From a deck first created sometime between 1600 and 1650, this photographic facsimile replica 78 card Paris Tarot deck was published in 1985 by Andre Dimanche and the "Societie Le Jeu de Marseille." This edition was manufactured by Grimaud. The original cards reside in the Biblioteque Nationale in Paris. Every card in this replica has a small 'BN' stamp at the card bottom.
The black line-art woodcut illustrations have stencil-filled colored areas in bright red, mustard yellow, deep green, varying blues, browns and pinks. None of the line art on this replica has been altered, corrected or cleaned up, remaining faithful to the original cards. Printed on a thick, cream colored stock, which is semi-gloss coated, with reversible card backs.
The Tarot of Paris is possibly the oldest complete 78 card tarot deck known today. There are some visual and title differences between this and the more well known Marseille-type tarot by Grimaud, which was created by Paul Marteau in the 1930's, who based his imagery on the Conver Marseille. The Conver was originally produced around 1760, so the Paris designs predate the famous Conver pattern by as much as 150 years.
Major Arcana, Aces and Court Cards have French titles. Minor Arcana of D'Espee, Coupes, Baston & De Deniers show pip symbols for the suit cards, and animals with flags on Aces. Court cards are traditionally arrayed, with beautiful period costume of varying types. 1 title card (with both English & French on the same card) is included, with some historical info.
Deck includes a 48 page booklet in French, containing a detailed history of Tarot and the influences on the Paris deck. Major Arcana cards are given detailed descriptions, with upright & reversed meanings. Minors are given brief associations by suit. 2 layouts described.
Condition: These are brand new, sealed decks known as "NOS" or "New, old stock" being a number of decks which had been put in storage in 1985 and then rediscovered a few years ago.
2 3/4" x 4 7/8" x .013"
69 mm x 123 mm x .33 mm