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MikeH  MikeH is offline
Join Date: 03 Nov 2007
Location: Oregon USA
Posts: 443

Teheuti wrote,
I really appreciate all this information. I don't remember where I got the 1800 date - but that's what the "c" is about. It stands for "circa" 1800. It seems that most people now give a date of 1838 as you said. Again - thanks for all of the above.

Thanks for your quick response, Mary. The trouble with most time-lines is that they don't come with footnotes saying where the information comes from. So then later even the writer doesn't know the source. I've been caught on that myself, on the Tarot History Forum.

Cerulean: the 78 page Julia Orsini text is probably the one that the librarian at the Wellcome Institute dated to c. 1850, since it, too, has 78 pages. When I get your samples, it will be interesting to see what relation it has to the 212 p. Julia Orsini text of c. 1838 in Las Vegas. Perhaps it is a condensed version.

The c. 1838 Las Vegas Julia Orsini book's Ace of Batons has "chute" on top and "naissance" on the bottom. I posted a picture of it on a thread I initiated yesterday here (perhaps I should have just put the post here!), to deal with the content of that book. [Edit added by MikeH April 10 2011: that thread has since been integrated into this one by the Monitors, for which I thank them; I am talking about what is post 11 here.] In the post, I contrasted this "Etteilla II" version with the 1789 "Etteilla I" card reproduced in A Wicked Pack of Cards. Here are the two, side by side, again. The c. 1838 Julia Orsini book's version is on the right.

So it appears that the post-1900 productions that you are talking about restored Etteilla's original conception of the Ace of Batons. Perhaps they restored other features of Etteilla I. I think comparing other cards changed by the post-1900 productions with the 1789 Etteilla I designs would be interesting. Is there a good web source for the Etteilla I pictures? Or even print source? I have tried to bring them up from the site but without success.

According to Decker et al, "Lismon" is a pseudonym used by Blocquel. I presume that the deck you call "Lismon 1890" is the same as the one originally put out by "Lismon" in 1838 (according to Decker et al) and depicted in the 1838 Julia Orsini. Decker et al call it "Etteilla II."

The Grand Jeu de l'Oracle des Dames is what Decker et al call "Etteilla III," dating from c. 1865, they say (I erroneously said 1843 in my post, but that was a different Etteilla-derived deck, the "jeu de la princesse"), and published by Blocquel's son-in-law, Delarue. One difference, they say, between Etteilla II and Etteilla III is that Etteilla III affects a neo-Gothic style. Another difference is that on the Etteilla III's card 5 there are four "genuine quadripeds' (lion, horse, bull, elephant) instead of symbols of the four evangelists.

We now have a number of readily accessible "Julia Orsini" texts to look at (as well as at least 4 decks: Etteillas I, II, and III, plus the post-1900 version of the II). The texts are

(1) My 1838 Julia Orsini, 212 pp, that has engravings of the Eetteilla II cards.

(2) Your 1890 Julia Orsini, 78 pp., that comes with an Etteilla II deck attributed to "Lismon."

(3) Your c.1900 Julia Orsini booklet (about 78 pp.?) with slightly different wording than the 1890, that comes with the Grimaud "Grand Etteilla" deck (also Etteilla II?).

(4) A booklet, possibly attributed to Julia Orsini (I was not sure from your post, nor of how many pages), that came with the Jeu des Dames (Etteilla III) deck, originally put out by Editions Dessures and now available as a bilingual booklet that comes with the Jeu des Dames deck sold at Bear's Lair.

If this list is correct, I will look forward to samples from your (2), that I can compare with my (1). A sample from (3) showing the different wording would be of interest to me. I will try to obtain (4) for myself, from Bear's Lair, if I have understood correctly what I should be getting.

There are also two more decks with accompanying book, which I mention to avoid confusion. The second is a revision of the first; both are given (by Decker et al) the name "la princesse Tarot." The first version was designed by Lorambert under the name Johannes Trismegiste and published with Jules Laisne, it first appeared in 1843 in a book called L'Art de tirer les cartes, revelations completes sur les destinees au moyen des cartes et des tarots, d'apres les methodes les plus certaines (The Art of reading the cards, complete instructions on fortune-telling by means of cards and tarots, according to the most reliable methods).. It was reprinted 1850.

The book was printed again with new titles on the cards in 1864. Card 1 was called "King Thoth," card 2 was "Anubis," and 8 "the princess Tarot." "The accompanying book"--Decker et al do not say whether it is a new book or a revision of the previous one--"describes the Princess Tarot as a great prophetess of Thebes and of Memphis" (p. 150). So this deck was called the "la princesse Tarot" deck. Production was continued by Watillaux. However the reproductions of Decker et al's plate 7 are courtesy Editions Dusserre, Paris. So perhaps Editions Dusserre continued its publication later. Watillaux was active 1874-1908.

One reason for mentioning this book and deck is that the book has a similar title to the 1838 Julia Orsini "Grand Etteilla, ou L'art de tirer les cartes." Also the publisher is perhaps the same as for the "jeux des dames" that you mentioned. It is possible that publishers did not distinguish between the two books, or their authors, and that librarians got them mixed up, too. And it is easy for us to mix them up as well.

These books are of course interesting in their own right, as yet another branch of Etteilla derivatives. Having not seen them, I do not know what relationship they might have to the earlier "Julia Orsini" book.
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