Monday, May 28, 2012

An Etteilla Timeline


Here is the beginning of my attempt at an Etteilla-specific timeline, giving sources. For entries before 1760, we are dependent upon Etteilla himself. After that, his activities are well documented. I am using three sources. One is the French text of the Little White Book (LWB) accompanying the current B.P. Grimaud Petit Etteilla, published by France Cartes. The booklet is entitled LE NOUVEL ETTEILLA ou MOYEN INFAILLIBLE DE TIRER LES CARTES et de lire dans l’Avenir. No date is given, but the wording in the part I am quoting corresponds to that of a booklet that Decker et al date to 1791, when the Petit Etteilla itself came out. There is a forward signed by Etteilla himself, they say, his last writing, dated 7 August 1791 (Decker et al p. 96).

W. H. Wilshire, in A descriptive catalogue of playing and other cards in the British Museum, 1876, p. 166, also describes a booklet in terms exactly fitting the current booklet, from its beginning note “au beau sexe,” to the fair sex, down to the inclusion of a dream-interpretation manual at the end. Moreover, his account of Etteilla uses many of the same words and phrases. He dates the booklet to “the first half of the 19th century.” (For Wilshire, see

The France Cartes version includes an English translation, but it is not always accurate and frequently leaves out important information. So I am giving my own translation, checked against the others (the LWB's, plus portions in Willshire and Decker et al). For those who prefer their French straight, at the end of this post I give links to my scans of the booklet itself.

My other sources are Decker, Dummett, and Depaulis, A Wicked Pack of Cards, 1996, hereafter abbreviated to “DDD,” and Kaplan, Encyclopedia of Tarot vol. 2, 1986.

So here is the timeline.

1738. Jean-Baptiste Alliette born (per burial certificate), by his account on 1 March in Paris (DDD p. 76), son of a caterer (“maitre rotisseur,” DDD p. 77) by the same name.

1748. [Deleted, thanks to Corodil, for catching my error. See entry for 1840.]

1751-1753. From the LWB to the Petit Etteilla. What follows is my fairly literal translation.
In 1750, the art of drawing cards was unknown in France; but in 1751, 1752, and 1753, three elderly people worked at drawing them.

They were right, although having shuffled and cut a deck of 32 cards, they read the cards one by one; and when the Enquirer had drawn a sword, that (these old people alleged) announced sorrow; likewise hearts foretold happiness, diamonds the country [la campagne, mistranslated as “campaigns” in English translation] and clubs money.

Fanaticism cried sacrilege, and in order to save these alleged sorcerers from the devouts, they were locked up, without being listened to, in Bicetre or the Salpetriere.
Greer’s timeline ( quotes Willshire, p. 160, to much the same effect; his source was the same booklet that I am using (similar wording, and on p. 166 he describes the very booklet). As DDD note, the characterization of the suits is the same as de Mellet’s, 1781. The Bicetre is one of the places where the Marquis de Sade later was sent ( The Salpetriere was a prison for prostitutes, the mentally disabled, the criminally insane, and the poor (

1753. Again, the LWB:
Our savant renovated cartomancy by throwing out the art of drawing the cards one by one and replacing it with reading the cards on the table as a whole. Giving the way of reading the significance of the cards, our author wrote up not only the false meanings given each in their own way by the three elderly people but also granted the legitimate meanings, taking that of victory for the 9 of hearts, which was wrongly allocated to the 9 of diamonds by one of the three people, etc.

The art of drawing cards, according to Etteilla, could not be as modern as an invention as French cards. With the backing of ancient manuscript, he thought it came from the 33 sticks of a Greek, who used them in Gaul to pronounce oracles and had taken or naturally had the name Alpha.
So in 1753 comes Atteilla’s first publication, his synopsis of the Art of Drawing the cards [son abrege de l’Art de tirer les cartes]. But it did not meet with success.
Since 1753, ignorance has provided to its [cartomancy’s] proselytes the appearance of several manners of drawing them; but they were rejected, because not following the principles of Egyptian Cartomancy, they did not command the attention of the curious. No truth could be drawn from them.
DDD find no documentation of this alleged work independently of statements derived from Etteilla himself. There is Etteilla’s own statement in the 1785 Philosophie des Hautes Sciences p. 116, where he speaks of 1753 as the date of his first writings (DDD p. 78). For “Alpha” there is the frontispiece to his 1770 book, which is entitled Alpha and shows a man seated in front of cards spread out on a table. The 1773 edition also has a short foreword alluding to this method of divination, calling it “illusion of the ancient Gauls.” There is also a little book that came out in 1797; its editor says that he is simply “transcribing verbatim a short work of some folios which appeared at the end of the year 1771, under the title of Le Petit Etteilla.” DDD say (p. 98):
Etteilla allowed him [the editor] to reprint this ‘petit amusement’, since he had ‘given this method of reading the cards when he was 15 or 16 years old, and having verified it just at 33.’ Researches have failed to discover such a book, and we must note that Etteilla himself never mentions any work printed in 1771 or 1772. But 22 years is exactly Etteilla’s age in 1771, who actually ‘was 15 or 16 years old’ in 1753.
DDD speculate that what follows, the “short work of some folios” is in fact the “Synopsis of Cartomancie” of 1753. The style resembles Etteilla's. In this work
The writer claims to have been inspired by a ‘very old manuscript’ he owns and that ‘card reading does not derive from cards, but from the game of 33 sticks of Alpha(*), name of a Greek refugee in Spain who predicted the future’. The footnote adds: ‘Attributed to the goddess of the forests’.
Fortunately or unfortunately, DDD do not give more of the content of this work allegedly from 1753.

1757. Etteilla publishes again, according to the LWB for the Petit Etteilla:
In the synopsis of 1757, our author does not fail to emphasize again that drawing the cards one by one, so as to explicate them one by one, was an ignorance imitating the manner of finding oracles in the Odyssey of Homer, the verses of Virgil, and the abuse of drawing [?—French “sorte’] from the Saints.
I think the writer means the practice of opening such books at random, putting one’s finger on a line without looking, and finding there the answer to one’s question. DDD do not seem to notice this alleged publication. The booklet continues:
In 1757, finally, our learned professor of cartomancy, instructed by a Piedmontese that the book of the first Egyptians, a book named THOT or TOUT [French for “all], engraved in hieroglyphics and known under the name and the game Tarots, or better THAROH, summarized all the ancient knowledge, and was a serious study; and, in spite of being prevented by royal censors, of the administration of the Book Office [“Librarie”], and of the police in 1782, he brought to the light of day, in 1783, his work on the THAROTH or [/i]Tarots[/i], which he had devoted more than ten consecutive years of study and reflection.
It appears here that his writing of 1757 was simply a restatement of 1753, and that it was only after this publication that he met the Piedmontese, who not only led him to the Tarot but told him that it originated in Egypt. But he wasn’t ready to publish on this subject until 1782

The LWB says also that the oppression that had locked up the three elderly cartomancers in 1753 ended in 1770,
This tyranny lasted until 1770, when Etteilla, who had reflected, studied, and finally recognized that the false art of drawing cards came from the most useful and sublime of all sciences, opposed himself, with as much force as reasoning and skill, to the ignorance of fanaticism.
Other than this reference to 1770 (about which the booklet does not say more), the LWB leaves out a big chunk of time, from 1757 to 1782. Fortunately, DDD have information that fills in some blanks. They find no hard data before 1760. However they do report some hearsay about the 1757 meeting with the elderly Piemontese. An 1859 biography by Millet-Saint-Pierre says that Etteilla met him in Lamballe, Brittany, and his name was Alexis. Even that is suspect, DDD say (p. 272, note 16), because "Alexis Piemontois" was the French pseudonym of a 16th century Italian author, who might have been confused with Atteilla's Piedmontese .

From here on, what is reported has more evidence than Etteilla's own testimony.

1760. First mention of Etteilla in the archives: Jean-Baptiste Alliette owes 600 livres to one Jean Langlois. (DDD p. 77)

1763. Jean-Baptiste Alliette and Jeanne Vattier are sued for a job certificate delivered to a young apprentice. They are said to be seed merchants (“Marchands grainiers”). Other documents from the same source confirm that Etteilla sold seeds at least until 1769. Jeanne Vattier is Etteilla’s wife. (DDD p. 77)

1763-1767.Etteilla has at least one child, Louis-Jean-Baptiste, the only child mentioned in his 1791 death certificate (DDD p. 76). The son is called a “merchant grocer” there.

1767. Etteilla separates from his wife, according to DDD (p. 77, but no documentation). They surmise that he may have begun his card-reading activities then. They observe later that in Philosophie des hautes sciences of 1785, Etteilla discusses whether “one must have a wife, children, or civil life embarrassments in order to advance the high sciences.” Etteilla says:
It is in the company of my Xanthippe, in household embarrassments, among my children, in the distress of business, and other different mortifications that I have endured, that I conceived the hautes Sciences. (p. 140, quoted in DDD p. 79)
So it would appear that Etteilla worked out the main part of his method while married, etc. Xanthippe was the wife of Socrates, who in Xenophon's Symposium was characterized as "the hardest to get along with of all the women there are" ( For more details on the separation, see DDD.

From 1768-69. Alliette engages in print selling, mentioned as such in a 1797 bibliography of current French literature, ‘Alliette, by anagram Etteilla, Print seller in Paris”. In 1768, three thieves steal some books and prints. Alliette's shop was inspected on 11 March 1769 and found to have some of the stolen prints. Alliette was proved innocent of wrongdoing (DDD p. 80).

1770. Etteilla publishes Etteilla, ou maniere de se récréer avec un jeu de cartes par M*** (Etteilla, or a Way to Entertain Oneself with a Pack of Cards by Mr***). It includes both upright and reversed meanings for a deck of 32 cards, as well as engravings of several spreads. There is also a 33rd card, blank, called “Etteilla” At the end he mentions ”les Taraux” in a list of methods of fortune-telling (DDD, p. 83). The book is reviewed in a couple of established journals.

