Visconti Sforza versions- Information for collectors


I thought I'd start a thread to consolidate the scattered information on the Visconti Sforza versions and help people who are looking for a deck. Since I don't have picture-posting privileges, I created a PDF so everything would be together for comparison. Direct download.

Visconti Tarot Versions

(Revision 4, 771 KB)

I used a lot of information from Felicity's Visconti Sforza Web Page, and supplemented with additional information and pictures.

There are still a lot of holes, so if you have information please share! :)

The Happy Squirrel

Thanks for that!
Looks like the packaging of USG 1ed is similar if not the same as the Longobardica's? That red leather book look in a matted gold slip.
I can't wait to see how mine turns out!


Thanks for the PDF, Abrac. It's a great reference.

The Happy Squirrel

Abrac, so was the conclusion for the printed in China edition good? Better card stock than ones printed in Belgium or Switzerland....?


Dusk Till Dawn said the stock was sturdier than the Cary Yale. The China printings tend to have thicker stock and the finish is less slick. I don't remember hearing much else about it. I know I haven't seen any pictures. I was wondering if it has the Scapini replacements, probably does.

The Happy Squirrel

I just received my Longobardica 1974 Visctonti deck (I Tarocchi Dei Visconti). And in comparison to the Cary-Yale USG 1984 (CT, printed in Switzerland), their card stock is definitely NOT sturdier.

So this Printed in China edition has just become more interesting.... :D


Ahh, the Longobardica arrived eh? Sorry the stock turned out to be disappointing. The stock on my US Games 2nd edition is a little thin too compared to the Cary-Yale, but it's better than the Dal Negro VS in my opinion.

EDIT: I just found your other post so I'm editing this one accordingly. I find it very interesting that where it says 1974 it's talking about the copyright. It's not at all unusual for cards to have an earlier copyright than when they were published. I feel very strongly the US Games 1st edition came first, then the Longobardica and US Games 2nd. It's hard to say positively though without more evidence.

How about the case, does it look like the US Games 1st? How do you like the quality of the images? :)

The Happy Squirrel


I was just thinking that on my way to work this morning. About the copyright. It is also possible, I think, that the copyright to the two replacement drawing might be subjected to a different copyright agreements, than the rest of the deck. If you think about it, they belong to two different owners really. The original images are owned by whoever, and the two images are - surely - owned by the artist who paint them, somehow.

I wonder if in 1974 Longobardica owned all rights to all images, 'original' and 'replacements'. While USG only owned the 'original' images in 1974 and not until 1975 that they have the right to use the 2 'replacement' images.

Just a theory :D

Is there anyone out there who can translate what this means "Da: I Tarocchidi Stuart R. Kaplan, Mondadori." That was what was stated under the Devil and Tower card of the Longobardica c1974 ed. That might explain what the story is with those two images around 1973 - 1974 between USG and Longobardica.


Speaking of theories and 'replacement' cards in Visconti decks, I have another theory about Scapini's Devil card in the later Visconti edition (Lo Scarabeo, 2002, 2nd ed). I think he WANTED us to know that those were HIS paintings. He made no attempt of trying to blend in, and I could have sworn the face of the Devil is HIS face........ O_0


The Longobardica case seems to be made for collectors, because it is in the shape of an old fashioned book. I do not believe it is leather. But it is made to look like a leather book. And it has a hard cardboard slip case. When I keep it standing in my book shelf, the spine is showing like a genuine old book. It is rather nifty I must say. I usually sneer at anything that is trying to be anything else :D

But this sits amongst my other books like it belongs there :D

What is the packaging of USG 1ed looks like....? Or have we discussed this before.... So many facts to consider and remember!!!! :p


As for images on this one, this is the only Visconti Sforza facsimile deck that I own. So I can't compare it with anything else other than the Cary-Yale which is an entire different deck I suppose. But I don't recall feeling irksome about their images.


They feel very paper-y. Minimal smoothing of surface of any kind. Looks and feels like naked paper. Feels slightly thinner than the Cary Yale USG 1984 Switzerland, but I can't be sure....!