Piedmont-style tarot has been on my mind lately, with decks and information popping up unexpectedly. Toward the bottom I’ve listed links to the six blog posts I’ve done so far on Piemontese decks.
I recently saw one of Lo Scarabeo’s reprints of Guala’s 1860 deck for sale online. I was tempted to round out my Piedmont collection, but it was the version with card names in four languages on a wide border at the bottom of each card. This ruined it for me. Since the deck was over-priced, I think the seller was mistaking it for one of the better versions without the extra border.
Description of the deck
The tax stamp says Giovanbattista Guala, 1860, Ghemme. Every card, trumps and suits, has roman numerals on the upper left and lower right corners, as well as the double black border typical of Piemontese cards. Every card bears a faint stamp with the printer’s name. The Fool and Bagatto are standard Piemontese, but the deck seems to be hybrid Piemontese-TdM. Guala received an award for his decks from the same Chamber of Commerce, on the same date, as Stefano Vergnano (see a link to Vergnano below).
Here’s a roundup of Lo Scarabeo’s various printings of Guala’s deck. Be sure you know what you’re getting before you plunk down your money. All editions are a photo reproduction of the original deck — the differences are in card size and borders.
- Tarocchi Piemontesi and Tarocchi Piemontesi Mignon (mini size). Trumps only. Two sizes. 1995.
- Antichi Tarocchi Divinatori. 78 cards, divinatory meanings in Italian on a wide border at the bottom. 1995. (See it in Kaplan’s Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, p. 679).
- Ancient Tarot of Liguria-Piedmont. Card names in four languages on a wide border at the bottom. 1995.
Here’s where you can find more information on Piedmont decks:
- Review of Il Meneghello’s Tarocco Piemontese
- Review of Giordano Berti’s Tarocchi Vergnano
- Review of Camelia Elias’ book illustrated with a Piedmont deck
- Everything you need to know about Piedmont and its tarot decks.
- List of distinguishing features of the Piemontese style
- Speculations about Etteilla’s connection to Piedmont decks
Here’s a link to the Piedmont page at the World of Playing Cards website.
If you want an inexpensive, double-headed piemontese deck currently used for game playing, Alidastore.com has decks by Modiano and Dal Negro. They’re fun to look at, and are one of the few 78-card decks still used for gaming.
Is anyone collecting decks from Piedmont? How about reading with them? I’d love to hear about your experiences.