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Franco Pratesi’s Collected Articles

Tarocchi, trionfi and carte, oh, my! Playing card historian Franco Pratesi has put up a chronological list of links to all 313 of his articles on tarot and playing card history. The only other way to get access to these articles, written between 1986 and 2013, is to subscribe to several rather obscure journals.

Of special interest to my fellow tarot history nerds:

  • The 1987 and 1988 listings include several articles on 16th century Italian tarot, each focusing on a different city or region – an obscure and neglected topic.
  • 1989 lists three articles on tarot and cartomancy in Bologna.
  • #40 (1992) The Tarot de Marseille returns to Milan
  • #73 In Search of Tarot Sources. This is a must-read for anyone embarking on research, or attempting to formulate their own theories about tarot’s origins and dissemination.
  • #214 Reflecting on Marziano’s Pack. In the 1420s, Filippo Visconti commissioned a pack of illustrated cards, with an accompanying book, that may be a precursor to the tarot deck. Pratesi found a copy of the book in Paris and had it translated into English.
  • Beginning in 2012 there are numerous listings for articles on the tarot and playing card scene in Florence. This city appears to be Pratesi’s current favorite for being the birth place of tarot.

Michael S. Howard has been translating Pratesi’s articles into English on a blog dedicated to the project. Read it here.

Nearly two years ago, I posted an article here on Pratesi’s recent exciting discoveries of the earliest known reference to tarot which turned up in Florence.

His articles on Florence and on the Marziano deck are still up at .

Get links to all of Pratesi’s articles at

Happy reading!

The illustration above is the back of the large gold-foil Visconti-Sforza trumps published by Lo Scarabeo.


One Comment Post a comment
  1. Joseph van Loon #

    Dear Sherryl,
    Pratesi is still refering to the Michellino deck as one presenting Roman Gods. It should be clear by now that Michellino did not represent Gods. He represented the far ancestors of the Visconti family (at least, that was what they wanted other people to believe). When studying the Michellino deck, one should also study the Visconti genealogy illustrated some ten years earlier by the same Michellino. Both works are linked and studying them together makes things much clearer. No Gods, Ancerstors!

    March 21, 2014

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