EnriqueEnriquez wrote:does anybody have any evidence pointing to anybody but Paul Marteau as the one who -in the XX Century- re-introduced the Marseille into the tarot market and proposed it as a valid divination tool?
Someone back on Aeclectic mentioned Joseph Maxwell's 1933 Le Tarot
(Paris). This book featured the Marseille tarot explained according to color symbolism, numerology and the geometric associations (of the Minors).
Edmond Billaudot (c. 1865) attempted a synthesis of the Tarot de Marseille and the Egyptianized cards of Etteilla and Paul Christian. I don't think his work was published until 1966 (Grand Tarot Belline
) but I believe he was a teacher and may have had an influence on others.
Eudes Picard used the Marseille Majors but created his own idiosyncratic Minors. J.-G. Bourgeat referred to the "Tarot Italien" Majors, which were similar to the Marseille (and created some Egyptianized designs of his own). Papus compared several decks, including the Marseille (1889), though he eventually created his own deck (1909).
So, except for Maxwell (which I understand is terribly mangled in the English version so I can't judge it), Marteau's 1949 work does seem to be the first presentation of the Marseille deck as a divinatory tool in which the specific Marseille symbolism of all 78 cards is to be used in interpreting the meaning of the cards.
I think this is a very significant point. It seems to undercut the idea of the Marseille deck as being an older and therefore "more correct" divinatory tradition than the Egyptianized or Golden Dawn traditions.
Enrique, what do you get from all this? I think it throws everything up for grabs.