1772.. Giuseppi Balsamo, an adventurer who probably later took the name Count Allesandro Cagliostro, arrives in Paris (McCalman, The Last Alchemist, p. 32:
With creditors pressing, the couple hastily caught a boat to Calais on 15 September 1772.
The visit goes unnoticed except in court records. But the following is relevant to Etteilla. McCalman, p. 32, notes that in exchange for allowing a French nobleman access to his wife,
...Giuseppe was funded to set up a laboratory where he happily tried out the experiments from a sixteenth century book he’d acquired. It was Alesso Piemontese’s Secretes admirables, one of the most comprehensive occult manuals ever written, setting out detailed prescriptions for making paints, inks, medicines, cosmetics, and magical spells.
This author is the same as the Alexis Piemontese that Etteilla’s Alexis had claimed as grandfather. McCalman unfortunately does not cite his source, unless it is Photiedes, Les Vies de Cagliostro, p. 101f, his only reference for this period.

1772. Etteilla publishes Le zodiac mysterieux, ou les oracles d’Etteilla (The mysterious zodiac, or Etteilla’s oracles). It is a collection of astrological predictions. But according to a study by Halbronn in 1993, it was not real astrology (DDD p. 79).

1773. New edition of Etteilla's 1770 book, indicating that he had attained some success. There are two other publications that year suggesting the same. Here is DDD:
Etteilla is alluded to in a small light-hearted pamphlet written by Claude-Nicolas Bricaire de La Dixmerie much about the same time. The writer says in a footnote that ‘the famous card-reader in China [here an amusing metaphor for France] prints his judgements as the author of l’Almanach des Muses prints his’, and adds this ironical comment: ‘The whole of China is divided between these two inspired men.” Another little book, which we may suspect to have been written at Etteilla’s request, Lettre sur l’oracle du jour (1772), gives, under the signature of one ‘Duchesse de ***, a flattering portrait of the fortune-teller. (DDD p. 79)
1775. A print auction catalogue in Paris lists Alliette many times as a buyer (DDD p. 80).[/b]

1776. Alliette’s shop advertises in a directory. It states that he has traveled widely in the Provinces. (DDD p. 81)

1777-c.1780. Etteilla in Strasbourg starting 1777, settling as a “print-seller and bachelor, from Paris, legitimate son of Jean-Baptiste Alliette, burgess and caterer from there, and of Marie-Anne nee Bautray,” according to citizenship records there (he became a citizen of the city). He joins the guild there for printers, print sellers, cardmakers, and book-binders. The guild record for 1781 lists him in “guild members no longer resident.” Etteilla himself verifies his stay in Strasbourg in a 1785 book, where he says that “when in Strasbourg, I was pleased to fix M. Cerbere’s youngest son’s birth chart” (DDD p. 82). He also says that the best tarot cards are made there. But he objects to the cardmaker Jean-Baptiste Benoits’ removal of the “butterfly” on the “hieroglyph called the Star.” (Indeed, if we look at the reproduction of “Benois’” Star card in Kaplan vol. 2, we will see that there is no winged creature. It is one of those decks that have replaced the Pope and Popess with Jupiter and Juno; in it, the 2 of Coins gives Benois’ name, and the place as Strasbourg. Kaplan lists Benois as producing in Strasbourg starting in 1780.)

1779-1780. 1779: Cagliostro introduces his “Egyptian Rite” in Mitau (in what is now Latvia), from material gathered in London (an alleged manuscript by "Cofton," possibly, per McCalman p. 41, a "minor Oxford scholar of eastern religion named George Costard'), Leipzig (from Dom Pernety), etc. Then does the same in St. Petersburg, Warsaw, and elsewhere, healing the sick and conducting seances. Sept. 1780, Cagliostro arrives in Strasbourg, to much publicity, continuing to heal and gain adherents.. His popularity could have influenced Etteilla, especially in Strasbourg. (Source: Roberto Gervaso, Cagliostro, pp. 69, 82, 92; confirmed in McCalman.) Pernety is referred to by Etteilla in his 2nd Cahier of 1785.

1781. Publication of vol. 8 of Le Monde Primitif by Court de Gébelin, claiming an Egyptian origin for Tarot. He clams that the images reflect Egyptian ideas and allegories, and so constitute an “Egyptian Book,” just as Etteilla will two years later. The volume also includes an essay by le Comte de M*** [de Mellet], who goes so far as to call the tarot cards “The Book of Thoth,” just as Etteilla will, consisting of hieroglyphs and describing Thoth’s teachings on cosmogony, i.e. those on the origins of the universe. For de Mellet the cards start with the 21st card and proceed downwards. Etteilla will similarly start his sequence with four of the last five trumps, in his case identifying them with four of the first six days of creation in Genesis. (For de Gebelin and de Mellet, see For Etteilla, see previous posts in this thread.)

1782. 1782. Etteilla applies to the royal censor to publish his new work on the tarot.)(DDD, p. 83).) Of Etteilla’s application, DDD write (p. 83):
The Book Office (‘Librarie’) archives have kept the mention of his original titleCartonomanie [sic] the censor’s misspelling of “cartonomancie”] Egiptienne, ou interprétation de 78 hierogliphes qui sont sur les cartes nommées Tarots (Egyptian Cartonomania, or Interpretation of the 78 hieroglyphs which are on the cards called Tarots. But the manuscript was denied publication. In the right-hand column, someone has written “rayé du 20 novembre 1782’ (canceled 20 November 1782).
This corresponds well to what Etteilla said in his 1787 Lecons theoriques et pratiques du livre de Thot, that
In 1782, upon the report of a rigid censor, we were forbidden to print them [the arguments of the Book of Thoth]; they were printed in 1783, under a vague title, a title which got us a more tolerant censor...
The title that won him acceptance was Maniere de se recreer avec le Jeu de Cartes nommees Tarots. And despite Etteilla’s protests, his word “cartonomancy” was soon replaced by its derivative, the equally new word “cartomancy,” first proposed by one of his students in 1789 (DDD p. 99).

1783. Etteilla has three publications: Maniere de se recreer avec le jeu de cartes nommees tarots: pour servir de troisieme cahier a cet ouvrage (A way to entertain oneself with the pack of cards called tarots: serving as the third book of this work); the “premier cahier,” or first book (or perhaps "notebook"), of the work; and lastly a “Supplement” to the “premier cahier” (DDD p. 84). It is not clear whether it was the “first cahier,” the “third cahier,” or both, that he had submitted in 1782. The 3rd Cahier has an engraving of Prudence as its frontispiece, which will later become Etteilla’s Prudence card. The 1st Cahier has Temperance as its frontispiece, later to become the Temperance card.

I will continue this timeline later.

I have been trying to verify Mary Greer’s timeline entries for Cagliostro in the period before 1783, in particular her claim that he was in Paris in 1771 “with his Egyptian Masonic Rite.” I have so far come up with nothing suggesting he was in Paris prior to 1785, or that he had an Egyptian rite in 1771. [Added Aug. 6: I have since found that he probably was in Paris 1772, in as much as Giuseppi Balsamo is listed in Paris court records for that year. I added a timeline entry accordingly. Also, most sources say that Cagliostro introduced his Egyptian rite in Mitau, 1779; so I have an entry for that year.]

Here are the relevant pages of the LWB to the Petit Etteilla, the title page and 7-17.

1784. May 19. Etteilla publishes the Supplement au troisieme cahier (Supplement to the 3rd Cahier). (DDD p. 84)

1785, 30 Jan. Cagliostro installed in Paris, promoting his “Egyptian Rite” and conducting healings and seances, to great popular acclaim. 23 Aug, he is arrested and imprisoned in the Bastille because the con artist Jeanne de Saint-Remy of being part of the "diamond necklace" swindle. 30 May 1786, he is judged innocent but is banished from France by the King and his seized goods not returned. He goes to London, Basle, and Rome, where the Inquisition condemns him to death for heresy. The Pope changes this to life imprisonment; Cagliostro dies in prison 1795. (Dates in Gervaso's Cagliostro p. 122, 147, 239.)

1785. Etteilla publishes mumerous books: Fragment sur les hautes sciences, suivi d’une note sur les trois sortes de medicines donnees aux hommes (Fragment on High Sciences, followed by a note on the three kinds of medicines given to men). 4th Cahier (with Fortitude as frontispiece). Supplement to the 4th Cahier. 2nd Cahier (with Justice as frontispiece). Supplement to the 2nd Cahier. Philosophie des hautes sciences, ou la clef donnee aux enfans de l’art, de la science & de la sagesse (Philosophy of the high sciences, or the key given to children of art, science and wisdom). (DDD p. 84). In the 2nd Cahier (see my translations in this thread), he talks about the cards as the Book of Thot, put together under the supervision of Hermes Trismegistus. The 2nd through 8th cards represent the days of creation. He also gives complete correspondences between the Marseille tarot trumps and his “Egyptian” ones and describes some of the trumps in detail. The 4th Cahier is where he sets up correspondences between the 12 signs of the zodiac, in order starting with Aries, and the first 12 of his trumps. He also has the 10 Coin pip cards correspond to the 7 planets plus the head and tail of the dragon and the part of fortune. He attributes these assignments to the Egyptians (DDD p. 87).

1786. Supplement au deuxieme cahier, ou mieux cinquieme livre des tarots (Supplement to the 2nd cahier, or better 5th book of the tarots). (DDD p. 84)

c. 1786. A treatise on alchemy: Les sept nuances de l’oeuvre philosophique-hermetique, suivies d’un traite sur la perfection des metaux (The seven grades of the philosophical-Hermetic work, followed by a treatise on the perfection of metals). “Historians of alchemy regard Etteilla’s book as the last alchemical treatise of the classical period” (DDD p. 88; they cite the 20th century writer Conseliet).

