Giant Rider Tarot - Belgian vs Italian

Essence of Winter

I bought on Ebay what I thought was an old edition (the listing said printed in 1993) but it turned out to be printed in 2010 with the really glossy cards. The thing that really put me off this deck is Pixie's hand-written titles being replaced with a fixed font. That wouldn't be so bad but they have done it in a way that the text box obscures part of the image. Even though it's only a few mm, it really bothers me. Fortunately, the seller allowed me to return the cards when I explained the problem.

The Belgian edition I got on Ebay instead was printed in 1993 and is printed on similar material to my Rider decks printed by AG Muller. Comparing the two, the colours of the Belgian edition are brighter but the Italian print has much greater contrast. The increase in contrast in the Italian edition has distorted some of the colours - for example the circle on the cushion that The Empress holds is green instead of yellow. All of my other Rider tarots (blue box, purple box, yellow box printed by AG Muller, Miniature printed in China, Lo Scarabeo, Original, Commemorative and Centennial) have the yellow circle.

Needless to say, I much prefer the Belgian edition, even though I had to wipe some food stains off the cards.


I have both old version of Printed in Belgium and Italy. I think I bought them on 2002 - 2003, so they are about 12 - 13 years since I had them.

My Italian printed GRWS was initially a bit sticky, so cards got stuck together if they are kept in original box. But once I left them out of the box, and used them regularly, the stickiness disappeared. Cards dried out.

I like Italian printed deck despite of its awkward looking type set, for the fact that the images are sharper and colours more vibrant. They are now ageing nicely.