Historical Tarot Decks
Tarot decks set in an unusual historical period or era, such as Victorian England or Etruscan Italy.
A Passage in Time Tarot aligns historical personalities with the major arcana, and historical periods - Renaissance, Medieval, Byzantine and Roman - with the four minor arcana suits. The deck is as yet unpublished on paper, but is available on an interactive DVD.
The Ancient Italian Tarot shows artwork in a medieval Italian style. The card scenes are of a similar style as the 1JJ Swiss Tarot but with more detail and muted colour. Card titling is small and in Italian only.
The Babylonian Tarot is a unique deck based on the cosmology and legends of the Ancient Sumerians, Mesopotamians and Babylonians, who lived more than 4000 years ago. There are 83 cards in this occult deck, including an extra major arcana card titled Genesis and another court card in each suit.
The Byzantine Tarot draws upon the history, art, iconography and culture of the Byzantine Empire of the 4th - 15th centuries. The 78 cards have been created in the rich and opulent style of the era by illustrator Cilla Conway. A comprehensive companion book by John Matthews is packaged with the deck.
The Da Vinci Enigma Tarot uses drawings and illustrations from Renaissance man, inventor, and artist, Leonardo da Vinci. His sketches have been matched with the Tarot archetypes to create a deck with some depth. The suits are elemental—Fire, Earth, Air and Water—and some of the major arcana cards have been renamed to better fit Leonardo's theme.
The Eclectic of Bronze Age Tarot is a deck in progress by Russian computer artist, Vladimir Strannikov. It's a collage of bronze statues and sculpture set on a metallic coloured background.
The Etruscan Tarot is a historically-themed art deck, based on the culture, civilisation, and mystical beliefs of the ancient Etruscans, a pre-Roman tribe who lived in what is now modern day Italy.
The Golden Tarot of the Renaissance is based on the fifteenth-century French deck, the Charles VI (also known as the Estensi) of which only 17 cards remain. Lo Scarabeo's full set of 78 cards have been created in attractive watercolours and finished with a gold leaf background.
I Misteri della Sibilla (Mysteries of the Sybil) is a 52-card Italian fortune-telling deck. The cards are watercolour, illustrating mainly daily life in Italian society around 1890, printed with simple keywords and playing card associations.
Developed to accompany the Orphalese Tarot software, the Imperatrix Tarot is a variation on the Tarot of Marseilles, with sharper lines and eye-catching, contrasting colours.
The Light of the Goddess Tarot (previously the LuminaDivinae ArTarot) follows the Tarot of Marseilles structure, but with illustrated minor arcana. The 78 cards feature selections of art from the great masters, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, which are not collaged. Now self-published in a deluxe card and book set.
The Minoan Oracle has 54 black and white images drawn from Minoan sculpture, frescoes, seal stones and archeological sites. The cards depict their gods and goddesses, animals, plant, geography, daily life and events (such as the Theran eruption). The deck and 200-page companion book is complete and due for release later in 2015.
The Minoan Tarot is inspired by the female-oriented, peaceful civilisation of Ancient Crete, who celebrated the Goddess, the beauty and sacredness of nature, creativity and sexuality. The 78 cards are rooted in the art, archeology and artifacts of the culture, with each card based on an original Minoan artwork. It's a well-researched and beautiful set.
The Oswald Wirth Tarot is a deck of 78 cards, based on the 22 majors created in 1889 by Swiss occultist, Oswald Wirth. It has a Marseilles foundation, with some changes based on the ideas of Eliphas Levi. The card art is illustrated in primary colours on a gold metallic background.
The Roman Tarot grew from the artist's long term study of tarot and passion for Roman history. This 78-card deck is the first wholly on this theme, and has a classical Roman aesthetic as well as famous Romans on the court cards. The majors and courts were painted in layered oils, while the minors are illustrated with digital collage. Self-published and available direct from the artist.
The Romantic Tarot is a 78-card deck of courtly love, emotion, passion and romance. It's set in the Victorian era and in the four most romantic European cities: the major arcana and suits are linked with Paris, Vienna, Venice and Rome. It's ideally suited for for advice, insight and solutions for matters of the heart.
The Royal Britain Tarot is an educational tarot deck based on the characters and activities of the monarchy of Great Britain from the Dark Ages to the present day. The completed deck is due to be published in early 2010.
The Sola Busca Revisited was created as a deck to please the tarot reader, rather than the historian. Art from the original 15th century deck has been altered to use the Rider-Waite system, while still maintaining the historic feel. It's available in a custom-made edition from the artist.
The Tarocchi di Valentina Visconti per il Palio d'Asti is a collector's edition deck of 88 cards (there are an extra 10 cards beyond the major and minor arcana). The deck commemorates the visit of Valentina to the town of Asti in 1389.
The Tarocco Balocco: Le Carte di Giacomo is literally a Tarot of Toys, and features old-fashioned playthings - porcelain dolls, tin sand-pit buckets, wind-up toys and more, associated with the major arcana archetypes.
The Tarot de la Revolution is coloured in red, white and blue and has basic artwork iillustrating the theme of the French revolution. The majors and courts are roughly matched with historical figures and scenes, while the minors have similarities to playing cards.
The Tarot Lenormand is the first 78-card deck based on the Mlle Lenormand oracles that were printed in the 19th century. The deck continues the Lenormand feel artistically, and has pleasant scenes of daily life and experience with a country French look.
The Venetian Historical Tarot is a majors-only Italian Tarot set, with detailed and fanciful images on its rectangular cards; illustrations of the city of Venice in the Renaissance and later times.
Made from a collage of Victorian era steel engravings of late nineteenth century figures and settings, these black and white cards in the Victoria Regina Tarot are complicated and fascinating.
The Victorian Romantic Tarot is based on original engravings from 19th century artists, perfectly collaged to create fully-illustrated, Rider-Waite-based Tarot scenes. It's available for order in gold and standard editions.