1787. Two books unrelated to tarot. The title of one may be translated as The art of knowing men by inspecting the forehead, or elements of metposcopy according to the ancients. The other is The art of reading in the lines and charaacters that are in the palms, or elements of chiromancy. (DDD p. 88)

Invited to speak to the “Philelethes,” which had been founded in 1775 and was a Masonic-like secret society. Etteilla in his Treatise on the Perfection of Metals had said he had the highest regard for “true Masonry,” but “All the little denominations of lodges and grades announce folly more than wisdom.” (DDD p. 89)

1788. Organizes the “Societe des Interpretes du Livre de Thot,” in order to gather together all those who were interested in the ‘interpretation of the Book of Thot,” with Etteilla as “correspondent general.” Etteilla designs his 78 card deck, raises funds, has the engravings made. (DDD p. 90)

1789. Etteilla applies for a “general” patent to print his deck on 19 Jan. 1789, granted 5 Feb. 1789, registered on 13 March (DDD p. 92). A 4 page pamphlet entitled “Livre de Thoth” dated 1789 says, “See the Book of Thoth, which I am permitted to publish today, with the King’s appointment.” Also establishing Etteilla’s involvement with this deck are copies, made by their author, of letters written in Lyons by De Bonrecuille, one of the “interpretes.” On 27 November he writes to Alliette: ‘I am very glad to hear that we will soon have the Tarot cards you have restored.’ Then on 14 March 1789: “We very satisfactorily have received the Tarot cards which you sent us...” (DDD p. 91) The keywords for the suits derive in part from Etteilla’s 1770 book. Cards 2-5 each have the name and number of one of the 4 elements, not in sequence; cards 2-8 say which of the 7 days of creation relates to the card, not in sequence. DDD say that these cards are precisely like the reprints issued by Grimaud later except for the sunburst in card 1 and the clothing on the small figures in card 14. Also the keywords are in many cases different from the current Grimaud. Later they mention extra numbers on cards 13-17: a 14 on card 13, a 15 on card 14, a 16 on card 15, a 17 on card 16, and a 13 on card 17 (DDD p. 93). These numbers are also not on reprints done in the later 19th century onwards. What are these extra numbers for? DDD say that according to the Dictionnaire Synonymique of 1790, they are "signs of death." Reading the 2nd Cahier Supplement of 1786, I see that Etteilla says of the double numbering on 13-17, that it indicates "the chain from birth to death" (p. 162: "la chaîne de la naissance à la mort"). For more details see my post at

1789, May. National Assembly declared, inaugurating the French Revolution. Bastille prison stormed 14 July.

1789. Hugand, one of the “Interpretes,” publishes in Lyons a leaflet called Faites mieux, j’y consens, ou les instructions d’Isis divulguees par un electeur de la Commune de Lyon, en l’annee 1789 (Do better, I agree, or Isis’ instructions divulged by a voter of the City of Lyons, in the year 1789). (DDD p. 100f)

1790. M. D’Odoucet, another member of the “Interpretes,” publishes a booklet entitled “French Revolution, the events that have caused it, accompanied it and those which will follow it, prognosticated through Mr. M. Nostradamus’s prophetical ‘centuries’, which has a final footnote that “expresses negative feelings for two magi living in France, one in Paris and the other in Lyons.” DDD say that one is Etteilla, and the other a follower named Hugand. D’Odoucet calls the one a “half-savant” of “real ignorance, concealed with much art.” The other is less skilled. (DDD pp. 103f). D’Odoucet also puts his name to a leaflet promoting a forthcoming journal; the leaflet ends “AMOUR POUR LE ROI,” i.e. Love for the King.

1790. 1 July. Etteilla founds, with his son’s participation, the “Nouvelle Ecole de Magie” (New School of Magic), on “le premier juillet de la seconde annee de la liberte francaise,” as a July 19 leaflet for a lecture announced: the first July of the second year of French liberty. The Ecole publishes Cours theorique et pratique du livre de Thot (In full: Theoretical and practical course in the book of Thot, so as to understand correctly the art, science, and wisdom of giving oracles). 6 lessons are planned, but all the copies have only 4 (DDD p. 95). Another book is “The Game of Tharaoth, following one of the ways of the first Egyptians.” Another is a leaflet Appercu sur la lnouvelle ecole de magie..., in which Etteilla refers to D’Odoucet as “Dodo” and writes mockingly of him. (DDD pp. 95, 104)

1791. The Ecole publishes a 4 page pamphlet every week from 1 Jan. To 27 March, then 4 more. Issue one is devoted to a plan for old-age insurance. Others are on admnistration, social insurance, and against the death penalty. No. 14 calls for the abolishing of taxes on playing cards, or at least divinatory ones, e.g. “the Book of Thoth, renewed from the Egyptian, and the Etteila, composed of 33 cards.” This last is what became known as the “Petit Etteilla”; the French card images are in the middle of each card and the keywords from Etteilla’s 1770 book above and below. Etteilla also reissues his 1783 L’homme a projets, “proudly stating in its forward,” DDD report, “that he had foreseen the 1789 events some six years ago.” Another publication is Etteilla, ou l’art de lire dans les cartes/ (DDD p. 95f) (I cited pp. 7-17 in my previous post; it also contains a summary of ways of reading the cards. This publication is reprinted with France Carte’s current reprint of the “Petit Etteilla.”)

1791, 22 June. King and Queen of France arrested following their flight from the Tulleries Palace, returned under guard.

1791, 30 Sept. In Vienna, premier of Mozart’s Magic Flute, an opera using Egyptian-style Masonic initiations. Hundreds of performances in the 1790s. It had been preceded by the collaboratively written Philosophe’s Stone of 1790.

1791, Lyons. Hugand publishes Cartomancie, our l’art de developper la chaine des evenements de la vie: recreations astrologiques par le livre de Thot. (DDD p. 101)

1791. Dictionnaire synonymique du livre de Thot published anonymously but probably written by Joubert de La Salette, an army officer then stationed in Grenoble. His name is mentioned as author of such a work by another student, de Bonrecueille. The author himself says he “lives in a village” and is “joined to considerable details related to the troops of whom I am in command.” In its “Preliminary discourse,” the author says that he was preceded “in the same undertaking” by another member, M. Jejalel (Hugand’s “Cabalistic” name). He also mentions that another member, M. de B., is occupied with the same task. The core of the book, DDD write (p. 110), is its ‘Table-des-synonymes de livre de Thot,’ pp. 19-57, following Etteilla’s order of the cards and their keywords.

1791. 13 December. Etteilla dies, age 53, leaving his son, his widow, and his companion of his later years Elizabeth. He also leaves, as he said in the forward to L’homme a projets, 500 students, of whom 150 became professional cartomancers, but only two were really good; “all the others are charlatans”. One is Hisler, who lived in Berlin. The other is Hugand, in Lyons. But the one taking over, at least in the short term, and acting as publisher, is D’Odoucet, as letters by other followers make clear. (DDD p. 100)

1792. August, King and Queen of France imprisoned. September, monarchy declared abolished.

1793. German translation of Cours theorique et pratique du livre de Thot, in Leipzig. (DDD p. 100). Also in 1793, per DDD’s dating (p. 113), an Etteilla deck with German keywords, elements, and days of creation, in script at top and bottom. Hand colored. The bottom keywords on the first 12 cards are printed right-side up. Card One has “Etteilla” and “Forschung” (Search) as keywords. Otherwise the cards are identical to the original 1789 deck, including the astrological signs and the extra numbers on cards 13-17. (Kaplan, vol. 2 p. 401, says erroneously that the designs are like the Lismon decks and that they are mid-19th century. Pictures of the cards are on his p. 402.) These cards are issued again in 1857 (DDD p. 114).

1793. January 20, King Louis XVI executed. Committee of Public Safety takes power, instituting “Reign of Terror.” October, Queen Marie Antoinette executed.

March 1494. Hugand’s Art of Life, or Complete Lesson for reading the Book of Thoth advertised for sale in Paris, probably a reissue of his Lyons booklet. Also publishes with his real name a booklet {i]Les decans francais: meditations politiques, morales, pour chaque jouir de l’anneee (French decans: political and moral meditations for each day of the year. After 1494 there is no trace of Hugand. (DDD pp. 102f)

1794, July. Robespierre and other members of the Committee of Public Safety executed.

1797-1808. D’Odoucet imprisoned several times and under surveillance often, for anti-government printing activities. (DDD p. 104ff)

1799. Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt, which includes artists and scientists. Upon his November return, he becomes First Consul of France in a coup. Proclaimed Emperor in 1804.

1804. D’Odoucet publishes vol. 1 of Sciences des signes, ou medecine de l’esprit; it is similar to Etteilla’s Cours theorique et pratique. (DDD p. 106)

1805. Dec. 2. Battle of Austerlitz, Napoleon’s greatest military victory, defeating a combined Austrian-Russian army.

1806 or 1807. D’Odoucet publishes Vol. 2 of Science des signes. DDD say (p. 107)
The second more concerned with the Tarot and is clearly inspired by the Dictionnaire synonimique (1791) of which it is a kind of summary. But it also offers seventy-eight Tarot woodcuts in the texts with due comments. It only shows some minor divergences, e.g. when the Dictionnaire says “Questionnant”, D’Odoucet uses ‘Consultant.’
Since D’Odoucet uses woodcuts, he must not have had access to the original copper plates.

1807. Vol. 3 of Science des Signes. The full title, or most of it, translates as follows: Science of signs, or mind medicine, containing 1st, The understanding of numerical and astral sciences of the first Egyptians. 2nd The art of knowing the heart of man through his external signs; 3rd, An interesting survey of the diversity of minds and characters; 4th, The true origin of Freemasonry and initiation to the different ranks, third and last part, illustrated and engraved by M. D’Odoucet, one of the interpreters of the book of Thot, possessor of the collection [fonds] of Etteilla, his collaborator and continuator of his works. The book has a copper engraving showing a Masonic allegory with two pillars and bearing D’Odoucet’s name ('D’Odoucet invenit’) together with the signature of the engraver: “De Bonrecuille Scripts.” De Bonrecuille, another long-time disciple, was a known Mason. (DDD p. 107f)

1807. “Petit Oracle des Dames” deck, by the veuve (widow) Gueffier, of 42 cards. The designs are partly from a 66 card fortune-telling pack of about 1790 and partly from Etteilla’s tarot pack (DDD p. 143). It had an 82 p. book of instructions, per Kaplan (vol 1 p. 157). Kaplan dates it to 1815 and has pictures. Some of Etteilla’s designs for trumps are here associated with suit cards, small images of which are put in the left bottom corners.

