Popularly known as the Marseilles Tarot, this is perhaps one of the most familiar old decks in regular use though mostly used as a normal playing card game. In fact the game of Trumps (aka whist) that is perhaps best suited and indeed shared the history between tarot and the modern deck of playing cards. Trumps derives from the name Trionfi where the 5th suite or Major Trumps (arcana). Marseille at one point was the centre of playing card manufacturing and a number of similar decks were produced in the 18th and 19th century.

These cards were printed using the wood cut method and block printing . Again like a lot of these ancient tarot decks, they were distrusted in the UK by Waddingtons who were a well know distributor of playing card decks and games.  This deck was produced by B P Grimaud , the B P standing for Baptiste Paul a publisher who lived between 1817 and 1899.  The factory started in 1848 and so the cards were first mentioned in 1856 . Grimaud cards are still well known and now are part of the cartamundi group , though their output is now mostly aimed at the casino market. My edition has a 1973 reprint date.

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