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Visconti Tarot - tarot decks

Playing Cards
Playing Cards -> Tarot decks

Price: US $15.50

ProductID: alt1212

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About this item
  • Also known as Visconti-Sforza Restored

Name Visconti Tarot
Alternate Names Visconti-Sforza Restored
Creators A. Atanassov, Giordano Berti
Publisher Lo Scarabeo 2002
Deck Type Tarot Deck
Cards 78
Major Arcana 22
Minor Arcana 56
Deck Tradition Italian
Minor Arcana Style Decorated Pips
Chalices, Swords, Wands, Pentacles Court Cards
Knave, Knight, Queen, King Major Titles
The Fool is 0
Strength is 11
Justice is 8
Card Size 2.36 x 4.53 in. = 6.00cm x 11.50cm
Card Language Spanish, Italian, German, French, English
Card Back Reversible
Back Design Monochrome taupe-gray motif of acanthus leaves and vines within a narrow black border.


I am pleased to see this version of the Visconti Gold from Lo Scarabeo. Mark Filpas in Pasteboard Masquerade made a reference to an upcoming book and deck set by Lo Scarabeo with an even newer tower and devil card and a book by G. Berti. He was referring to the Italian title of Tarocchi dei Visconti, which arrived in its English version on American shelves in September 2002. Someone who bought the Visconti Gold when it first came out in 2000 or 2001 may ask me, is this a significantly different deck?

For me, it is. What I like least is probably a minor complaint and is one significant difference. The backs are actually the less-than-ideal color of funny yellowish green---but you might like the different color. I compared the 2002 cards to a 2001 edition and found the lines of the gold stamping to be slightly thicker and longer in the newer cards.

The first and second things that I like most about the new deck includes the newer Devil and Tower cards, not pictured anywhere so far. The devil and tower in Mark Filpas' 2000 review of the deck is NOT the newest version by Atanassov.

One of the top selling points to me is a very good book discussing the Visconti images. I believe it very good because it clears up my questions of Lo Scarabeo's suggested meanings that I've seen over the years. Lo Scarabeo titles in the Tarocchi d'Arte series still have the cards or booklets with the old meanings. Mary Greer's book on reading reversals give glimpses of traditional divinatory meanings. But I now know more about the Italian iconography and ideas of the cards when I read the Lo Scarabeo book.

Stuart Kaplan's Encyclopedia of the Tarot or the U.S. Games versions of the Visconti decks (Pierpont Morgan and Cary Yale) may satisfy with their excellent commentary on tarot card variations and art history. Or you might have checked out Andy's Playing Cards, Tom Tadforlittle's Hermitage online. Other good resources include Brian William's Renaissance Tarot book or deck or his Minchiate set--these can be all you need to reference the history of the cards.

Myself, I want a little more information, from an Italian slant. This is where the book might give you a fun and different perspective. Giordarno Berti gives a nice introduction to the Visconti Tarot cards that is covered in some of the little white books of the newer Lo Scarabeo decks issued in the newer 2000 editions. However I have not seen another English version yet discussing the majors, minors and courts in the way that I found in Tiberio Gonard's portions of the text. This is where the new book shines for me.

He writes about the art of cartomancy and shows eight different spreads that I found useful for writing exercises and getting to know the cards in the deck. His discussion of the majors has a few historical examples and interesting ideas, covered in about two pages each for each card.

Gonard believes in general that the minors were historically of value in gambling games rather than divination, but he provides with each card at least half a page of ideas and meaning suggestions. The ideas might range from historical emblems in Italy to perhaps a similar symbol in Buddhism. As an adjunct resource, I find it adds to my mental ideas of the cards.

Overall I do recommend this book and deck set to historical fans. Some other people that I know have expressed a wish to use elegant and lovely reproductions of older decks such as the Visconti Gold for self-reflection and ideas as well. They don't have any idea how to use decks without scenes in the minor cards and the older meanings puzzle them. I've heard one of my favorite art historians might write that book someday---until he does, here's a resource that I'd like to recommend to others.

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