1808. Imperial decree now requires the licensing of printers. D’Odoucet is not among those granted a license and there is no further trace of him.

1810. “Nouvel Etteilla” or “Petit Necromancien” deck produced by publisher Robert in Paris, 36 cards, with a one-word title on top. Uses 8 of Etteilla’s figures. (DDD p. 144)

1814. Napoleon exiled to Elba, Louis XVII installed as King of France. Napoleon escapes in 1815, defeated at Waterloo, exiled to island of St. Helena, where he dies in 1821.

1814. First book by Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand, to be followed by many more over the next 20 years (this book is in Google Books at These books recount clairvoyancy rather than a method of card-reading, but they did much to popularize fortune-telling, including the use of cards. The Etteilla School did not hesitate to associate themselves with her; the author of the c. 1838-1840 book listed below, for example, is called “the Sibylle du faubourg Saint-Germain,” which is what Lenormand was called (DDD p. 147).

1826. Pierre Mongie l’aine (the elder) publishes Etteilla’s deck from the original copper plates, altered to erase the astrological symbols in the corners. To most of the trumps, court cards and Aces, it adds new titles in cursive script, inside the picture frame, of a Masonic or Biblical flavor, such as “Hiram’s Masonry” for card 2 or “Solomon” for card 8. On card 1, instead of “Etteilla” and “Questionnant” it has “L’Homme qui consulte” both top and bottom (Kaplan vol. 2 p. 400f). There is also a book, The art of reading cards and tarots or French, Egyptian, Italian and German Cartomancy. The author, given as “Aldegonde Perenna, Polish sibyl,” is actually Gabrielle de Paban, cousin of editor and collaborator Collin de Plancy. In an introductory essay, de Plancy says that the 1200 pages of Etteilla’s two large volumes contain nothing but astrological fantasies; the present work, by contrast, is at least clear. Its section on “Egyptian tarots” was reprinted numerous times by Grimaud to accompany its reprints of Etteilla’s deck (DDD pp. 144-147). Its 1969 deck, which showed keywords in both English and French, offered an English translation of this booklet, 118 pp.

1830, July Revolution in Paris establishes constitutional monarchy, with election of Louis-Philippe as king.

1838 or possibly earlier [this is a change, added Dec. 2, 2015, from my original "1838-1840", thanks to Kwaw at Simon Blocquel publishes a new version of Etteilla’s deck, with the title “Grand livre de Thot.” In the current classification of Etteilla decks, this style is the “Grand Etteilla II.” Titles are printed on both sides of the picture frame. Some images and keywords are different from Etteilla’s original deck. The Ace of Batons puts Etteilla’s reversed keyword on top and vice versa. There is also a 212 page book, Le Grand Etteilla. Art de tirer les cartes et de dire la bonne aventure, attributed to one “Julia Orsini,” with illustrations of all the cards. Place of publication is “chez Delarue, Libraire, Quai des Augustins, 11” in Paris, and “chez Blocquel-Castiaux, editeur” in Lille. A Delarue at some point became Blocquel’s son-in law. Blocquel and Castiaux habitually used "anagrammatic synonyms such as Blismon, Z. Lismon, Zlismon, Buccellos, Milbons and Monblis" (DDD p. 147). “Julia Orsini” is  a pseudonym, too (of Blocquel, Kwaw points out at above link). The name probably derives from Pope Alexander VI’s mistress, of that name. DDD (p. 147) say the "Orsini's" date of publication is “1838 or a trifle earlier.” Booksellers at the Abe Books website give c. 1840. That date is consistent with one of the works in the book’s bibliography, estimated on Worldcat to have been published c. 1840 (details in a previous post in this thread). But Kwaw gives an 1838 source listing the book, as well as another, from 1843-1857, giving the publication date of the book as 1838. The book (an original is at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas) contains explications of all the cards, four ways of doing readings, a list of typical questions that the cards will answer, an account of the game of tarot (not a reprint of the 1659 rules, but something even harder to follow), and a long section of “synonyms and alternative meanings,” presumably derived from de La Sallette or D’Odoucet. It uses the term “Questionnant” rather than “Consultante.”

1840. Baptiste-Jean Grimaud arrives in Paris at age 23 (Corodil at, drawing on an article in the review "As de Trèfle"). In 1848, Grimaud buys the workshop of cartier Arnould ( In 1851 he forms the société Grimaud & Cie. with two partners, and in 1858 signs a contract with inventor Firmin Chappellier so as to print cards industrially, making cards with rounded metallic corners (see Corodil). This firm will be one known for its reprints of Etteilla decks and booklets. Grimaud is still allowed to say the firm started in 1748 (and does so on numerous Marseille-style 2 of Coins), but there aren't really any cards bearing the Grimaud name before 1851, or machine-made Grimaud cards before 1858. (Kaplan, vol. 2 p. 203 and 211, is to that extent wrong when he says "...B. P. Grimaud, begun in 1748" (my thanks to Corodil for spotting the error in my original timeline entry, which had him starting in 1748).) The "1748" date is important because after 1817, government regulations in France greatly limited firms' access to the market, in effect creating a closed market (marché fermé), a situation which lasted until 1945 (

1843. “Jeu de la Princesse” deck appears as book illustrations; it is an Etteilla style deck in which some of the designs are more Egyptian looking than his. The titles are at the bottom of the cards, as in the Marseille. Some titles are taken from the 1826 deck. The book is reprinted in 1850. A deck appears in 1864, with many titles changed. The accompanying book says that Princess Tarot was a great prophetess of Thebes and Memphis. Starting in 1876 (Tarotpedia,, the deck is put out by Charles Watilliaux, active until 1908 (DDD p. 150). Besides Dusserre’s 1983 reprint, there is one called Cartomanzia Italiana put out by Edizioni del Solleone in 1983 ( and one by Lo Scarabeo (

1848. 2nd Republic established in France, electing Louis Napoleon as President. 2md Republic becomes 2nd Empire in an 1852 coup, with Louis Napoleon, nephew of Napoleon I, as Emperor Napoleon III.

1850-1890 [Added Dec. 2, 2015]. According to the BnF, a "Grand Etteilla" deck they have is dated in this range, published by Delorme. It is a stenciled woodcut version of the "Grand Etteilla II" deck. 

c. 1853. Second edition of L’art de tirer les cartes by “Julia Orsini.” (This date appears in the bibliography of Tarot of the Bohemians as translated by A.E. Waite., 2nd and 3rd editions). The “explications” section of this book serves as the Little White Book to the current Editions Dusserre Tarot Egyptien: Grand Jeu du Oracle des Dames deck, even though that deck’s pictures often do not fit the descriptions in the book. That deck is a “Grand Etteilla III,” and the book was written for a “Grand Etteilla II.” Editions Dusserre provides an English translation on facing pages; its total number of pages, including both English and French, is 112.

c. 1851-1890. [This part revised Dec. 2, 2015, based on observations by Köy Deli in "Comments" at bottom of this web-page] At some point someone starts reprinting Etteilla’s original deck, except that they add a sunburst on card 1 and clothing on the small figures of card 14. Unlike modern Grimaud (at least from 1969) these retain the two numbers on cards 13-17. It is not known whether the changes (sunburst and clothing) started then or earlier. One example ub the BnF database is a "Grimaud et Chartier", estimated by them at 1890; I see no tax stamp on the 2 of Swords. Another example is from the publisher Pussey and is dated by the BnF as 1880-1890. In that the body of water on card 3 is green rather than Grimaud's blue, it is much like a deck dated by Associazione Le Tarot as "beginning of the 19th century"; but this dating is not secure.

1856 or earlier [this entry revised Dec. 12, 2015 based on Köy Deli in "Comments" below]. Delarue puts out Tarot Egyptien: Grand Jeu du Oracle des Dames deck, per DDD p. 149 designed by G. Regamey, originally printed by chromo-lithography by Hangard-Mauge. DDD guve 1867 as the date, but my Commentor points out that the BnF gives their copy a date of 1856 and shows it advertised in the July 5, 1856, issue of ""Feuilleton du Journal de la Librairie" This style of card is generally referred to as “Grand Etteilla III.” Many of the trump figures are derived from the 15th century Nuremburg Chronicle. The booklet, online in Google Books as "Les Récréations de la cartomancie", is a radical revision of the “Julia Orsini” explications; the descriptions of the cards fit the new pictures. Google Books dates the booklet to 1850. However at the end there is an advertisement for a book showing how to address petitions to His Majesty the Emperor. This would be Napoleon III, who assumed that title in Dec. of 1852. These advertisements also show that the cards themselves were published with the booklet, using the relatively new (invented 1837, per Wikipedia) technology of chromo-lithography..

1870, July.
Napoleon III deposed after French defeat in Franco-Prussian War. 3rd Republic established, which lasts until 1939. Replaced by 4th Republic in 1946, and the Fifth Republic in 1958.

The tax stamp that was abolished in 1790 for playing cards returns in 1890, lasting until 1917 (Kaplan vol. 2). Examples of Etteilla decks with this stamp are at a Grimaud Etteilla I, a crudely machine-colored Etteilla II by Lismon, and two lithographed Etteilla IIIs from Delarue. Lismon was originally a trade name of Blocquel’s according to DDD; de la Rue is Bloquel’s son in law. Whether these particular decks were actually done by these companies (Lismon/Delarue) or some other is unknown. The Lismon of this vintage included an abridged version of “Julia Orsini’s” c. 1838 explications. In my xerox, there are 78 numbered pp. and about 26 unnumbered ones. The Grimaud had the “Egyptian” part of the 1826 book, 168 pp.

c. 1906. (Date is per Book in Spanish by “Dr. Moorne,” El supremo arte de echar las cartas, to accompany a Spanish version of the Grand Etteilla III, in which the pictures are on the right, and on the left a Hebrew letter and other symbols. The deck probably existed in the 19th century, and had Italian as well as Spanish examples (DDD p. 114f). The book’s expositions are in part derivative from the earlier French booklets. An odd feature is that Etteilla’s “days of creation” are applied to the cards in sequence, card 1 for the first day, card 2 for the second, and so on for the 7 days of creation (at least in the version at The result is that what is pictured on the card usually has little to do with the day of creation as Etteilla characterized it.

