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Royalalbatross

19th Century Italian Decks, Underrated?

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Royalalbatross

I have tried a few decks along with their little white books. The RWS is nice, but maybe not my thing. I like the clear images on the Swiss deck, but the readings have been .....strange.

I have also tried the Scarabeo "Ancient Italian" deck, which I understand is similar to the Soprafino. I liked the deck when I first opened it, but was a bit underwhelmed by all the typos in the English translation in the book at first (e.g. "the fool" as trump 1 is actually the Magician, thankfully I know a thing or two about the other languages in the book too). I also noticed that the book gives reverse interpretations of only the Major Arcana, which I guess is OK in a pip deck.  But the deck itself looks nice, so I am constantly picking it up. Now I have tried using it, and I was almost shocked at how well it works for me, using the (corrected) book. For me, it is far more accurate, and tells some very insightful stories. How about you guys and girls?

 

Also, I was wondering if there are any other books out there for these types of cards specifically?

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Wheel of Fantastic

I like the Lo Scarabeo Ancient Italian but my favourite Italian deck is the 1JJ Swiss - that deck reads very well for me. These decks are considered variant Marseille style decks; I'm not aware of any books especially for them but certain books for the Tarot de Marseille should work. Caveat: Ben Dov's book 'The Open Reading' is a great book on the Marseille that's usually recommended but I don't feel it works so well for Italian decks. I would recommend Tom Benjamin's 'Tarot on Earth' as a a good book for learning all Marseille pip decks, including the Italian decks.

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Royalalbatross

Thanks for the recommendation! I really like the images on my 1JJ Swiss deck. The images are very clear and often quite striking. But I thought some of the interpretations in the book that came with it were odd. Of course I could use it with a different system of interpretation, such as the book you mentioned. Do you know if the Swiss 1JJ deck has ever been published with different backs (and maybe thicker cards)?

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Wheel of Fantastic
Posted (edited)

I'm not sure if the 1JJ has ever had different backs - I own a vintage pre - US Games 1960s copy; an early 1970s copy and a current edition. They all have that brown tartan back. The reason I own two vintage editions is because I enjoy the tactile feel of the old cardstock (which is thin but firm) plus the old decks still have the card titles in French. Also, they come in two piece lift off boxes. 

Edited by Wheel of Fantastic

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Royalalbatross
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Wheel of Fantastic said:

I'm not sure if the 1JJ has ever had different backs - I own a vintage pre - US Games 1960s copy; an early 1970s copy and a current edition. They all have that brown tartan back. The reason I own two vintage editions is because I enjoy the tactile feel of the old cardstock (which is thin but firm) plus the old decks still have the card titles in French. Also, they come in two piece lift off boxes. 

I didn't know there is a current edition 🙂

What's it like? Are the cards more shiny and plastic-like?

 

EDIT: but yes, there is something nice about the old card stock. It feels like high quality card

Edited by Royalalbatross

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Wheel of Fantastic
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Royalalbatross said:

I didn't know there is a current edition 🙂

What's it like? Are the cards more shiny and plastic-like?

 

EDIT: but yes, there is something nice about the old card stock. It feels like high quality card

The 1JJ is still in print and is easily available in Europe. It's published by AGM Urania. The cardstock is flexible but is very difficult to accidentally crease due to a webbed core. It's great cardstock actually but I prefer the older decks. The card titles are only available in English on the current decks in case that matters.

 

Edited by Wheel of Fantastic

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katrinka
On 7/8/2019 at 12:34 PM, Royalalbatross said:

I have tried a few decks along with their little white books. The RWS is nice, but maybe not my thing. I like the clear images on the Swiss deck, but the readings have been .....strange.

I have also tried the Scarabeo "Ancient Italian" deck, which I understand is similar to the Soprafino. I liked the deck when I first opened it, but was a bit underwhelmed by all the typos in the English translation in the book at first (e.g. "the fool" as trump 1 is actually the Magician, thankfully I know a thing or two about the other languages in the book too). I also noticed that the book gives reverse interpretations of only the Major Arcana, which I guess is OK in a pip deck.  But the deck itself looks nice, so I am constantly picking it up. Now I have tried using it, and I was almost shocked at how well it works for me, using the (corrected) book. For me, it is far more accurate, and tells some very insightful stories. How about you guys and girls?

 

Also, I was wondering if there are any other books out there for these types of cards specifically?

I don't think it's a deck thing. The Soprafino is lovely and readable - I have an Il Meneghello one, which doesn't come with any good reading instructions, either. I think yours would be perfectly usable with a trim.

LWB's are notoriously dysfunctional. I don't know of ANY companion books that are good for pip decks (Though the  Héron TdM LWB is gloriously funny: "You will die from excesses incurred at an orgy", etc.) LS, particularly, seems to hire random people to write about things they know nothing about.
But that's OK - because the idea is to read actual books. Here is a very practical one on the subject: https://smile.amazon.com/Untold-Tarot-Reading-Ancient-Tarots/dp/0764355619/ref=sr_1_5?qid=1562891673&refinements=p_27%3ACaitlín+Matthews&s=books&sr=1-5&text=Caitlín+Matthews

Ben Dov's and Jodorowsky's books are also worth the time it takes to read them,

 

Th thing is that a pip ("unillustrated") Tarot is a deck of playing cards. So, once you know the Majors, you can use this (with a minor adjustment for Pages/Knights) https://cardseer.wordpress.com/

Or any number of methods. It's wide open,

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Royalalbatross
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, katrinka said:

I don't think it's a deck thing. The Soprafino is lovely and readable - I have an Il Meneghello one, which doesn't come with any good reading instructions, either. I think yours would be perfectly usable with a trim.

LWB's are notoriously dysfunctional. I don't know of ANY companion books that are good for pip decks (Though the  Héron TdM LWB is gloriously funny: "You will die from excesses incurred at an orgy", etc.) LS, particularly, seems to hire random people to write about things they know nothing about.
But that's OK - because the idea is to read actual books. Here is a very practical one on the subject: https://smile.amazon.com/Untold-Tarot-Reading-Ancient-Tarots/dp/0764355619/ref=sr_1_5?qid=1562891673&refinements=p_27%3ACaitlín+Matthews&s=books&sr=1-5&text=Caitlín+Matthews

Ben Dov's and Jodorowsky's books are also worth the time it takes to read them,

 

Th thing is that a pip ("unillustrated") Tarot is a deck of playing cards. So, once you know the Majors, you can use this (with a minor adjustment for Pages/Knights) https://cardseer.wordpress.com/

Or any number of methods. It's wide open,

I am really liking "The Tarot" by Robert M Place (thanks to the people here, who recommended it!). He is seriously investigating the art history of the cards, and then taking a relatively "open" reading approach (if I understand the term correctly). Waiting for Ben Dov's book in the mail, good to know that you like it 🙂

Edited by Royalalbatross

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