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Le Veritable Tarot de Marseille (Hadar) - tarot decks

Playing Cards
Playing Cards -> Tarot decks

Price: US $13.33

ProductID: alt0247

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About this item
  • Also known as Le véritable Tarot de Marseille, 1996

Name Le Veritable Tarot de Marseille (Hadar)
Alternate Names Le véritable Tarot de Marseille, 1996
Creators Kris Hadar
Publisher Mortagne 1996
Deck Type Tarot Deck
Cards 78
Major Arcana 22
Minor Arcana 56
Deck Tradition Marseilles
Minor Arcana Style Marseilles-Style Pips
Suits Baton, Coupe, Epee, Deniers
Court Cards Valet, Chevalier, Royne, Roy
The Fool is Unnumbered
Strength is 11
Justice is 8
Card Size 2.56 x 4.80 in. = 6.50cm x 12.20cm
Card Language French
Card Back Reversible
Back Design A single circular geometric medallion in gold with blue, green and red elaboration on a field of deep periwinkle blue with a black geometric design which is in turn bordered by deep red with a decorative flower motif, a thin black border and a standard wh
Companion Material Little white booklet in French.


For Kris Hadar, 'the Tarot is a Cathedral wherein each may in prayer discover within one's existential labyrinth the path to one's salvation!' (p18 LWB, my translation). When one truly believes this, then surely depth of care will weave itself into the deck's re-design.

In order to avoid repeating some of the general comments I make in relation to the Marseille, may I suggest that you first read that earlier amoin deck review.

The Hadar deck, according to its printed date, came out in 1996, two years before the Camoin.

What Hadar appears to have done is carefully consider various representations and made careful judgements about whether a detail ought to be included or not. For most cards, I do think the choices made are inspired. If one compares, for example, the hem of Temperance, Hadar has maintained the careful ambiguity of a possible snake-like depiction, without thereby destroying such ambiguity as has occurred in the Camoin. At other times, however, I do not think he was careful enough with the details, and went with the more common depiction. Again, and for example, the triple nipple upon one of the figures on XV the Devil card, also found, for example, upon the 1760 Conver, has not been incorporated - though possibly purposefully. Another detail which many early decks include ambiguously is the hind-legs of the horses on VII the Chariot. Both the Camoin and the Hadar remove the ambiguity - Hadar doing the opposite of Camoin and following the Marteau rendition by deleting the ambiguous lines altoget her. A last example: the platform's ambiguous outline upon XVII the Star has been retained unlike, again, the Camoin.

Like the box which contains it, there is an overall flavour of Blu-ishness to the deck. This however, is more of a tonal quality, for the colouration and figures are quite beautified when compared to the woodcuts from which the earliest Marseille decks originate.

If the Major Arcana are wonderfully re-presented, an even higher praise can be said for the Courts. Here, Hadar has really presented an un-surpassed rendition of a Marseille. Unlike the Camoin which, to my mind, falls a little in this domain, Hadar has maintained careful attention to the Marseille spirit: the Page of Coins has no title, no additional detail has been added - and none subtracted.

The pips remain beautifully illustrated, though again, I wish that, as I mentioned for the Camoin deck, Hadar had paid attention to the clarity of the hilt of the curved swords, so as not to confuse these with the tips of adjacent blades (as clearly differentiated in, for example, the eighteenth century Schaffhouse deck). To have maintained Saul Marteau's initials upon VII the Chariot and upon the two of Cups I just do not see merit in - nor in having inserted the misleading 1181 date adjacent his name and 1996, both of these latter of course expected, on the two of Coins (though it may be worthwhile indicating his e.mail response to this query in the Forum section of this site - and I should also add that I personally strongly favour, and have earlier posted, a 1196 dating for the earliest Marseille - these dates remain, of course, illegitimate based on historical evidence).

The titles and the back of all cards are also craftily executed - the back a beautiful reversible patterning. As stated on the box (for a change a good size, by the way, which doesn't risk damaging the cards as one attempts to re-enter therein the deck and its little white booklet), 'the originality of this Tarot also resides in the particular care given to the back design as an aide to improve the art of divination' (my translation - oh, yes, I nearly forgot - the little white book is all in French, though this may be because of the Swiss provenance for my deck).

Combine shipping is possible.

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