"complete set of tarot cards with instructions"


Has anyone seen this deck?

It appears to be a pre - copyright RWS... but I've only seen the photo of the box and cards, no publishing date or something. I did see an old Ebay listing it as published by Merrimack Publishing Corp in 1961.

History buffs... thoughts?


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If I didn't already call the New Mythic Tarot "The Abomination," I'd used that appellation for the Merrimack Tarot. It has keywords on the cards, and pretty horrible ones if I remember correctly! I only have one (fortunately) or else I'd trim those puppies off in a heartbeat.


I noticed that, it's terrible. The more I look at these (online, I don't own them) the more I hate them.


I noticed that, it's terrible. The more I look at these (online, I don't own them) the more I hate them.

Sure, but consider that someone thought about the cards carefully, appropriated the art, added the keywords to the artwork (not necessarily an easy task), and went to the trouble to have them published, packaged and marketed. If the price was right, even if they are abominable, they'd make a delightful addition to any Waite-Smith collection.


My Merrimack backs aren't like those.... :confused:


Hmm, gregory, maybe a different edition?

I do like the back.

I started looking at them because it's not often you see a pre-copyright RWS that's not one of the well - known ones (albano waite, etc)... aside from the Hoi Polloi this is the only one I think I've seen (I'm a new collector though). But I actually really dislike the color and the keywords. I almost bought it and then I thought, why not save for decks I actually like?

It seems like many of you are actually collecting these though?


Many of us here collect things because they are there... :D


oh I know what you mean.

Merrimacks do seem to be the deck that everyone loves to hate.

I guess that's because they are Horrible.
(But I really think that I will eventually have to add one to my RWS collection too)

I visited Holly's page tonight and looked at her "RWS Cards Backs" page - and this revealed something interesting.
The original Merrimack Pub. Corp. decks were printed around 1960.
This predates the Albano-Waites by quite a few years and that alone makes them collectable in my books.

I'm vaguely watching a Merrimack deck on eBay - but it's missing the LWB - and there is no way I'm spending good money to purchase a deck that is both hideously offensive and incomplete to boot!

Why oh why don't we see more pre-1960 Rider & Co London packs floating around the traps....?
Perhaps that's a question for a different thread.


I love the Merrimack because it was my first! You used to be able to buy them at Shackman's on 5th Ave in NY in the 70s. They were a party favor store that published their own paper products: repro Victorian children's books, coloring books, paper dolls, party decorations. Mine had that same brownish tiled looking back you're showing. They published several other repro FT decks as card games. A Whitman (which was in an "Old Gypsy" box), and my first Lenormand which was a very cheap cardboard brown and white deck but in a very colorful box with a witch and a black cat on it. I may have also gotten my first Gypsy Witch there, I'm not sure.