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Original coloring of TdM?

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schizandra  schizandra is offline
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Original coloring of TdM?


Is there a deck that is considered to be the most authentic reproduction, color-wise, of the original Tarot de Marseille? I have the LoS Universal Tarot of Marseille, and I find the colors to be lovely. I also love the colors on the Fournier Marseilles. But since the colors differ from deck to deck, I wonder if there is such a thing as "original" coloring of the Marseilles? I don't know much about it, so I'm not sure if there even is such a thing as an original TdM, or if color is even important in its system (in the way that the Thoth and RWS use color to impart classification and another layer of meaning).
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The Jean Noblet Tarot is one of the oldest from the mid 17th century. There are a few scattered Marseille cards found in the Sforza Castle in Milan but I don't know if there are any color pictures available. The Noblet colors are pretty rough. Here you can see the originals alongside Jean Claude Flornoy's restorations. Click the "Read On" link at the bottom of the page to see all the major arcana.
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schizandra  schizandra is offline
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That's a great site! Thank you.
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schizandra  schizandra is offline
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Oh, would you be able to answer for me whether or not color has any relevance in the Marseilles system?
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Abrac  Abrac is offline
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There are others who probably know a lot more about it than me. I haven't given the Marseille any study really.
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The web site of Yves Reynaud and Wilfried Houdouin has high resolution scans of a number of historic "Tarot de Marseille" decks. The colors are not completely consistent from one deck to another, but there do seem to be certain coloring conventions which were followed in a number of decks. I am not sure to what extent the colors are symbolic.

Most of the restored decks, such as CBD, Grimaud, and Fournier, do not follow the colors of the originals. In the ISIS there was an attempt to restore the colors of the original Conver, as you can see from these comparisons (after accessing the page, scroll down a bit).

The facsimile decks are basically photo reproductions of original decks. Those produced by Yves Reynaud are presumably faithful to the originals. In Flornoy's reconstructions (referenced in Abrac's post), he tried to reproduce the original colors, but that's not an exact science since it is hard to determine exactly hpw the different original inks deteriorated. Sometime they even change to a different color, such as yellow gradually turning green.
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schizandra  schizandra is offline
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Another great resource, thank you Richard!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusindigo View Post
Oh, would you be able to answer for me whether or not color has any relevance in the Marseilles system?
Colours are not relevant per se, but I can think about two authors who rely on colours symbolism in their interpretation of the tarot

Joseph Maxwell in his book le tarot. He refers to a late XIX century edition of the Conver (later reissued as edition du bicentenaire or thunder bay).
Patrick Coq for the Vievil Tarot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
The Noblet colors are pretty rough. Here you can see the originals alongside Jean Claude Flornoy's restorations. Click the "Read On" link at the bottom of the page to see all the major arcana.
I always wondered why the colours look so much better in the courts of the playing cards deck. Is it really the same tarot ?
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schizandra  schizandra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philippe View Post
Colours are not relevant per se, but I can think about two authors who rely on colours symbolism in their interpretation of the tarot

Joseph Maxwell in his book le tarot. He refers to a late XIX century edition of the Conver (later reissued as edition du bicentenaire or thunder bay).
Patrick Coq for the Vievil Tarot
Thank you. I'm doing a comparative self-study of the Big 3 systems. I've been debating whether the TdM colors should be considered in my study, and if so, if the colors on my Marseilles deck are accurate.
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