Minchiate Fiorentine (Florence), 1850
97 Full Color, (originally) Hand Painted Cards
This is a Limited Print of 1500
Card size: 3 3/4'' x 2 1/4 inches, 9.53 x 5.72 cm.
Publisher: Il Meneghello
Price: € 40.00

These beautiful cards have an old world look and feel to them and are made of sturdy card stock (matte). The original etchings were painted by hand. There are astrological cards along with other Tarot related archetypal images for the Majors and the Minors have symbols on the cards. No booklet was included in this set however a gorgeous, handcrafted box is what drew me to this copy in Osvaldo's shop (This box ~ signed by Osvaldo with his wax seal on the front is shown below. If interested you might ask Osvaldo via Cristina if a similar special edition hand crafted boxed Minchiate Fiorentine set is available).

*Please note* There has been some confusion as to which printing this deck is, as apparently there are two ancient Minchiate Fiorentine decks published by Il Meneghello that have many similar looking cards but which also have differences in design, backs and print year. Additional sample cards have been added below which distinguish this deck from the one specifically defined as the 'Minchiate Fiorentine Etruria' (1725) which was published by Il Meneghello in 1994. The deck featured on this web page has the green and cream marble back and was apparently from 1850 and published by Il Meneghello in 1986. Two sample cards shown below which are different from the 'Minchiate Fiorentine Etruria' deck are the V. and the IX. cards (in the 3rd row, and the card back is the last sample shown).

Tom Tadford Little noted: ''Minchiate was a very popular game, eventually supplanting the 78-card tarot not only in Florence, but throughout most of Italy.... it continued to be played in Genoa until the 1930s. Like other Italian regional tarots, the Minchiate of Florence celebrates civic pride. The graceful, artistic designs recall the role of Florence as the center of Renaissance art...''

Minchiate is an expansion of Tarot that most likely dates back to the sixteenth century. It came into being a hundred years or so later than the origin of Tarot (which is estimated to be around 1450, in Milan). Minchiate differs from the typical Tarot deck by having 41 Major Arcana cards rather than 22. Like the Tarot, there are 56 Minor Arcana (16 Court cards, and 40 Pips) , making a total of 97 cards in the deck.

The Minchiate adds the remainder of the virtues (Prudence, Faith, Hope, and Charity), the zodiac signs, the four elements and the Grand Duke to the Major Arcana. The Emperor has been replaced by a Western Emperor and an Eastern Emperor. And the High Priestess, Empress and Pope have been replaced, or perhaps renamed.

Below: Handcrafted box by O. Menegazzi ~
Special Edition Minchiate Florentine

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