Baldini and Waite


In the history section of the PKT Waite talks at some length about the Baldini deck, and say of the cards;

"...they could scarcely have lent themselves to divination or any form of fortune-telling..."

He later goes on to say;

"...We must set aside the fantastic attempts to extract complete Tarot sequences out of these denaries..."

and then details exactly which denaries should not be compared to specific Tarot suits.

My question is; why would Waite give such a wealth of detail about cards that he claims have nothing much to do with the subject of his book?

I realise this may be more of a Waite question, than an historical one, but does any one have any ideas about it?


Ross G Caldwell

Hi Vincent,

Thanks for bringing up these "Baldini" cards. I didn't know that they are another name for the "Mantegna" series.

I don't know, but I suspect Waite dwells on them because some of them look like the tarot trumps, and the court cards, and that the subject must have been "in the air" in the first decade of the 20th century.

The best illustrated comparison on-line is Andy Pollett's site -



"During his lifetime Waite was castigated, and with justification, for his peculiarities of style, for his frequent errors of historical fact and for his cavalier attitude and contemptuous references to his contemporaries."