Tarocco Piemontese XIX Sec.
78-Cards + Title Card & Notes Shared by Dr. Dorsini
Limited to 400 Exemplary, Hand-Numbered Sets
Il Meneghello - Publisher of this Historic Reproduction: February 2014
Card Size: 2.5" W x 4.5" L - 6.5 x 11.4 cm. (approximately)
Card Backs: Reversible Pattern (shown below)
Cardstock: Medium Weight, Matte, Parchment
18th Century Italian Iconography Inspired by Tarot de Marseille (of 1650, France)
Hand-Crafted Box by Osvaldo Menegazzi
Box Size 3x 5 inches (7.6 - 12.7 cm) Fool Card Fastened on Top w/ Hot Wax Seal
With this production, Osvaldo Menegazzi hopes to give the Tarot historian, researcher and collector an authentic experience by meticulously recreating this deck, including any markings, stains or flaws found on the original cards. According to Dr. Dorsini, this deck originally arrived to Piedmont from nearby Emila. (Piedmont is the region which borders France and Switzerland. The capital city is Turin - Torino). The oldest known document on the meaning and order of Tarot is thanks to Francesco Piscina who wrote a detailed discourse in 1565.
All 4 of the Aces in this deck (shown below) display the name of the original printer, the factory, Strambo Fabrica of Varallo. The name of this print house is not widely known perhaps due to there being many printers who made Tarot and playing cards during this time. The Ace of Coins has the historically significant Tax Stamp. Dr. Dorsini shares how each deck was stamped in this manner and those who produced decks of cards had to pay the State (Province) a tax fee. So for example, in Tarot of Gummpenberg (of Milan, 1840) on the Ace of Batons (Wands), there can be seen a stamp of 70 'cents' which was the price paid by the printer to the State. This tax was customary in Italy until 1970. The cards had a very high VAT (Value Added Tax) of 40%, and so as might be expected, there was also a high rate of tax evasion. So at first they decided to make the tax a lower percentage. But eventually they did away with this practice entirely.
il Meneghello has faithfully reproduced this ancient deck from the late 1800's. Some additional notes regarding this Tarocco Piemontese XIX Sec; the Fool card is unnumbered. The Swords and Wands have Roman Numerals on the Minor Arcana Ace-10, but the Cups and Coins do not contain these additional markings. None of the four Pages have titles however; the rest of the Court Cards are titled as: Cavallo (Knights), Regina (Queen) and Re (Kings). The Four Suits are named: Bastoni (Batons/Wands), Coppe (Cups), Spade (Swords) and Denari (Coins).
4 Aces (below) shown with original printer: Strambo Fabrica of Varallo - Ace of Coins with Tax Stamp