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I don't feel everyone in the Classical is grumpy. But I also don't have anything to compare it with either. At least yet!

I just did a 3 card past, present, future spread tonight. I got two courts - and neither one seemed to be frowning...they weren't smiling either though. But especially the Re di Spade (which you wouldn't think) was kind of peaceful looking. Now the Reg. di Danari was kind of stern looking....now that I think about it.
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OK, I was probably exaggerating about them all seeming grumpy, but when you compare the two decks, there are quite significant differences between the facial expressions. I guess in the Ancient Italian they just see friendlier. I scanned a few examples:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faunabay
I had heard it was getting more difficult to find. That's why I'm seriously thinking about getting one now. Llewellyn still lists them. And there's someone on ebay that has a few. But amazon doesn't list them anymore and it does look like they're getting more scarce.

I like all the animals in it. And the flourishy ribbons are just pretty! I think I'm just going to have to eat a bit less for a while and get one.
Llewellyn still lists them, but they do not actually have any, which I found out the hard way.
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Book Depository, R Somerville? Had some last I checked.

Here's something I don't understand.

Where is there (historical) evidence that Italian cards are 'copied' from Marseilles decks as against the other way around? Most of the Marseilles decks I've seen have been 18th Century from what I can gather.

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Aerin, I guess it is because the golden age of the Italian decks is generally 19th Century, not 18th Century. With the Marseilles, you're talking about a line which goes back via Vieville and Noblet, much earlier, into the 17th century (or earlier?).

Sapienza, what interesting observations, and interesting juxtapositions. Id never noticed that, but - yes - the faces on the Classical do seem to be grimacing more and frowning!

I love the Ancient Italian, but do actually prefer the Classical /Soprafino. The line is much sharper, and the colouring richer. Im learning to overlook the keywords. I like the bigger image looming in the Classical. O but those damn keywords. I was reading with it the other day and my bf commented "those words down the side; it looks like you're a beginner and you don't know what you're talking about!"

The Ancient Italian feels like some of the colours have run into each other/ been superimposed or gone beyond the outline. That said, I still adore it. In terms of production, I think it is an exemplary tarot deck. Everything a Mass Market historic deck should be. It reproduces the images exactly with no interference or cleaning up. And no keywords!

Just my opinion; I thought that all the "Ancient tarot of..." series (whether Liguria-Piedmont or Marseilles or Bologna or whatever) were OOP. Even if they're not, they will be one day. Snap 'em up while you can!

I had a spare Tarot of the Master, but am trading it with Manda. I only need the trimmed one and the Meneghello one. Can't get into reading with this one.

The Ancient Italian is one of the decks I have the fondest bond with. Im sure Im repeating myself here but I was alone in a foreign country and had the urge to get a tarot deck and bought this one. It is very well thumbed and has been a constant companion for the last 10 year or so (when was it published, 2001?). I got a spare, but - as so often happens with spares - it never had the same "pull" as the tatty one. So I traded my newer one with sapienza!

ETA; AT-ers act fast! Tarot of the Master out of stock now at the book depository!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Fanu
Aerin, I guess it is because the golden age of the Italian decks is generally 19th Century, not 18th Century. With the Marseilles, you're talking about a line which goes back via Vieville and Noblet, much earlier, into the 17th century (or earlier?).
I haven't found a French deck earlier than the Visconti Sforza though, which is what confuses me. I find references to early 15th Century Italian tarot decks. And also I read this http://trionfi.com/ oh... and now this http://trionfi.com/0/j/

Regarding sources of decks, holisticshop.co.uk also sometimes have historic decks.

They have the Ancient Italian in stock http://www.holisticshop.co.uk/itemli...tl-dvn-trt-hst

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerin
I haven't found a French deck earlier than the Visconti Sforza though, which is what confuses me
Ah, now I see what you're saying. I misunderstood your first post. My understanding is that, yes, the Italians invented the gaming tarot, like the Visconti-Sforza etc, but the Marseilles took it and made it a divination tool (of course nobody knows, but this is what I get from my reading about the historical tarot). The Marseilles is thus held up as significant because it was the beginnings (?) of tarot as divination, whenever that happened (18th Century? 19th Century? Papus?)

Decks like the Ancient Italian (1880) must have come along when people already knew that tarot could be used, in fact, had been used, for cartomancy. But it pointed back to the symbolism of Marseilles rather than the courtly Italian decks of the 1400s.

But none of us really know, do we?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Fanu
Ah, now I see what you're saying. I misunderstood your first post. My understanding is that, yes, the Italians invented the gaming tarot, like the Visconti-Sforza etc, but the Marseilles took it and made it a divination tool (of course nobody knows, but this is what I get from my reading about the historical tarot). The Marseilles is thus held up as significant because it was the beginnings (?) of tarot as divination, whenever that happened (18th Century? 19th Century? Papus?)

