Find out about my favorite 5 most beautiful tarot cards decks
The Sola-Busca tarot is the earliest known tarot deck arrived complete to our days.
It was engraved by an unknown artist in the late 15th century.
In this deck made of 78 card, 22 are trump cards and 56 pip cards.
This is the earliest known tarot deck that shows this classic structure that was later followed by modern occult tarot decks such as the popular Rider-Waite and the beautiful Thoth tarot.
It is almost certain that Pamela Colman Smith, the artist behind the Rider-Waite tarot, had a chance to admire and study photographs of the Sola Busca deck at the British Museum and was greatly influenced by it. In fact, it is easy to notice many similarities to the point that The Three of Swords is almost identical in the two decks.
The Sola Busca tarot is also remarkable because it is the earliest Tarot with named and numbered trump cards and the first that shows lavish illustration in all suit cards.
Many images of the Sola Busca deck are thought to be inspired by the alchemical theories of the Renaissance.
In the Sola-Busca are depicted mythological and historical characters like Bacchus, Nero, Catullus, Nebuchadnezzar.
The deck, purchased by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and is now shown in Milan at the Brera Museum.
The Visconti Sforza are the oldest known tarot cards and date back to the 15th century, when tarot was still called Trionfi and was used as an educational game in the renaissance courts.
The Visconti Sforza tarot refers collectively to many incomplete sets dispersed in museums and collections all over the world.
Sadly none of the decks has survived complete.
These beautiful tarot cards were originally commissioned to an unknown artist, by Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan, and by Francesco Sforza, his heir.
The cards are beautifully painted, portraying characters wearing rich clothing of the time and are often illuminated with gold.
The Visconti Sforza deck has been recreated in various modern editions that offer us a chance to enjoy these beautiful, antique cards.
The Minchiate Tarot was created in Florence in the 17th century.
Of these beautiful tarot cards were created only popular playing versions and therefore only few of these perishable cards survived and none of earlier complete decks arrived to us.
The word minchiate comes from a Tuscan dialect word that could be translated as ”trifle”.
The Minchiate deck is different from other tarots, it is composed of 97 cards instead of the standard 78.
The trump cards are almost the double of the other decks, they are marked with roman numbers and include astrological signs, the elements and the virtues.
Also the imagery is different: the House of God of the Marseilles tarot is called here the House of the Devil and represents a woman escaping a burning building.
The High Priestess is missing and replaced by Faith, The Emperor, The Empress and The Hierophant turned into The Grand Duke, The Emperor of The East and The Emperor of The West.
The Minchiate deck is now available as a reproduction of the Florence 18th century version.
This deck is rather modern but there is no doubt that it is the most evocative and magic deck you can get.
The Thoth tarot is set apart by a careful research of the symbols that appear in the imagery of each card.
Every picture entice the reader to a journey through the subconscious.
The exquisite Tarocchino Lombardo was engraved around 1835 by the Milanese artist Carlo Dellarocca.
Curiously, the artist’s name can be seen under the shield of the King of Wands.
The deck was first published by Gumppenberg in Milan and reprinted by Bordoni in 1889.
The imagery in the cards is fresh, original and often differs from previous tarot decks.
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