There is no solid historical evidence of a female pope, but this card may be based around the mythical Pope Joan. Protestants, and Catholics living outside contentious zones, preferred using the Marseilles pattern. In the early eighteenth century the Marseilles Tarot was introduced in Northern Italy starting from the Kingdom of Sardinia , which also included the Savoy now in France and Piedmont , where the card manufacturing industry collapsed following a severe economic depression. The Piedmontese players did not have difficulties to accept the Marseilles Tarot, because the images were similar and even the French language captioning was widespread in many areas of Piedmont.

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Card Size: 2. In order to avoid repeating some of the general comments I make in relation to the Marseille, may I suggest that you first read that earlier Camoin deck review.

The Hadar deck, according to its printed date, came out in , two years before the Camoin. What Hadar appears to have done is carefully consider various representations and made careful judgements about whether a detail ought to be included or not.

For most cards, I do think the choices made are inspired. If one compares, for example, the hem of Temperance, Hadar has maintained the careful ambiguity of a possible snake-like depiction, without thereby destroying such ambiguity as has occurred in the Camoin. At other times, however, I do not think he was careful enough with the details, and went with the more common depiction. Again, and for example, the triple nipple upon one of the figures on XV the Devil card, also found, for example, upon the Conver, has not been incorporated - though possibly purposefully.

Another detail which many early decks include ambiguously is the hind-legs of the horses on VII the Chariot. Both the Camoin and the Hadar remove the ambiguity - Hadar doing the opposite of Camoin and following the Marteau rendition by deleting the ambiguous lines altogether. Like the box which contains it, there is an overall flavour of Blu-ishness to the deck.

This however, is more of a tonal quality, for the colouration and figures are quite beautified when compared to the woodcuts from which the earliest Marseille decks originate. If the Major Arcana are wonderfully re-presented, an even higher praise can be said for the Courts. Here, Hadar has really presented an un-surpassed rendition of a Marseille.

Unlike the Camoin which, to my mind, falls a little in this domain, Hadar has maintained careful attention to the Marseille spirit: the Page of Coins has no title, no additional detail has been added - and none subtracted.

The pips remain beautifully illustrated, though again, I wish that, as I mentioned for the Camoin deck, Hadar had paid attention to the clarity of the hilt of the curved swords, so as not to confuse these with the tips of adjacent blades as clearly differentiated in, for example, the eighteenth century Schaffhouse deck.

The titles and the back of all cards are also craftily executed - the back a beautiful reversible patterning. Overall, another five-star masterpiece for a Marseille Tarot deck - my only problem will now be to which recommend, the Camoin or the Hadar?


Tarot of Marseilles



Le Veritable Tarot de Marseille (Hadar)


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