Decks like the Ancient Italian (1880) must have come along when people already knew that tarot could be used, in fact, had been used, for cartomancy. But it pointed back to the symbolism of Marseilles rather than the courtly Italian decks of the 1400s.

But none of us really know, do we?
Oh I SEE. Same page now

I'm glad none of us really know then, although I have seen the 'Marseilles came first and is the only true tarot' represented as uncontravertable fact .....

There's some interesting stuff here http://www.tarothermit.com/infosheet.htm I just found:

Quote:
Topic: Tarot and divination
Inaccurate: Tarot was not used for divination before Etteilla and Court de Gébelin around 1781.

Current Historical Understanding: There is evidence of such use, but it is fragmentary and suggestive rather than conclusive. Tarot was used as early as the 16th century to compose poems describing personality characteristics (tarocchi appropriati). In one case (1527), the verses are presented as relating to the person's fate. There are records of divinatory meanings assigned to tarot cards in Bologna early in the 1700s. This is the first unambiguous evidence of tarot divination as it is commonly understood. However, it is known that ordinary playing cards were connected with divination as early as 1487, so it is reasonable to conjecture that tarot was also. From the 1790s with Etteilla's deck we find tarot design being modified specifically to reflect divinatory and esoteric meanings.
Also http://www.tarothermit.com/more.htm

So the Ancient Italian would come well after people had started to modify tarot design as suggested. Although nothing to say that they actually DID do that, since as you say we don't really know.

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I always find the date of the Ancient Italian so late in the day. I mean, when I first saw it, I thought it was from much earlier. Only later did I notice the 1880 date on the box! I suppose that as it draws upon the Dellarocca/ Gumpenberg deck (i.e the Scarabeo Classical Tarot designs) it invariably looks older than it is, as the images were already 50 years old. It is contemporary with - say Oscar Wilde - and yet looks so much older. By 1880, surely most people were aware that cards were used for "Fortune Telling"?

To be honest, it doesn't bother me that there is no evidence of tarot being used for divination before - as you say - the 1790s, when there is evidence of playing cards being used, as well as special "divination decks" (like Lenthall's Fortune Telling cards from 1712 which I have a facsimile of). Im sure cards were cards and the fact that playing cards were used for divination would reflect equally on tarot. The association was aleady there. But, again, no proof.

In short, I think the Ancient Italian came about - 1880 (only 30 years before RWS!!!) - when people knew that the link between cards and divination existed, which - for me - already makes it a different deck to the Marseilles. This, for me, is enough...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Fanu
If you've got the Ancient Italian, Scarabeo Classical Tarot, Lombardy, Meneghello Soprafino, Meneghello Tarocchi Neoclassico, then you've got them all!
Actually, no! You don't have the Del Solleone Vacchetta deck, which I recently had 2 copies of. It's a b/w version on wonderful cardstock - and Debra just bought my 2nd copy. I had been offering it in the trading forum ever since I started trading. WELL worth having... if you can find it. Severely OOP, HTF, etc. Of course, gregory has one. ... I'm of the opinion that the Vacchetta was originally b/w, based on that deck. The link that sapienza posted is one to definitely bookmark - color your own, or take the original to the copy shop and blow it up to 11x17 to frame on your wall (I especially recommend the Temperance card for that).. etc. I'm so glad someone put those images up on the web!
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapienza
OK, I was probably exaggerating about them all seeming grumpy, but when you compare the two decks, there are quite significant differences between the facial expressions. I guess in the Ancient Italian they just see friendlier. I scanned a few examples:
Thanks for the pics, sapienza. I had the Classical and traded it, mostly because of the keywords and the backs. I love the Ancient Italian for it's larger size, no keywords, and *lovely* period-perfect backs. However...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Fanu
I love the Ancient Italian, but do actually prefer the Classical /Soprafino. The line is much sharper, and the colouring richer...
The Ancient Italian feels like some of the colours have run into each other/ been superimposed or gone beyond the outline. That said, I still adore it. In terms of production, I think it is an exemplary tarot deck. Everything a Mass Market historic deck should be. It reproduces the images exactly with no interference or cleaning up. And no keywords!
I think the 4-color printing is not lined up correctly in the AIT, unfortunately. But, the pips are much more baroque - many extra decorative swirly bits - more than the Classical and *way* more than the Meneghello Soprafino (which is a wonderful deck in it's own right.)

Aren't these Italian decks fun? I love them all!
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