Papus publishes Le Tarot Divinatoire, which includes the Etteilla lists of synonyms and alternative meanings, but keeps the Marseille order of the trumps. He says that his lists come from Etteilla and D’Odoucet. (Papus’s book also has other interpretations, Paul Christian’s and his own.)

A. E. Waite draws extensively from the Etteilla School’s word lists in his Pictorial Key to the Tarot, less systematically than Papus, but still around 30-50% of the time, and without giving Etteilla credit (see Judging by certain choices of words, Waite’s source would appear to be the c. 1853 “Julia Orsini,” the one in the bibliography he provided for Papus’s Tarot of the Bohemians; but I have not given this idea a thorough test.

Waite and Papus became immensely influential over the course of the 20th century. Dr. Moorne continued to be popular in Spanish-speaking countries. In this way Etteilla’s divinatory meanings, if not his deck, are now more influential than ever in the world of cartomancy.


  1. Re: 1906 -- "Dr. Moorne' was a pseudonym of Francisco Moreno (full name Francisco Teodomiro Moreno Durán, b.30th July 1864, d.1933). Other of his pen-names were Dr. Morral, Mateo, Bachiller Francisco de Estepa (Sevilla). He also had a book published on the Tarot in 1903 (an earlier edition of the above?) :

    Los maravillosos secretos de los naipes. Arte completo de echar las cartas. Segun el sistema egipcio de 78 Taros y los metodos mas usados y conocidos en Francia y en Espana. (The wonderful secrets of the cards. The complete art of laying the cards. According to the Egyptian system of 78 Tarot and the most used and known methods in France and Spain.) Madrid, 1903, 272p., 19.5cm. Published by Pueyo.

    Source: Gregorio Pueyo (1860-1913): librero y editor by Miguel Angel Bull Pueyo. p.126

    I don't see your 'odd feature'? In my (pdf) copy of El-supremo-arte-de-echar-las-Cartas, the First Day of Creation is the second card, attributed to Beth, (Osiris. La Gloria Fuego Celeste. Primer día De la Creación. La Aurora), the seventh is card 8.

    The cards are also known as the 'Catalan Tarot' because of the Catalan style pips & courts in the top left corner of the minor arcana. The Catalan style is after those of the card manufacturer Guarro, which has led some to suggest the deck was manufactured by Guarro. The Catalan has been dated by some to as early as 1890 -- but as far as I am aware there is no real evidence of it prior to Moreno's book.

    1. It would be interesting to see how his first book compares with the 1906, the titles are different so I am not sure they are the same. It seems to be rare, there is a copy listed on WorldCat at the National Library in Madrid.

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    3. Thanks for the information on "Dr. Moorne" and his pseudonyms.

      I didn't know about the earlier book and know nothing about it.

      As far as the "odd feature", I only meant that Moorne assigns the days of creation differently than Etteilla himself did. I suppose Etteilla is the one who was odd, since his assignments are not in sequence.

      Card 2 gets the 1st day of creation, as we would expect. But then:
      card 3 gets the 3rd day of creation,
      card 4 gets the 2nd day of creation,
      card 5 gets the 6th day of creation,
      card 6 gets the 4th day of creation,
      card 7 gets the 5th day of creation,
      card 8 gets the 7th day of creation.

      "Dr. Moorne" gives more straightforward "day of creation" assignments. It is only an "odd feature" in that it is different from Etteilla's own assignments.

    4. re: 1867 the Grand Dames deck -- the accompanying was book was by Lemarchand (a Parsien based fortune-teller), not by Julia Orsini.

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    6. An advert from 1867

      78 cartes-tarots,imprimées en chromo-lithographie a l’imitation des miniatures du quinzième siècle, refermées dans un etui et accompagnées du livret explicatif, par Mlle LEMARCHAND...10-00

    7. 78 tarot cards, printed in chromo-lithography, imitation of miniatures of the fifteenth century, closed in a hard case and accompanied by explanatory booklet by LEMARCHAND Miss 10-00 ...

    8. Though no doubt Lemarchand used Orsini as one of her sources.

    9. According to BnF the accompanying booklet was printed in 1856:

      Type : texte imprimé, monographie
      Auteur(s) : Lemarchand, Melle
      Titre(s) : Les Récréations de la cartomancie, ou Description pittoresque de chacune des cartes du grand jeu de l'oracle des dames, avec des combinaisons pour expliquer le présent, le passé, l'avenir, par Mlle Lemarchant ["sic"] [Texte imprimé]
      Publication : Paris : tous les marchands de nouveautés, (1856)
      Description matérielle : In-16, 90 p., fig.
      Sujet(s) : Cartes à jouer, Règles, 1856

    10. There is also one from 1867:

      Type : texte imprimé, monographie
      Auteur(s) : Lemarchand, Melle
      Titre(s) : Les Récréations de la cartomancie, ou Description pittoresque de chacune des cartes du grand jeu de l'oracle des dames, avec des combinaisons pour expliquer le présent, le passé, l'avenir, par Mlle Lemarchant ["sic"] [Texte imprimé]
      Publication : Paris : tous les marchands de nouveautés, (1867.)
      Description matérielle : In-18, 90 p., fig.

      Note(s) : Le titre porte : "par Mlle Lemarchand"

    11. There is one more listed without a date but by a different publisher:

      There is another listed without a date but by a different publisher:

      Type : texte imprimé, monographie
      Auteur(s) : Lemarchand, Mademoiselle
      Titre(s) : Les Récréations de la cartomancie, ou description pittoresque de chacune des cartes du grand jeu de l'oracle des dames, avec des combinaisons pour expliquer le présent, le passé, l'avenir [Texte imprimé] / par Mlle Lemarchand
      Publication : Paris : Impr. J. Dumoulin, [s.d.]
      Description matérielle : 90 p. : fig. ; in-16

    12. The advert also appears in 'LivreAcadémie des jeux, contenant la règle des jeux de calcul et de hasard' published in 1865.

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    14. Also in 'Almanach-Manuel du chasseur' by Robert Duchêne, 1863

      and in 'Le grand Oracle des Dames et des Demoiselles' 1859, so definitely earlier than 1867.

    15. Lemarchand's LWB (1850 - according to google books) is available online here:'oracle%20des%20dames&f=false

    16. Very good. I had not checked the BNF. I don't remember if I checked Google Books using the title "Les Récréations de la Cartomancie". I do have a photocopy of the book, or some edition of it, but I always assumed it was 1867 or later, based on DDD's information.

      The "Recreations" booklet by Marchand/t, which is for the Grand Etteilla III and has black and white pictures of those cards on its pages, is not the same as the revised Orsini (the one that accompanies the Dusserre Grand Etteilla III deck, but really refers to the Grand Etteilla II). Instead of being a revision, it is a paraphrase. "Marchand/t" says much the same things as "Orsini" (although leaving out some of the combinations), even using the same examples, but consistently in slightly different words. Perhaps they thought, probably correctly, that they could evade lawsuits that way.

      There remains the question of whether Depaulis (whom I assume did that part of Wicked Pack) is right in dating the Grand Etteilla III to 1867, or whether it is in fact earlier, 1856--or as early as 1850, since the booklet in Google Books clearly has the Grand Etteilla III images.

      Is the BNF (1856) or Google (1850) accurate? I don't know if the BNF booklet is online or not. I assume not. As for the Google Books' copy, and mine, there is no date in the photocopy.

      There are, as you give them, the advertisements for the Marchant/d in publications whose dates are known, thus giving us 1859, apparently.

      There is also a question of who the publisher is and whether the firm existed in 1850 or 1856. "Chez tous les marchands des nouvautés" does not sound like the name of a publisher. It is probably Delarue, since the adverts at the back of the book start with him. Delarue is the son-in-law of "Orsini's" publisher, Blocquel (active until 1838 or later). The printer is "Bonaventure et Ducessois, 55 quai des Augustins" as given on the last page. On my copy of the book, that same printer and address is on the page after the title page; it is missing on the Google Books' copy.

      One can also check the adverts at the back of the book, and try to determine when they were first printed. I notice that one of the publications described at the back of Google Books' copy (and mine) is a book of instructions on how to address petitions to "Sa Majesté l'Empereur", which I assume means Napoleon III. He didn't even become emperor until 1852, so the book surely isn't 1850. Unfortunately he was emperor until 1873. But perhaps other adverts photocopied by Google will provide a narrower range. Since you seem to know your way around French data-bases and libraries better than I, see what you can come up with.

      If you run out of books to check, my own photocopy has three additional pages of advertisements, featuring such authors as the tarot-significant "Ana-gramme Blismon", another pseudonym, of course, but I can't remember exactly when he or she was--I think DDD said it was Delarue. I can email you these pages if you like. Just send me a private message on Aeclectic Tarot Forum; my username is mikeh. And if we get stuck, it might help for one of us to post what we know on the thread there where I originally put the timeline. There are collectors out there who make it their business to authenticate the age of the things they collect.

    17. Comparing "Les Récréations de la Cartomancie" with the other two booklets, the ones attributed to Julia Orsini (c. 1838 and c. 1853 in my timeline), I see that "Recreations" is only a paraphrase of Orsini in the explanation of the method. In the interpretation of the individual cards, it typically takes a sentence or two from Orsini and interprets much the same pairs, but otherwise goes off on its own, typically making the negative predictions less negative and attempting to relate to the new details of the new Grand Etteilla III pictures. It also tends, unlike the Orsinis, to ignore the Etteilla keywords, except as they relate to the picture. For example, unlike the Orsinis it says nothing about priests in discussing card 10, Temperance/Priest.

