 and 3 bear the letters I. A. being the initials of the maker's name.

Danari, 6, 10.
These represent some of the real coins of the period, among others are English rose-noble.

The six Tarocchi have their entire surface occupied by pictures, printed from wood blocks, and painted (by means of stencils) in various colours. They have no names inscribed; but, taking them in the order of the numeral's which they bear, the designs may be thus specified:

Time or Saturn, carrying a naked man by the hair of his head over mountains. This may be supposed to be Le Pendu of the modern Tarocchi, in which the man is hung by one foot, a design of which Mr. Chatto gives no explanation, excepting some absurd conjectures of Mons. Court de Gebelin, which are not worth transcribing.

A winged and hoofed devil, marching in the attitude of an heraldic lion rampant. Il Diavolo is one of the usual modern Tarocehi.

A naked figure walking over a mound, or figure of the world, which is banded and ensigned with a cross, (as in the regalia of emperor and kings.) She holds at her back a red sail; and at the side are clouds and various puffing heads rcpresenting the Winds. This is evidently meant for Fortune; which in the ancient French set attributed to Gringonneur is represented as "standing on a circle which represents the world, and holding a globe in one hand, and in the other a sceptre." (Chatto, p. 197.) But in the modern Tarot the design adopted for this card is the old emblematic representation of the Wheel of Fortune, with four human figures, - the aspirant, the rising, the prosperous (on its summit), and the falling.

Justice, standing, a helmet on her head, a balance in her left hand. This emblematic figure occurs in the oldest Tarocchi, and is retained in the modern Tarot

A stooping old man, with a long beard, walking with a staff as high as himself. This no doubt L'Hermite of the ancient Tarot, still represented by the Hermit, also called the Capuchin.

Such are the few Tarocchi of this hitherto undescribed pack which have been submitted to our notice; and, if we judge correctly of their antiquity, it is probably not less than two centuries and a half, possibly rather more. "

The article speaks of six trumps, but in the description we find only five.