Tarot History - The Tower, Jacques Vieville Tarot Deck

The Tower, Jacques Vieville Tarot Deck


Tarot History - The Star, Jacques Vieville Tarot Deck

The Star, Jacques Vieville Tarot Deck


Tarot History - The Moon, Jacques Vieville Tarot Deck

The Moon, Jacques Vieville Tarot Deck

 

Tarot History - The Jacques Vieville Tarot Deck

Date of Tarot Deck

circa 1650

Origin of Tarot Deck

Paris, France

Description

The Tarot of Jacques Vieville is a unique and intriguing deck. It was created in the same time and place as the Jean Noblet Tarot, but is clearly from a different tradition. However, many cards do match the cards in the Tarot of Marseilles tradition, and may actually give us more information about the iconography of the Marseilles cards. The Tarot of Jacques Vieville seems to also be related to, (and is sometimes classified as), the "Belgian Tarot". You can read more about that on the Tarot Hermit. Ultimately, the deck my be a descendent of the "Tarocco Bolognese", and The "Ferrara" Tarots.

The Tarot of Jacques Vieville has no titles on the cards. The numbers seem very much an "afterthought", as if they were added to the cards images and forced into place in available space rather than as part of the design.

Many of the cards seem "backwards" to the images that we have become familiar with from the Tarot of Marseilles. This probably has to do with the way the images were "copied", as Andy's Playing Cards describes in the description of the deck.

Missing Information?

Because there are no titles, and "added" numbers, on the Jacques Vieville tarot we may sometimes get a glimpse at what may have been on similar cards in the Tarot of Marseilles "model". This is just my own perspective, but here are some examples of why I think so.

The Chariot

Notice the canopy on the top of the Chariot. The wavy lines are shown in decks like the Jean Dodal, Jean Noblet, and others that follow that "tradition" of the Tarot of Marseilles; whereas, those decks that are related to the Nicholas Conver iconography have a completely different canopy. This shows a connection between the Vieville, Noblet and Dodal tarot decks. In the Noblet and the Dodal, the lines are "chopped off" at the top with a border space for the card number, leaving the impression that what is represented could be interepreted as scalloped flags, however, when looking at the Vieville tarot, we can see a rippling fabric, completely connected.

Tarot History - The Tarot of Jacques Vieville, The Chariot   Tarot History - The Tarot of Jean Dodal, The Chariot


The Tarot of Jacques Vieville, The Chariot
c. 1650

 


The Tarot of Jean Dodal, The Chariot
c. 1700

The Popess

On the Jean Dodal and Jean Noblet Popess, we are left uncertain if the Popess wears a triple crown.. making her unmistakably a "Popess". On the Jacques Vieville, the crown is clearly shown.

Tarot History - The Tarot of Jacques Vieville, The Popess   Tarot History - The Tarot of Jean Dodal, The Popess


The Tarot of Jacques Vieville, The Popess
c. 1650

 


The Tarot of Jean Dodal, The Popess (La Pances)
c. 1700

Strength

The Strength card often depicts the virtue wearing a very odd hat, often like a pointy crown. On the Vieville, we see a complete hat with a rounded top. The bottom of the card is very surprising, here we see the exposed foot of Strength, with the lion's tail wrapped around it.

Tarot History - The Tarot of Jacques Vieville, Strength   Tarot History - The Tarot of Nicholas Conver, Strength


The Tarot of Jacques Vieville, Strength
c. 1650

 


The Tarot of Nicholas Conver, Strength
c. 1760

Pip Cards

When examining the pip cards, I believe that numbers replaced imagery on Tarot of Marseilles decks. The first card is one found in the Sforza Castle in Italy. The dating is unknown, but it is likely from the 1600 or 1700 hundreds. The card is unnumbered, and has a floral pattern on the sides. The Vieville Tarot has a similar design, and no number. The Dodal and Conver decks both seem to me to have "lost" the floral detail, displaying numbers instead. I believe that by looking at the Vieville, we can discover details that may have been lost in our remaining Tarot of Marseilles cards.


A card found in the Sforza Castle, The Tarot of Jacques Vieville, The Tarot of Jean Noblet, The Tarot of Nicholas Conver

Tarot History Links concerning the Jacques Vieville Tarot cards:

Great historical research at Andy's Playing cards
http://l-pollett.tripod.com/cards61.htm

Deck notes:

The Jacques Vieville Tarot is published by Heron, and available from Tarot Garden

The Jean Dodal Tarot was published by Dusserre, but is very rare to find now.

The Nicholas Conver Tarot is published by Heron, and available from Tarot Garden