    18. Yes, she purposely chooses the positive and downplays the negative, she writes in the foreword of The Ladies Oracle:

      "Nowadays everyone knows that there are no witches, and therefore it is not given to anyone to predict the future in one form or another; however, there are still some people who read the cards as a pure and simple recreation: it is to the latter that our little book is addressed.

      "What distinguishes one from another of the same kind, is the choice of the oracles. The author does not believe that any game could entertain which left unfortunate impressions in the minds of people who were using it.

      "Therefore she has only brought together those oracles able to offer a subject of fun and bring a smile to the lips of such charming ladies as may consult it. May she have some success! Its goal would be achieved, with its beautiful consultants gaining through it that laughter which adds to grace and beauty."

      The earlier adverts have an additional paragraph that emphasizes the artistry and quality of the deck - the quality of which is surely reflected in the cost. While others decks were 5 or 6 Francs, The Ladies Oracle was 10.

    19. Orsini as source for the method is acknowledged in the notes:

      "The method that we give above is borrowed from a very comprehensive book entitled LE GRAND ETTEILLA OU L‘ART DE TIRER LES CARTES, etc. , etc., by JULIA ORSINI, a big volume with 78 figures, etc., etc

    20. Not sure if I have translated them all correctly, her list of 'simplified meanings' is:

      1 The World The Male Questioner
      2 Enlightenment Fire
      3 Discourse Water
      4 Despoilment Air
      5 Journey Earth
      6 Night Day
      7 Support Protection
      8 Rest The female questioner
      9 Justice Jurist
      10 Temperance The wise man
      11 Fortitude The sovereign
      12 Prudence The people
      13 Marriage Union
      14 Major force Minor force
      15 Illness Illness
      16 Judgment Judgment
      17 End Nothingness
      18 Traitor Falsehood
      19 Misery Prison
      20 Fortune Increase
      21 Dissension Arrogance
      22 A country man Good man
      23 A country woman Good woman
      24 Departure Disunity
      25 Good stranger New
      26 Betrayal Treason
      27 Delay Cross bars
      28 House party Disputes
      29 Parley Indecision
      30 Domestic Waiting
      31 Gold Trial
      32 Company Prosperity
      33 Companies Past troubles
      34 Chagrin Surprise
      35 Fall Birth
      36 Blond man Important man
      37 Blond woman Important woman
      38 Arrival Deception
      39 Blond boy Addiction
      40 The City Wrath
      41 Victory Sincerity
      42 Blond girl Satisfaction
      43 Thought Projects
      44 The past The future
      45 Heritage Parents
      46 Boredom Novelty
      47 Success Business
      48 Love Desire
      49 Table Change
      50 Magistrate Bad man
      51 Widowhood Wicked woman
      52 Military Ignorance
      53 Spy Improvidence
      54 Tears Advantage
      55 Order Justified distrust
      56 Critical Incident
      57 Hope Wise advice
      58 Road Declaration
      59 Loss Mourning
      60 Solitude Economy
      61 Remoteness Confusion
      62 Friendship False
      63 Extreme Pregnancy
      64 Brunette male Vicious man
      65 Brunette female Certain harm
      66 Utility Inaction
      67 Brunette boy Prodigality
      68 The house Game of chance
      69 Effect Deception
      70 Brunette girl Usury
      71 Silver Concern
      72 The present Ambition
      73 Future Disorder
      74 Gift Enclosure
      75 Nobility Child
      76 Embarrassment Letter
      77 Contentment Exchange
      78 Folly Folly

    21. Thanks for your translations. Now that they are in English, I notice right away how "Marchant/d" has changed this list from that of Orsini (which is identical to Etteilla's). For card 1, she has "Monde" instead of "Chaos". For 10, she has "Sage" instead of "Pretre". For 17 "Fin" instead of "Mortalité". In 18, which Orsini calls "Le Traitre", she has "Fausseté" instead of "Faux Dévot" (someone who pretends piety) for the reversed meaning. For 73 she has "Futur" instead of "Amant ou Amante". Hey, we can't have lovers, at least not male ones.

      These suggest that she is taking no chances with the censor, who in those days tended to side with the Catholic Church. Compared to the days before Napoleon III, of Etteilla and "Orsini" even in the second edition (which I dated 1853), these are harsh times.

      On the other hand, for number 37, "femme en place" , Orsini had "femme d'homme en place" --wife of an important woman". Well, Eugenie, Nap. III's wife, was something of a feminist.

      Oddly enough, the cards themselves don't make these changes, assuming that Dusserre has reproduced them correctly, which I think they have. They have "faux devot" etc.

      There are a few other changes, but nothing significant.

      You did a good job with the translations, considering that you had virtually no context to work in (since "Marchand/t" doesn't refer to these words). In context, "nouvelle" is actually "news", but there's no way you could know that. And 27 "traverses" is "obstacles", 39 "penchant" is "tendency", 45 "heritage" in context "inheritance" and "parents" is "relatives", 71 "argent" is "money".

      I think somewhere in this blog, I have discussed the various keywords and translations of keywords in the Etteilla tradition. Or if not here, then in another one, with my translation of Etteilla's 3rd Cahier.

      I continue to be curious about when this booklet was first published. When I put "Récréations de la cartomancie", all I get, besides the booklet itself, is the "Almanach de l'Oracle des dames et des demoiselles...suivi des récréations de la cartomancie", 1856. In other words, the same booklet but combined with an annual almanac for women and girls. If that year is actually on the "Almanach"--which it should be, then that would prove that the booklet came out in 1856. But how to verify this? Do you have to physically go to the BnF? Also, if the "Almanach" came out in 1855 but didn't advertise the booklet in question, that would also be of interest.

      Perhaps that is the same publication, but a different year, as the 'Le grand Oracle des Dames et des Demoiselles' that you found for 1859. But that date for that title didn't come up.

      Also the other one, " Almanach-Manuel du chasseur' by Robert Duchêne, 1863, didn't come up either. That, too, is an annual periodical put out by Delarue. But on a different subject, so it would be understandable if he didn't advertise the booklet there earlier.

      But how did you find out it was there in 1863, or in the other one in 1859? Please advise.

      I didn't see the other two books you mentioned, the I see that it comes out every year, including 1855. Since the publisher is the same, Delarue, surely he would have advertised it then, too, if it existed. On that basis I am inclined to think that it was indeed published in 1856.

    22. Please ignore the last paragraph above. I thought I had erased it.

    23. It is listed, along with others from the Delarue library in the weekly edition of "Feuilleton du Journal de la Librairie", dated Samedi (No. 27) 5 Juillet 1856'oracle%20des%20dames%22.zoom

    24. I think that Journal was basically an announcement for Libraries of new books and reprints... (?)

      I have just noticed as well that Ross Caldwell in his article on cartomancy also lists Lemarchands "Récréations de la cartomancie" as 1856.

    25. Lemarchand's 'Le grand Oracle des Dames et des Demoiselles' (not to be confused with'Le grand Oracle des Dames) went through many editions (including an English version) -- it gives various fortune-telling methods such as with dominoes, playing cards, lucky and unlucky days etc. Exemplifying Lemarchand's approach to Fortune Telling as a parlour amusement for Ladies is one she gives for telling which of three woman have the best husbands using playing cards - the result of the computions result in an equal value for all three players, as 'all husbands are angels'.

    26. Yes, from your link I see the advert and also, two pages earlier, a date of 8 July 1856 for that issue. So 1856. I will correct my timeline.

    27. Now if only the date of the Grimaud deck could be narrowed down from my 1850-1890. The title of the pamphlet is "Manière de tirer le Grand Etteilla du tarots Égyptien composé de 78 cartes et de 118 tableaux", publisher B. P. Grimaud, 54, Rue de Lancry, 54, Paris. Impriméries Oberthur, Rennes-Paris. There are 168 pages.

      I put it as 1850-1890. That's what the BnF has for the deck from the George Marteau collection; the publisher is given as Delorme.

      Another deck, also in the Georges Marteau collection at the BnF, has the publisher as Grimaud et Chartier and an estimated date of 1890.

      Another, I think d'Allemagne collection, has the publisher Pussey and estimated dae 1880-1890.

      In the booklet I have a copy of, next to the title page are adverts for 10 decks and their accompanying booklets. The title given for this deck is "Le Grand Etteilla" in bold print, all capital letters, followed, in ordinary print, "du tarots Égyptien composé de 78 cartes et de 118 tableaux, avect brochure explicative de 168 pages."

      Here are the other titles. I checked on WorldCat to see what the estimated date of libaries' copies are. If we knew when any of these was first published, then we would know that the booklet in which these are advertised is later than that.

      Le Destin antique: 12 cards, brochure of 61 pages. WorldCat has 1865-1880 (from BnF), but 32 cards. Publisher is Grimaud et Chartier.

      Le Grand Jeu de Mlle Le Normand: 54 cards. brochure 104 pages. WorldCat has 1845, different publisher, longer title (Grand Jeu de société: pratiques secrètes de Mlle Le Normand...)

      Le Sibylle des salons: 52 cards, with brochure. WorldCat has 1830, Grimaud, from the BnF (which I verified). This seems impossible, as Grimaud did not exist then, or even its predecessor firm (established 1848). Grimaud himself would have been 13 years old. The source is Paul Marteau, so no wonder. Other decks by this name are dated 1890-1910, from the Georges Marteau collection; but the publisher is "Chartier, Grimaud et Boudin".

      Le Nouveau Grand Jeu de la Main. 56 cards, brochure 62 pages. Nothing comes up except "L'Avenir dévoilé dans le nouveau grand jeu chiromancique des formes, lignes et signes des mains", 1880-1890, Pussey publisher.

