Tarocco Piemontese XIX Secolo by Il Meneghello
I’m totally enchanted by Osvaldo Menegazzi’s latest production, a handcrafted facsimile of a Piedmont-style deck from the late 19th century. The deck was originally printed by Strambo in the town of Varallo on the Sesia River in eastern Piedmont.
The cards have a charming, folk art feel with deep, rich colors printed on smooth card stock that feels very nice to shuffle. At 2.5 x 4.5 inches (6.5 x 11.5 cm) they are a bit smaller than standard cards but not small enough to be called a mini deck.
The deck is housed in a very sturdy, handmade box covered with dark-brown marbled paper. A Fool card is pasted on the cover and finished with red sealing wax. Inside, there’s a folded paper with standard Il Meneghello divinatory meanings. In addition, there’s a very brief discussion of the Piemontese style in English and Italian, and a title card with a handwritten number.
Piedmont decks are a Tarot de Marseille with characteristic details that I’ve listed in this article.
The Strambo deck lacks certain important details, like the Fool’s butterfly, which makes it a hybrid Piedmont-TdM.
The suit cards follow the Tarot de Marseilles pattern and are printed in soft olive green with red accents. Some of the court cards have details that set them apart from the TdM, like the Knight of Cups in a military uniform, and the tassels on the Page of Sword’s hat.
Only 400 decks have been printed, so don’t delay if you want one.
Arnell Ando maintains pages for Osvaldo Menegazzi on her website arnellart.com/osvaldo
A page dedicated to this deck with numerous photos is at: http://www.arnellart.com/osvaldo/taro-cl-piemontese.htm
Il Meneghello de Osvaldo Menegazzi is the facebook page
http://www.Tarotbg.eu carries many Il Meneghello decks including this one.
My enthusiasm for this deck sent me on a research frenzy to learn about tarot in Piedmont. You can read my findings in this companion article.