Historic / Tarot

The Daityanus Tarot

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The Daityanus Tarot is such an amazing find!  First published in Germany in 1920 in the book Der Tarot by Ernst Kurtzahn, I can find no record of this deck ever being published in the form of actual cards.  It is a beautiful synthesis of the French Etteilla Tarots and the more traditional Marseilles-style decks, all done in black-and-white line drawings.  The Major Arcana, unlike Etteilla’s decks, follows the traditional 22 card sequence, re-purposing many of Etteilla’s images to their logical counterparts, and adding some others presumably drawn by Kurtzahn himself.  They have German titles and some numerology and Kabbalah correspondences that unfortunately I cannot comment on, as I do not read any German and cannot translate the book itself.  The Minor Arcana is a direct copy of the Grand Etteilla, again in delicate line-drawings.  There are many claims floating around that this was the first German Tarot!

The Daityanus Tarot is printed on bridge-sized cards, as the originals are quite small as well.  It features 78 cards in black and white, while the back features the family crest of Ernst Kurtzahn, also reproduced in his book Der Tarot.  You can purchase this deck on my new site, Indie Oracles.  What a wonderful piece of Tarot history!

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