      Le Petit Oracle des Dames: 42 cards, 74 tableaux, brochure 86 pages. There is a "Le Petit oracle des dames et des demoiselles" of 1863, but wrong publisher ('chez les marchands"). Also one of 1867, with 52 cards. For 42 cards, 74 tableaux, proper title, date given is 1877, publisher J. Boyer. But earlier editions with "Petit oracle des dames", followed by other words, and no numbers of cards given, go back to 1807.

      Le Livre du Destin: 33 cards, plus brochure. Paul Marteau's collection, in the BnF (Grimaud publisher), estimates 1875-1899.

      Le Petit Cartomancien ou Petit le Mormand: 36 cards, brochure 15 pages. Paul Marteau collection (Grimaud publisher), estimates 1875-1899.

      Le Tarot Astrologique: 48 cards, with brochure of method of G. Muchery.
      Ancien Tarot de Marseille. 78 cards. Nothing at Grimaud before 1935. But there is an English translation of the 1920s and a previous French edition of 1927.

      This result gives 1890-1910 as most likely, for this particular booklet, but back as far as 1877 is possible. Researching Grimaud's printer might help. Not a very interesting result so far.

    28. Re; Julia Orsini as pseudonym. According to entry here:

      La littérature française contemporaine... : XIXe siècle. T. 5 LEB-PEZ / par J. M. Querad [puis] MM. Charles Louandre et Felix Bourquelot : 1843 - 1857

      ORSINI [Julia], pseudonyme de Simon Blocquet – Le Grand Etteilla, ou l’Art de tirer les cartes, contenant, etc.; le tout ‘ecueilli et mis dans un nouvel ordre et corrige par Julia Orsini, sibylle du du faubourg Saint-Germain, Lille, impr. de Blocquel, 1838, in–12 et in-18 [3 fr].

    29. Typo -- theat should be of course Simon Blocquel, not Blocquet.

    30. This comment has been removed by the author.

    31. This comment has been removed by the author.

    32. Blocquel includes the introduction from 'Orsini's' 1838 book in his book 'La Magie Rouge' 1843. In a note he says the deck is manufactured by 'Zlismon' (i.e., himself) :

      Le grand jeu des 78 tarots Egyptiens, ou livre de Thot, fabriqué et vérifié par Zlismon pour servir au grand Etteilla, art de tirer les cartes et de dire la bonne aventure, 78 grandes planches coloriées, se trouve chez les principaux libraires; il se paie cinq francs dans toutes les parties de là France.

    33. He wrote La Magie Rouge under another of his pseudonyms, the hellenist Aaron. He humbly writes of Orsini's (i.e., his) book :

      "To give an idea of the merit of these characters we will simply report a section that serves as introduction to a highly regarded book, which is titled "The Great Etteilla, or the art of laying cards' by Julia Orsini. This book is accompanied with 78 plates and is the pearl of the books on cartomancy."

    34. Additional confirmation of 1838 date for Orsini, it is listed in the Repertorium der gersammten deutschen literatur, published in 1838, Leipzig. p.199:

      (The date of Repertorium publication is on front covers.)

    35. The Delorme is not a Type 1 --

      I think it is similar to one in the British Museum, colours slightly different and sizes are different, but picture styles are the same. It is dated 1800-1875 (the old library stamp shows it was acquired between those dates).


      Or the ZLismon here:


      The BM also has a H. Pussey Le Grand Etteilla acquired in 1904 which they date simply and unhelpfully to 19th century - however, they note there is a duty stamp on the 2 of swords dated 12 Avril 1890.

      (This stamp was in use in France from 1890 to 1917, and from 1922 to 1940.
      The text is 'RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE' and 'DÉCRET DU 12 AVRIL 1890'.)


      The booklet has "Cartes A Jouer, H. Pussey, 20, Rue de la Banque, Paris". Lettered on the back of the booklet "Paris - Impr. Paul Dupont" and "L. et M. Paris, 74, Rue Saint-Maur." This is different to the BnF booklet, which also has H. Pussey but the printer is impr. LEVEBVRE PASS DU CAIRE 87.

    36. The Delorme being a Lismon Type II deck at least allows us to narrow the reissuing of the Type 1 by Pussey (c1880-1890) and Grimaud (1890). The BM copy of the H. Pussey, c.1890 - 1900, seems to be a different (later?) printing to the BnF, with slightly different colouring and the booklet by a different printer.

    37. Pussey & Grimaud seem to have been connected to each other. Two decks at BnF mention Pussey & Grimaud :

      [Jeu de cartes au portrait officiel français à deux têtes]
      [jeu de cartes, estampe]
      Material description : 47 cartes à jouer : gravure en taille-douce coloriée au pochoir ; 8,1 x 5,3 cm
      Note : Technique de l'image : estampe. - eau-forte
      Note : Coins arrondis. - Dos tarotés à motifs géométriques bleus et effet de moire
      Sources : Collection Georges Marteau, léguée en 1916. Cartes à jouer. État sommaire / par J. Guibert, Paris, 1937, 711
      Edition : Paris : Ancienne fabrique Pussey-Lebourgeois : B. P. Grimaud , [1877]
      Ancien possesseur : Georges Marteau (1858-1916)

      La Sibylle des Salons
      [jeu de cartes, estampe]
      Material description : 1 jeu de 52 cartes, 1 carte blanche, 1 enveloppe : lithographie coloriée au pochoir ; 11,3 x 7,7 cm
      Note : Technique de l'image : estampe. - lithographie. - couleurs (épreuve coloriée)
      Note : Coins carrés. - Dos tarotés à quadrillage écossais en rose et bleu. - Il est communément admis que ces cartes, signées "Mansion", pseudonyme d'André Léon Larue, sont en fait dues à son élève, Grandville. - Timbre fiscal sur l'As de Trèfle. - Enveloppe chromolithographiée
      Sources : Collection Georges Marteau, léguée en 1916. Cartes à jouer. État sommaire / par J. Guibert, Paris, 1937, 817-820
      Sources : Cinq siècles de cartes à jouer en France : [exposition], Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, septembre-octobre 1963 / catalogue réd. par Jean-Pierre Seguin et Cécile de Jandin, Paris, 1963, 378
      Edition : Paris : H. Pussey : Chartier, Grimaud et Boudin , [entre 1890 et 1900]
      Ancien possesseur : Georges Marteau (1858-1916)
      Dessinateur du modèle : Grandville (1803-1847)
      Dessinateur prétendu : André Léon Larue (1785-1834?)

    38. re: Le Nouveau Grand Jeu de la Main. 56 cards, brochure 62 pages. Nothing comes up except "L'Avenir dévoilé dans le nouveau grand jeu chiromancique des formes, lignes et signes des mains", 1880-1890, Pussey publisher.

      A later edition of this (c.1900) has Grimaud as the manufaturer on the box, and Pussey as the vendor (of toys & games).

    39. Le Salon des Sybils was originally published by H. Pussey in 1848, long before as you mention Grimaud even existed - but later editions, c.1890 to 1900, were published as by H. Pussey : Chartier, Grimaud et Boudin.

    40. According to a catalogue for the sale of the collection of Claude Guiard (expert consultant Depaulis), the legal rights to La Sybille des Salons was registered in Paris in May 1827, which were later picked up by other publishers, Gaudais (active 1875 to 1880), then Pussey (1880-1890)
      and finally by Grimaud at the end of the nineteenth century. (The dating of the Pussey Salon des Dames to 1848 would then seem to be an error?)

      If Grimaud picked up the legal rights for this deck from Pussey, possibly he did so for other decks of the Pussey Catalogue too.

      Coredil over at AT posted information confirming that Grimaud took over the firms of H. Pussey, and of Lemarque & Mignot, in 1990. Quoting from an article in Ace de Trefle, 10/98:

      Between 1890-1891, the company Grimaud increased considerably her catalogue with several divinatory games thanks to the purchase of the companies Pussey then Lequart et Mignot. From the first (company), she borrows the Sybille des Salons, the Jeu de la main and the Grand jeu de Mlle Lenormand; and from the second (company), Le Destin Antique, the Grand and the Petit Etteilla, the Petit oracle des Dames and the Petit Cartomancien.
      (Trans. Coredil)

      L&M are mentioned as the old makers of Le Grand Etteill too in their entry on their Grimaud Grand Etteill (type I0 1890:

      The BnF entry does mention Lequart et Mignot:

      [Jeu de tarot divinatoire dit "Grand Etteilla" ou "tarot égyptien"] : [jeu de cartes, estampe] Éditeur : Grimaud et Chartier (Paris) Éditeur : ancienne fabrique Lequart et Mignot (Paris) Date d'édition : 1890 Sujet : Jeux divinatoires Type : image fixe,estampe Langue : zxx Format : 1 jeu de 78 cartes : gravure à l'eau-forte coloriée au pochoir avec rehauts d'aquarelle ; 11,8 x 6,6 cm

      There is a small (16p) booklet about 'the damages caused to Lequart & Mignot by the expropriation of their factory' published in February 1890.

      And an announcement in The Bulletin de la papeterie, September 1890:

      Cessions de Fonds

      Lequart et Mignot (Societe) a Grimard et Chartier (Societe)fabrique de cartes a jouer et autres, rue Saint-Maur, 74.

      Business Information / Transfer of Funds
      Lequart and Mignot (Society) to Grimard and Chartier (Society), maker of cards, games and others, rue Saint-Maur, 74.

    41. Confusing that the only information we have of an earlier Type I (excepting Etteilla's own, and the German decks of 1793 & 1857) is from H. Pussey, not Lemarque & Mignot. I wonder where this information of L&M being the earlier manufacturers of the Grimaud comes from?

    42. That should be Lequart et Mignon, & 1890, not 1990.

    43. The BnF Grimaud, 1890, is very similar to this BM Grand Etteilla, which they date to c.1800-1850 (it has an 1860 acquisition stamp - so would appear to be 1860 or ealier).

    44. The BM also have a German Etteilla Type I which might be of interest:

    45. Note re: the BM Type I dated first half of 19th century.

      As well as the deck being described as having an acquisition stamp 1860 (old BM Library stamp 12 April 1860) - which if correct must date it to at least 1860 or earlier - we also have Willshire's description of it (or one very much like it) in his 'A Descriptive Catalogue of Playing and Other Cards in the British Museum' which makes it (or its type) for certain pre-1876.

