Tarot de Nostradamus - accurate Jean Payen?

le pendu

I've been collecting a lot of the historical decks lately, and would be interested in getting a copy of the Tarot de Marseilles by Jean Payen.

My understanding is that the "Tarot de Nostradamus" is "based" on this deck.

It looks as if the images were maintained from the Jean Payen, but new (non-traditional) titles were added.

Can anyone give me some feedback on this deck? Can I trust the historical accuracy of the images?

Is there another version of the Jean Payen deck without the alterations?

ps. also looking for a 78 card Noblet, if such a thing exists. I have the wonderful 22 card set from Flornoy.

Thanks for any help.


le pendu


Sorry, since this is a transfered thread, I wanted to bump it.

Has anyone seen this deck?


Ross G Caldwell

Hi Robert,

I have this deck. It was first issued in 1984.

Thierry Depaulis wrote on it in "Tarot: jeu et magie" in 1984; he called it "a masterpiece of graphic skill" (p. 144 (catalogue entry 153)). His discussion of the actual Jean Payen deck is on page 71 (cat. 38). He gives only Le Bateleur to compare.

Kaplan gives 24 cards of the deck on page 316 of vol. II of the Encyclopedia.

Both images are b/w.

Comparing the Nostradamus images (not the titles of the cards which have been changed), it seems to me that it is an extremely close copy of the Payen 1713, but not a facsimile. It seems that for the most part, only the titles of the some of the cards have been changed to accord with the "Planche de Verderonne." The exception is the Knight of Swords, where more drastic changes are introduced - again based on the Planche.

I like the feel and look of this deck immensely (much like the Vieville), although I have recently come to believe the basis for the changes, hyped in 1984, are fraudulent. The claims of the original edition have been silently omitted from the new edition of the lwb.

I don't think there is a true facsimile of this deck, which is a shame and should be corrected.


le pendu


Thank You!

This is exactly what I hoped to hear.

Seems that until someone produces an actual Jean Payen, this will do well for comparing imagery to other early decks.




My new copy has just arrived from The Tarot Garden
and along with my friend ;) who may also post later
we notice ours have a slightly different card backs
than that shown here:


I actually prefer the design on my deck (why not?)
but also note there are not 2 blanks, which were
included with my friend's copy, and as far as the
LWB ~ mine has a brown cover and is in :( French.
Only sad since I cannot read every revealing word.


So, fellow Nostadamians...what have we got here?
How do our collections differ so far as editions go~
and for mine all I can say is that there's reference
made to Le Grand Chaos De L'An 1999. Yippee! :laugh:

le pendu

For me, what is obvious when comparing the images on this deck to the Payen images available from the library at Yale is that this deck "cannot be trusted".

It is interesting to look at the images, and clearly they are based on a Payen, but the changes are so significant that it cannot be considered a historical deck as much as a modern revision (and sadly a poor one at that).

It seems we might never get an actual Payen deck.. unless of course you consider the Dodal to be a Payen with modifications.

Too bad.

I'm not sorry I have this deck, but I almost never consider the details to be significant, since it is such a poor rendition.



Dodal avant Payen

~as Tex Ritter (not Mel Blanc) first said:
"Eh...What's up, Doc?"


le pendu said:
I'm referring to the subject discussed in this thread...
My point was that 99.99% of people think Mel Blanc
was the originator of "What's up, Doc?" but that it
was really Tex Ritter. Translate: Dodal avant Payen.


Except for one thing, Fulgour... Jean Payen was making decks before Dodal was old enough to even be an apprentice.