The Renaissance Folk Tarot

#1
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I love this deck. Several fragments exist, one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, dubbed the "Dick Sheet" (after Harris Brisbane Dick), and another in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, and also in the collection of Theodore B. Donson in New York. With so many surviving versions of this pattern, I can only assume it was very common and popular among the 'cheap and cheerful' decks of the time.


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I want to start a campaign to have this deck officially called "The Renaissance Folk Tarot" before it becomes known as the "Dick Deck". I think this deck needs to be lovingly restored, and sold in bookshops worldwide. Robert Place restored a few of the images for his Tarot book, but he filled in the eyes with eyeballs. I like the 'empty eyed' look. It has the feel of Greco-Roman sculpture, which is probably just the 'classic' look the engraver was going for...

If anyone has other images of this lovely jewel, please do post!!


Cheers,

RaH



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When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

Re: The Renaissance Folk Tarot!!

#2
Thanks RaH for starting this thread! I love this deck too. It's simply wonderful.

Here's more (much lower quality versions) which I think are from Kaplan:
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Right. So... what's interesting?
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Not the 'Dick Deck' - The Renaissance Folk Tarot!!

#3
Andy Pollett claims the sheets are from Ferrara and dates them around the year 1500. If so, they'd be cousins to decks like the Alessandro Sforza, the Charles VI, the Ercole I d'Este, and the Rothschild Tarot. The World cards are all certainly similar - the ideal city contained within a sphere with an angel or other allegorical figure standing over it.

The Order of the Deck is -
  • Fool
    I Juggler
    II Empress
    III Popess
    IIII Emperor
    V Pope
    VI Temperance
    VII Chariot
    VIII Love
    VIIII Fortitude
    X Fortune
    XI Time
    XII The Traitor
    XIII Death
    XIIII Devil
    XV Fire/Lightning
    XVI Star
    XVII Moon
    XVIII Sun
    XVIIII Angel
    XX Justice
    XXI World
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RaH
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

Re: The Renaissance Folk Tarot

#4
First off...
I retitled the thread, so now it is officially The Renaissance Folk Tarot!

Second, I don't know about the Dick Deck, but I do know about the Dick Plate. It might be worth moving to Oxford just so that I can visit this plate in the Ashmolean whenever I want! ;)
http://rhetoricaldevice.com/images/arci ... splate.jpg
The translation is "Every man looks at me as if I were a head of dicks". Circa 1530-1537. How outrageous is that?

Right, back to the Dick Sh... I mean, The Renaissance Folk Tarot!

Of course, I like that it has no titles. The numbers look like an afterthought (reminds me of the Vieville). It's crude, but there are still lots of interesting details. I wish we had clearer versions so that we could see some of the details better.

Just glancing over the cards, these are my impressions:
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The Fool has very prominent bells on him. I don't see an animal. He seems to be holding a twig of some type in his hand, it looks like a bell attached to the twig, but it might be on his hat, or it might be something else entirely.

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The Bateleur sits behind his table with the crowd surrounding him. He has dice and balls on the table. I can't figure out what the object in the center is (a cheese slicer? ;) )

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It's interesting to see the tops of the throne behind the Empress. I can see the orb in one hand but can't see the other. The eagle on the shield is double headed.

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The Popess has a crosier! Interesting indeed. She wears the triple crown. I can't tell if she has a book or not.

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The eagle on the shield is double headed.

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Strangely, the throne on the Pope seems very similar to the throne on the Empress. He appears to have to people in front of him holding a shield with two crossed keys. Does anyone know what the shield says?

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Like the Tarot de Marseille I, the Cupid is blindfolded. We can see only two figures, I'm a bit worried about that arrow, looks deadly!

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It's hard to say who is driving the chariot. Is it a winged figure? The horse is at a very strange angle, almost profile.

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Justice has an interesting arch above her.

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The Hermit reminds me of the Vieville, in that I'm not sure what he holds in his hand. It's likely a lantern of course.

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I love the Wheel. It's like the Visconti in that it has the four characters surrounding the wheel with the "I will reign, I reign, I have reigned, I have no reign" titles. I think it's interesting that the character going up the wheel has the ass-head, and the figure at top is completely animal. On the way down he might have the tail still, and at the bottom human. I like when the Wheel has all four figures.

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Nothing to say here! :)

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This is a very good hanged man. It's amazing really how similar it is to the Tarot de Marseille version.

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Death on a horse is another motif I really like a lot. I notice the black ground here and on other cards, and that makes me think of the Tarot de Marseille I.

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Temperance is seated, and has an arch like Justice.

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The Devil has the face on his belly, like the Tarot de Marseille I, and carries a pitchfork.

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It's interesting to see the trees beside the tower, and the steps leading up to the door. I don't see any falling figures.

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It's hard to say if the Star is standing or kneeling. The tree reminds me of the bush on the Tarot de Marseille. I don't see any jugs. I'm not sure if it is a man or a woman.

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The Moon is very interesting. The figure holds the moon above his shoulders. At first I thought of Atlas and the world, but really, this doesn't seem to be weighted that way. The face on the moon is in profile looking down, which is really odd as well, a bit like the profile on Tarot de Marseille II cards. The trees are very unusual, and some of the body is drawn quite strangely as well.

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The face in the Sun is just great, and makes me think of the translation Ross posted the other day where the character of the sun was identified with Phoebus.

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The Angel also has trees on it, there seem to be a lot of them on this deck! As seems typical for the period, the angel has a much larger proportion on this card than on the Tarot de Marseille.

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The World, as mentioned by RaH, seems very similar to other early decks with the presentation of the "Ideal City" or "City of God". Interesting to see the strong square design on the chest, a breastplate?

Overall, a delightful deck. I too love the "folk" quality of it. A restoration would certainly be very welcome by me!
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: The Renaissance Folk Tarot

#5
Some general thoughts...
  • Though crudely executed, the 'design' of these cards, how the figures are spaced, etc., is rather good I think.
  • I get the impression of a 'classical' vibe to the images, the 'empty eyes', the hair of the man on the 'Lovers" card, the Sun especially.
  • Fortitude and Justice share the same 'arch' with the court cards.. (a possible unicorn track there!)
  • The Chariot is interesting, as it seems to be full of children, a unique detail here. It begs a different interpretation than the usual 'martial' associations that have been made about 'The Chariot'.
  • The Star here looks male to me. And he's been 'workin' out! ;) If they'd have trimmed the sheet just a little lower, we'd know for sure! :lol: I might point out, that I believe the Cary Sheet Star to be male too?


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  • The beige/brown coloring used, like on Death's horse - I wonder if it may have been orange, maybe even yellow when first printed?


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RaH
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

Re: The Renaissance Folk Tarot

#10
Squigglybeans wrote:Someone needs to contact the Flornoy's ASAP.
NOT until they have done the Vieville and a Bolognese!!!" :)
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

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