      (I have posted Willshire's description of the card on the thread over at AT.)

    46. For the benefit of others in the future, that post is by "Kwaw" at where many of the comments here, as well as those of others, may be found in the same thread, going back to p. 28, post 271 (now at 310).

    47. Sorry for the confusion "kwaw" is my username over @ AT.

    48. Re: 1807 Gueffier. There are listings for the Petit Etteilla des Dames at least as early as 1802.

      Also, if this listing of Etteilla publications is correct, Gueffier has a much greater role to play in the timeline:

      __* Etteilla, ou manière de se récréer avec un jeu de cartes. Paris, Lesclapart, 1770 in- 12. -- Nouvelle édit. (sons le titre du Petit Ëtieilla) contenant 33 cartes dans un étui avec la manière de s’en servir, et le livre des rêves). Paris, (Gueffier jeune) in-18, 3 fr.

      Jeu (grand) de 78 cartes eu figures hiéroglyphiques. Paris, (Guffier jeune), 36 fr.
      Ou peutse procurer le jeu de caries séparément, 9 fr.

      Zodiaque (le) mystérieux, ou les Oracles d’Etteilla. Paris, Gueffier jeune. ( Peytieux), 1772 in-8, 4 fr.

      La France littéraire ou dictionnaire bibliographique des savants, historiens et gens de lettres de la France, ainsi que des littérateurs étrangers qui ont écrit en français, plus particulièrement pendant les XVIIIe et XIXe siècles: A - B, Volume 1 By Joseph M. Quérard, 1827

    49. I am not clear as to what the dates of the above were?

      I have lost my copy, but if memory serves me right Gueffier jeune is reported as making reprints of Etteilla in c.1820?

    50. In 'A Wicked Pack of Cards' that is.

    51. This comment has been removed by the author.

    52. c.1802 or earlier,Le Petit Oracles des Dames, originally by Gueffier, with later editions by the widow Gueffier, the rights of which are later (c. February 1823) sold on to M. Peytieux, libraire, passage du Caire, n.121, à Paris, by Mr. Gueffier the younger (presumably their son).

      c.1806 or earlier, a Petit Etteilla, by the Widow Gueffier with later editions by Gueffier Jeune.

      1817, February, Gueffier jeune acquires the the remaining few copies of the Book of Thoth[/i], published by Etteilla:

      Du Dictionnaire synonymique du livre de Thot
      Du Cours pratique da livre de Thot
      Grand Jeu, consisting of 78 cards, with hieroglyphic figures.
      price 36-0 (Or the game of cards sold separately, price 9-0)

      To be found from the same address :

      le Petit Oracle des Dames composed of 42 cards, enclosed in a case with instructions. price 3-0
      Le Petit Eteilla, composed of 33 cards, enclosed in a case with instructions, and a book of dreams for the lottery. 3-0
      L ‘Introduction à la fortune, ou l’Art de corriger ses défauts à la loterie; avec les Reves, etc. 4-0

      1823 M. Peytieux, libraire, passage du Caire, n.121, à Paris, purchases the rights and remaining stock of Le Petit Oracle des Dames from Mr. Gueffier the younger.

      1826 & 1827, Gueffier jeune is still listed as publisher and seller of the Grand Etteilla, consisting of several volumes and deck for 36fr, or 9fr for the cards alone. Can't find any reference to him after that.

    53. Wicked Pack's first notice of Gueffier jeune is 1820, a reprint of Zodiac Mysterieuse with advertisements of other works, including the 78 cards, engraved and carefully colored, for fr. 6.50. This is on pp. 113-114 of Wicked Pack. They also say, p. 274 note 64, that the book was reissued "some years later" but without further details, other than that the reprint is "126 pp.; 12 mo."

      P. 114 mentions Peytieux as "newly established" in 1827, selling the deck with other works for fr. 36 and by itself for fr. 6.0. That is what you have for 1817! The "veuve Gueffier" is mentioned on p. 145 as selling a "Petit Oracle des Dames" in 1807, with an earlier edition by Mme. Finet, but with only 36 cards. On p. 146 we learn that the "classic version" had 42 cards; its designs were borrowed in part from a fortune-telling pack of 1790 and in part from Etteilla's tarot pack. The footnotes are to Depaulis, Les Cartes de la Revoltuion 1984 no. 132 and Mademoiselle Lenormand, 1989 no. 99.

    54. Re: Petieux -- in the Bibliographie de France he appears to have another address to the above:

      "chez Peytieux, galerie Delorme, n.11 et 13."

      Probably coincidence? (I am thinking of the Type II Etteilla by 'Delorme'.)

    55. That is in the 24th December, 1931 issue of the Bibliography de France.

    56. His 'passage du Caire' office is advertised as for sale in the December 1823 edition.

  2. I've got a Grand Jeu des Dames with the pink back and I've done a bit of research, creating loads of questions.
    1. I see two versions with the same ?1870 artwork. Mine has a pink square pattern, but I've seen a photo of the same artwork with a marbled back. Do any of you know which is earlier?
    2. Did the deck issued 1856 with Lemarchand's booklet have woodcuts which matched the illustrations in her booklet? 'Cerulean' in Tarotforums posted a picture a card from an early deck with pictures which matched the booklet, but Cerulean was not clear if this was a first edition from 1856 (seemed to say it was a Spanish deck?).

  3. Sorry my name did not appear - this is Christina from Treadwell's. I shyould add that the example I have is an early one, pre 1890 as there's no tax stamp.

  4. These are good questions, Christina. I can't answer the first question without quite a bit more research. If you haven't already looked, you might be able to find copies with those backs online at the websites of Gallica, the British Museum, the Metropolitan, the Wellcome Library, etc. and see what they say. As for the second, if I knew the picture that Cerulean posted I might be able to answer. Can you provide a link to that post? Otherwise, I suggest you join Tarot History Forum and ask your questions there (in the "Exhibition Gallery"). You can post pictures by linking to an image file online (there should be a way to upload them directly, but if so I don't know it); or if that's inconvenient, linking to some url address that has it. Unfortunately most of the people who know these decks were at Aeclectic Tarot Forum, and it's gone. Sumada and Kenji would be good people to ask, if you can find them.

    1. Another thought: If there is a tax stamp, it will be on the 2 of Swords. One clue to the date might be the LWB. The LeMarchand booklet I have scans of has black and white pictures of the cards (without keywords) in the LWB and says on the page facing the title page "imprime chez Bonaventure et Ducessois, 55, Quai des Augustins."

      I just noticed that "Koy Deli" posted translated keywords from LeMarchand, but my copy has no keywords. So I would be very interested to know if yours, either in the booklet or the eck, has "Fin" for the upright instead of "Mortalite" on card 17, "Fausseté" instead of "Faux Dévot" on 18 reversed, and "Sage" instead of "Pretre" on 10 reversed.

  5. Hi there, thank you so much for you kind reply. My example (the deck I physically own) has a tax stamp on the 2 of swords, yes, so it's on or after 1890. Mine didn't come with a booklet. The cards themselves say: Mortalite on card 17, card Faux Dévot on 18, and Pretre on card 10. so not revised for censors.

    As for the marble-backed version, it is this one sold by Magnin-Wedry, who write in the description that they are sure it the first edition. I am trying to have a close look at the box, which appears to have a name at bottom centre.

  6. Cerulean remark, as you asked. Here it is, with link. And here's what it says "‘Editions Delarue of Paris had beautiful art prints, and the listing of art production and chromolithography and Hangard - Mave (sp) and G. Regamey has been helpful. Kaplan's auction of 2006 lists a Grand Jeu del'Oracle des Dames with different card images, but none are pictured. Perhaps this deck is similar to the variation in my Editions Delarue Cartomancie book which reflects the 19th century Lismon and Editions Delarue Ace of Wands as Chute or Fall as the Upright or Droit meaning and Naissance or Birth as the Reverse meaning for one example. And the Repose Eve of Editions Delarue with her leafy skirt and no spirals is also preserved. The Spanish language version is El de Las Arte Echar Cartas or the Art of Drawing Cards. I was able to place the circa 1865 book text, line drawing next to the Spanish language deck with the printed subtitles and lastly, a reproduction of the 1870 cards. I copied, colored and slightly altered the image of Eve of the Repos card. The last card is not in any of the reproduction decks." A link to the images follows

    1. I looked at the link you gave. I assume you could open her attachments, showing the booklet page for #8 Repos, the Spanish card (which is from 1903 or 1906, I forget which), and something else, either an actual "1870" card or her reconstruction of what it would have been. She seems to say both things. But if it is her coloring of a "slightly altered" image, it is a very good job. If it is a real card, then it is certainly the first version. I remain puzzled by what we're seeing.

      She seems to refer to the marbled back the deck you linked to in this passage: "The tax stamp, according to Wolfgang Kunst/Kunze, might have been applied to merchandise printed and stored by Lismon until or before the purchase of Lismon merchandise from Grimaud. The German seller had an 1890 Lismon with box and book and I believe the second soldier without beard is 1890. The back has a kind of wavy or squiggly lines...I think even the blurry photos might show the difference..." I didn't see any blurry photos. Here she seems to say that the wavy lines back is from 1890! But I would guess that a deck with Eve reaching for the apple is earlier than one where she isn't, because the Nuremburg Chronicle shows her reaching for the apple, and that's the basis for the card:

      It seems to me that if the marbled deck is a first edition, the owner should be able to provide pictures of at least card 8 and the 2 of Swords. Apparently a tax stamp wouldn't prove that it was post-1890, if it was held in storage and only offered for sale after 1890; but the lack of a tax stamp would certainly say something. If card 8 looks like the book illustration, i.e. with Eve reaching for the apple, that would say something, too. If you want me to try to contact others, such as Cerulean (although my information for her is 7 years old), please join Tarot History Forum and send me a Private Message.