Tarocchi Sola Busca XV sec.
Special Edition Major Arcana Set
Osvaldo Menegazzi was granted exclusive rights
to reprint the deck directly from the original cards
Limited to only 400 hand-numbered copies
Size: Same as original cards (144 x 78 mm.) 5.7 x 3 inches, 14.5 x 7.5 cm
Reverse Side: Same unique reddish hue of original deck (shown below)
Cardstock: Like the the original
Text in Italian, *but a book in English is available upon request!
*Note this Sola Busca book, written by Cristina Dorsini & Morena Poltronieri,
(Edited by Arnell Ando) is available for FREE to customers purchasing this deck!
Otherwise the book can be purchased separately for €16.00 (about $22 USD + P&H )
Publisher of this historic reproduction: Il Meneghello, February 2013
Hand-crafted Box by Osvaldo Menegazzi
Price: € 95.00 (U.S. $110. depending on exchange rate and P&H)

By meticulously recreating this deck Osvaldo Menegazzi hopes to give the Tarot historian, researcher and collector an authentic experience both tactually and visually. The size, cardstock, coloring and even the back of the cards is remarkably similar to the deck created in 1491 during the Italian Renaissance.

Morena Poltronieri, director of Museo dei Tarocchi (Tarot Museum) who has seen both versions; the original cards and Osvaldo's reproduction shares this: It's incredible...I looked at the originals and there is no difference at all between these two decks! That is the genius of Osvaldo! You could probably have it tested for smell too. A work of art, a masterpiece!

il Meneghello was granted the sole permission to reprint this deck directly from the original cards by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and Pinacoteca di Brera (where it is housed) and that makes this version unique in the world.

It is important to note that Sola Busca does not follow the same card meanings as traditional Major Arcana Tarot. Most of the Trumps are inspired by Roman mythology with a couple cards based on biblical sources. Each card has alchemical symbology, numismatics, and classical historical references.

This deck is considered the oldest complete 78 card deck of the Renaissance era, however this publication focuses solely on the Major Arcana. Sola Busca is also the oldest deck in which imaginative scenes grace each card (not only the Major Arcana but also the pip or ‘numbered’ cards) and it is believed Pamela Coleman Smith studied it while creating the Waite-Smith Tarot cards for Arthur Edward Waite (centuries later, around 1909.)

(Above) Osvaldo Menegazzi hard at work crafting the boxes for Sola Busca

0 - Fool Card on Handcrafted Box Cover (above)

Card XX: Nimrod and the Tower of Babel (Shown Above)
In this il Meneghello publication, Cristina Dorsini explains that the biblical character Nimrod, from Genesis, is remembered as the founder of a mighty empire in Babylonia. Nimrod is traditionally considered the leader of those who built the Tower of Babel. The legend goes; humankind wanted to get to heaven and not be scattered all over the Earth, as God had intended; and so attempted to build a tower high enough to reach the heavens. God destroyed the tower and punished with the curse of the confusion of many languages. This is also the origin of the meaning of the world babble. Moreover, the association between Nimrod and the Tower of Babel was acknowledged in the Divine Comedy by Dante (1265-1321).

Cristina, Maurizia & Osvaldo with Sola Busca books hot off the press! Feb. 2013

Cristina Dorsini continues in the booklet; that the cards were designed with the technique of burin engravings on copper, and that according to the English iconologist Arthur M. Hind (1938), they were richly painted with tempera at a later date.

The card back (shown below) is exactly like the original version

The English Sola Busca book comes free (upon request) when
ordering the deck from il Meneghello. Sold separately: €16.00

The new Sola Busca book in English, offers details on the historical characters & backgrounds associated with each of the 22 Major Arcana as well as symbolic details pertaining to the alchemical symbols & nuances found in these cards. A new theory is posed about who the actual artist of this deck may have been with facts & details supporting the hypothesis and other interesting commentary pertaining to the Sola Busca Tarot and Renaissance era in which it was created.

Example of a 3 Dimensional Sola Busca Artwork which Osvaldo has crafted,
which can be found in his shop along with so many other gorgeous handmade creations...

Here's an interesting article by Sherryl E. Smith (May 30, 2013) that gives some key reasons why the Sola Busca deck from 1491 is so historically significant. It also shares a bit about what this book along with other material (available in English) contribute to its heritage. That article also links to her commentary on the different versions of Sola Busca Tarot decks that have been available by publishers.

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