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Sunday, 11 December 2016

Oriental Tarot

Okay, I know I didn't blog with the Mystic Tarot last week, but forget that. Look what I got! A gift from a friend, it's the Tarocchi orientali by Foudraz, 1845, also known as the Oriental Tarot by Giordano Berti. I received number 92 of 700, and included was a handwritten note from Giordano:

Dear Carla
I don't know if these beautiful tarot come to you unexpectedly. In any case, I'm sure that the 'exotic beauty' of the Oriental Tarot will fascinate you immediately and will guide you into a fantastic dimension where the Arcana will talk to you with a language different than the usual, showing to you some strange secrets.
I wish you all the best
Giordano Berti 

That's pretty cool, don't you think!

The cards, in my mind, are much like Tarot de Marseille, but with Chinese people and pagodas -- an 18th century vision of China, or 'chinoiserie'.  Of course you know that Chinese motifs were very popular amongst the wealthy in the 1700s. In 1845, a Turin lithographer called Claudio Foudraz created this deck. As Berti says in the LWB, 'Naturally, the Chinese characters ... are absolutely far from historical reality, rather, they reflect the conventional representations that were fashionable until a few decades earlier; in fact, we find them in the paintings of aristocratic and upper class mansions of the 18th century, as well as in furniture and porcelain decorations that continued to circulate through Europe well into the 19th century.'


  1. I'll be interested to see what you make of this deck in readings. The pips are Marseille-style, but still with different shapes, so that may change your interpretations. I like the more 'natural' swords, with their various ribbons :)

    1. I did a reading for a client with it as soon as I got it. I can't say it made any appreciable difference to my reading. :)

  2. Hi Carla, thanks for your kind words. The #orientaltarot by Foudraz is really at the top of Tarot manufacture during the 19th century... and in the same archive where I discovered this deck there are many other beautiful Tarot decks that no one has seen yet...I hope to have the possibility to reprint even those.