Tarocchi dei Visconti Sforza
The Visconti Tarot
Milan 15th Century (Approximately 1450)
Artist: Bonifacio Bembo
Publisher: Il Meneghello
Price of Large Deck (with Standard Box): €. 85.00 Euro
Smaller Size Deck (with Standard Box): €. 40.00 Euro
Specs: 78 card Tarot deck. A brief booklet in Italian comes enclosed. The larger size (approximately 6 3/4'' x 3 1/2'' (17.15 x 8.9 cm.) has an antique feel and look to it and is made of sturdy card stock. The backs are a solid color.
Additionally there is a limited edition, numbered version that comes with a handcrafted box.
These boxes are made by Osvaldo Menegazzi and are one of a kind, exquisite pieces and a treasure in any Tarot
collection! Two of these special edition, larger box sets are pictured below.
The 1st is from Arnell's private collection.
The 2nd box example is courtesy of Sally Stephen. Read her write-up here.
Visit a pictorial demonstration of Osvaldo Menegazzi making a Visconti Tarot box.
This Special Edition Visconti Set
With Handcrafted Box by Osvaldo Menegazzi -
Box size: 8'' tall x 4 inches wide (20.32 x 10.16 cm.)
Cards Size: 6 3/4'' x 3 1/2'' (17.15 x 8.9 cm.)
Price: €. 170. (U.S. $210. depending on exchange rate, bank fee & P&H)
There is also a larger, more detailed box available. The image below shows a comparison between the smaller deck and crafted box set mentioned above with this larger version. The deck size itself is the same for both sets, but the bigger box is around 5 inches (12 cm.) taller and the craftsmanship, is much more elaborate.
Visconti Sforza Tarot Cards
Brief history of the Visconti Tarot
The Visconti Tarot is the oldest known Tarot deck, and from around 1450.
Osvaldo Menegazzi writes: The cards of Visconti Sforza were created by Bonifacio Bembo for the amusement of the duke of Milan. The emblem of the Visconti family is apparent in the cards. The technique used was tempera on paper superimposed on more than one layer. The deck that exists today is incomplete, missing four cards (The Devil, Tower, Money's Horse (The Chariot) and 3 of Spades). The original deck is currently divided into two public collections and one private. 35 cards are housed by the Academy of Carrara in Bergamo, 26 cards are kept by the Pierpoint Morgan Library in New York and 12 cards are with the Colleoni family in Bergamo. The four missing cards have been recreated with respect to the artistic style of the original creator.
For more special Visconti box examples, visit this page.
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