The Classical Tarots, or The Classic Tarot
by Carlo Dellarocca
This is a tarot deck my grandmother would appreciate. Her parents came to America from Italy in the very early 1900's,
and never gave up their "old world" ways. They made their own pasta by hand, kept a working farm, owned a neighborhood deli and market, and spent their evenings
playing guitar and singing songs. Some of the traditions of my Italian ancestors have been passed down to me through my grandmother.
One of them is a practice of Italian folk magic, and most certainly my grandmother's own interest in divination influenced me when I was very young.
My grandmother would enjoy the way these cards evoke an Italian heritage, through their fine art and decorative style. Although she has visited Italy,
she has never lived there. ... Her appreciation of Italy isn't as much based on a modern Italy, but on her understanding of her ancestral origins.
These cards seem to reflect that old-fashioned picture of Italy.
The Classical Tarots
is a reproduction of a deck designed in 1835 by Carlo Dellarocca, who was an important engraver in Milan. For more than one hundred years, the original
designs were copied and printed all over Italy. They quickly became one of the most well-known decks of Italy, and became a popular alternative to French tarot of the time.
The images are of course traditional. Dress and decoration are elaborate, but their colors are subdued and soft. The artwork is delicate and literal.
A modern addition to this deck is the series of keywords on every card; provided in four languages as an aid to understanding card meanings. Number cards do not have
figures or scenes. Court cards are King, Queen, Knight, and Knave. The accompanying booklet is very small and provides only the most basic introduction to tarot and ideas
Because of the artwork, style, and indirect tie to my own heritage, I prefer these cards to some other very traditional tarot decks. I would recommend them for people who wish to evoke tarot history
when doing readings.
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Card artwork by Carlo Dellarocca; Lo Scarabeo
All writing and photography © N Levine - Illumination Tarot, unless otherwise noted. 1999-2020