Sallie Nichols Jung & Tarot Fool on page 27: 19th century tarot?


Has anybody ever came across the Old French Tarot that Sallie Nichols shows (with an image of the Fool, Le Fou) on page 27 of her book, Jung and Tarot: an Archetypal Journey?
It's an image of a blindfolded, bearded, old man carrying a "bauble," a violin, & a backpack. He is accompanied by a white dog warning him of an approaching crocodile. She shows the image (figure 8) on page 27. On page 26, she mentions how she had never came across another picture of the same deck (or saw another copy of the same deck).
In my opinion, it has a classic old tarot look, although it probably isn't that old, maybe 19th century & the image of the crocodile looks like the crocodile in Wirth's tarot decks. If I knew how to post images, I would take a picture of it with my phone & try to include it in this post.


2nd (& only other) image of same Old French Deck: Le Monde

There is only one other image from this same "Old French Tarot," as Sallie Nichols has called this unnamed tarot: it is of Le Monde, the World, on page 361 of her book. This image & the Fool image do not have any number, only the name of the card in French. If no one else has ever came across this deck, I suppose it will just be another mysterious old lost tarot. To me, it seems like this "Old French Tarot" would be a unique variation on a 19th century Marseilles deck.
In the image of the World, Le Monde, the woman is holding the two "wands" (I forgot the exact term for these "wands" but they are the same as The World in the Rider Waite Smith deck (and many others)). Unusually, the woman is surrounded by roses within the wreath, & she is super-imposed over the image of a triangle over a square within a circle. As Nichols explains, this is a reference to the alchemical squaring of the circle. She shows a medieval print on page 360 (figure 85), titled Squaring the Circle.


This image comes from Jean Chaboseau's "Tarot Traditionnel", first reproduced in his 1946 work, "Le Tarot : Essai d'interprétation selon les principes de l'hermétisme", and printed separately as a deck a year or two later. Both book and deck are quite rare, but do crop up online at times.

As the title suggests, Chaboseau interprets the Tarot in the light of Hermeticism, although he does include an intriguing chapter which equates the Tarot with the Twelve Nidānas of Buddhism.

Chaboseau, like his father before him, was a prominent occultist of early 20th-century France.


Jean Chaboseau's "Tarot Traditionnel"

Thank you so much for answering my question about this unusual tarot. I did a quick search using Bing & was able to find at least one other post showing more images of this deck. The deck appears to be a dark beige & red color (two-tone) which is nice. I will do some more searches (since I just rushed to see if anything showed up very quickly) & may possibly try to track down a copy of the deck & a copy of the book sometime in the future.
I made it through French V in high school, and I can still follow French a little bit so the book will be a chance to try to brush up on my French.
I have Wilfried Houdouin's 2011 Le Code Sacre du Tarot & Jean-Pierre Bayard's 1987 La pratique du Tarot, both of which I really like & have been trying to more fully read. It helps that both of these books (as with most tarot books) have many illustrations, so it is not a complete struggle with French, which I took so long ago. It sounds like the book accompanying this tarot may be somewhat similar (French with illustrations).
Once again, thank you for being able to answer my question about the Old French Tarot (which is Jean Chaboseau's "Tarot Traditional") in Sallie Nichols Jung and Tarot.


You are most welcome.

The deck was published in 1948. There are a few images available online, both from the book and of the deck itself. (Search using the author's name and titles of deck and/or book in inverted commas to obtain more accurate results.)

Chaboseau's book was published during the years immediately following WWII, and like most books of the period, the paper quality is not very good, although the illustrations are printed on slightly better quality paper as an appendix to the text itself. The softcover binding, again, like many French books of the period, is also rather damage-prone, since well-heeled readers would usually have had their books rebound according to their own taste.

The copy I have was in quite good condition, but given its fragility, I preferred to have it rebound in buckram, a cost you may want to factor into your equation, since it is a collector's item.

Again, it is perhaps only worth the investment is you happen to very much appreciate the images, or are particularly interested in a hermetic interpretation of the Tarot. The Buddhist theory is only dealt with in one chapter, and while I do not think it is correct, it is nonetheless thought-provoking. (Chaboseau Senior had written an idiosyncratic work on Buddhism himself.)

The book by J.-P. Bayard is useful to the extent that it reproduces excerpts and interpretations from obscure writers one would not otherwise come across. Other than that, it is a hodge-podge of mixed quality rather than a true work of synthesis.