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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Deck Review - Daniloff Tarot

Daniloff Tarot 
Daniloff Tarot 2nd edition (self-published by Alexander Daniloff)

What's included 
78 cards, plus an extra 'carte blanche' and a spare Strength and Justice, with numbers reversed. A tuck box.

The deck measures 14 x 8 x 3 centimetres or 5.5 x 3 x 1.5 inches. The box is a folding tuck box which works like an envelope rather than the usual tuck box that opens on the end. This prevents the annoyances of the tuck flap damaging the edges of cards or pushing them out the bottom of the box. There is no LWB.

The cards
The cards are long and thin at 14 x 8 centimeters. They are just long enough that I find it uncomfortable to hold for riffling longways, and they are too narrow to press against the table to riffle the corner shortways. So no riffling. Not that you'd particularly wish to riffle this deck as the card stock is delicate. They are of a similar thin floppiness to the Druidcraft Tarot. If you're not careful, you can press crescent-shaped indentations into the cards with your fingernails, and the edges will nick fairly easily. The website says that the cards are covered by a protective varnish. You could not say they are laminated. I would shudder to think what would happen if you accidentally got them wet, so keep your teacup well away from them. The cards arrive with pointy corners (as in the illustration above) so you will no doubt want to round the corners as soon as you get them. I certainly did! The cardstock feels nice in the hand and they have a lovely new-print smell. (Not all decks do -- some really stink with a chemically smell, like AG Muller decks...)

The art
Of course, the art is the reason to buy the Daniloff Tarot. It is triumphant. This is a deck that wishes to look authentically old  in style, and yet to be understandable and appealing to contemporary eyes. Mission accomplished! The cards are colourful, the art looks like it comes from another time, and yet the images are filled with dynamic movement and expression and contemporary sensibilities.

The verdict
The Daniloff Tarot is beautiful and follows the RWS system very closely; if you are a devotee of RWS, you will find no puzzlers in this deck, and yet the images are fresh enough to add new insight. It is a pleasant deck to look at, is not gimmicky, and as it makes no real departures from classic tarot, it is unlikely to be a fad deck (like some I could name, but won't). It could easily become one of your go-to workhorse decks, and it certainly deserves to be used, not just collected.


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