Friday, 17 September 2021

Tarot: Can You Identify this Unusual Vintage Deck

I bought an unusual tarot deck secondhand at the Sussex Faery Festival. What I particularly like about the deck is that it is quite feminine. Death, The Magician, and the Pages are all depicted as women and many of the other cards seem androgynous. However, I'm looking for help in identifying it. You can see some pictures of a few of the cards here. The deck just came in a very old, plain bag without any box or leaflet or other indication of who produced it or when. I'd say it dates from the 1970s style-wise and the cardstock it's printed on. 

I've done some research already. I looked on the usual tarot sites and asked about it on forums and discovered it's similar to The Element Tarot, which originally came out in the 1990s. However, it isn't identical. My set has a different backing, for a start. The backs of mine are a crosshatch of black lines on white, while the Element Tarot is purple on the back. The front of the cards are slightly different too. Mine has black text on cream while the other has white words on black. My Devil's tail is orange, while the Element Devil has a green tail. My Knight of Wands has wings that are purple at the top and yellow at the bottom with blue and red patterns, while the other has red wings with pink and orange patterns. The size and shape is slightly different too. Mine measures 4.5 inches by 2.5 inches while the Element cards are over half an inch wider.

One suggestion I saw was that my edition might be the Dreamers Tarot, but when I searched for information on that I only found much later decks  with that name, but very different artwork. I did see a set on Ebay that looked like mine. The person selling it had listed it as the Element Tarot, but it also had no box while the booklet being sold with it was from the later set (you could see the image on the front had the white-on-black lettering), so I think they might have been mistaken.

Anyway, I'm very curious to find out when my set was actually published, what it was called and any other information. If you have an idea, do leave a comment.

You can look at The Element Tarot on Amazon.

Previous related posts
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2014/09/are-some-tarot-decks-more-genuine-than.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2020/08/tales-from-witch-room-tarot-deck-shelfie.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2020/12/winter-solstice-tarot-reading-five-of.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2021/04/divination-joy-or-six-of-fishes-from.html

5 comments:

Amethista said...

Gorgeous deck! Have you tried reddit yet? I've had good luck identifying vintage decks on their subreddit r/tarot. Might be worth a shot?

Badwitch said...

Yes I tried extensive web searching and only came up with the information I mentioned in my blog.

Anonymous said...

FROM A DESCRIPTION FOR A SIMILAR DECK ON ETSY - https://sinistercompany.etsy.com
1999 DREAMERS TAROT aka ELEMENT TAROT

Rare Out of Print Version by Anness Publishing. Loose Cards No LWB or companion book.

Created by David Bourne and Staci Mendoza

The was first published by Anness Publishing in 1999 as The Dreamers Tarot.

Apparently Bourne and Mendoza were not happy with Anness’s sizing and colouring of this edition and the deck was re-published by Element Books as The Element Tarot in 2002.

These cards are the elongated earlier & much rarer edition with a superior thicker card stock. The later Element Tarot edition has been resized but has an unsatisfyingly flimsy cardstock.

22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana. Cards sizes: 120mm x 65mm.

The lively and coloured deck is designed to be an uncomplicated version of the tarot.

This preowned deck has borderless dark grey and white geometric backs. The card text is in English.

The deck is good condition, with the cards of the major arcana being the most used. The cards are complete with the cardstock being of a very high standard.

Hope that helps

Anonymous said...

FROM A DESCRIPTION FOR A SIMILAR DECK ON ETSY - https://sinistercompany.etsy.com
1999 DREAMERS TAROT aka ELEMENT TAROT

Rare Out of Print Version by Anness Publishing. Loose Cards No LWB or companion book.

Created by David Bourne and Staci Mendoza

The was first published by Anness Publishing in 1999 as The Dreamers Tarot.

Apparently Bourne and Mendoza were not happy with Anness’s sizing and colouring of this edition and the deck was re-published by Element Books as The Element Tarot in 2002.

These cards are the elongated earlier & much rarer edition with a superior thicker card stock. The later Element Tarot edition has been resized but has an unsatisfyingly flimsy cardstock.

22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana. Cards sizes: 120mm x 65mm.

The lively and coloured deck is designed to be an uncomplicated version of the tarot.

This preowned deck has borderless dark grey and white geometric backs. The card text is in English.

The deck is good condition, with the cards of the major arcana being the most used. The cards are complete with the cardstock being of a very high standard.

Hope that helps

Badwitch said...

Oh thank you very much, that does seem to describe the deck and give more background to it.