1931 Ancien Tarot de Marseille B.P. Grimaud

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Card Deck: 1931 Ancien Tarot de Marseille 

Designed by Paul Marteau 

Published by B.P. Grimaud, Paris, France, 1931.

This is a rare early tax-stamped edition of the Ancien Tarot de Marseille designed by Paul Marteau and published by B.P. Grimaud, Paris, France. Marteau designed the cards after a c.1880 deck printed by the renowned card-maker Phillippe Camoin. Camoin himself printed the deck with his well-known colour palette of yellow, red, blue, and green using woodblocks originally carved by Nicolas Conver in 1760. Paul Marteau’s redesigning of the deck made this colour combination famous, becoming perhaps the most well-known 20th-century printing of the Tarot de Marseille. Made with exceptional quality, this early Grimaud deck is well preserved on paste-board card-stock and with its original two-sleeve telescopic box.

Deck Identifiers:

  • "B.P. Grimaud, Paris" copyright written on all of the court cards; copyright also written on all of the Trump cards except XVI, XVIII, & XVIIII. 
  • French tax-stamp, dated 12-Avril-1890, stamped with blue ink on Ace of Coins. The stamp was in use between 1890 to 1917, and from 1922 to 1940. Text reads: “RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE” and “DÉCRET DU 12 AVRIL 1890” (Endebrock 2011).
  • Numbering system based on addition rather than subtraction (i.e. 9=VIIII). 
  • Shield on the 4 of Coins card bears the tulip emblem of later editions.
  • Atout #1 (Le Bateleur) shows the later inclusion of dice, unlike the coins of the 1st edition.

Deck Description: 22 Major Arcanum cards + 56 Minor Suit cards (4 suits with 14 cards per series). Cartouches written with French titles. Card reverses are patterned with a profusion of circular swirls. Printed on sturdy paste-board cardstock.

CONDITION: Very good condition, the deck is complete and has little to no blemishes. The box is in good condition and complete with both sleeves; however, the top flap is detached at three sides and has a corner peel. Box with edge and corner wear and remanent of a sticker (see photographs for further details).


Card Dimensions: 6.1 cm X 11.9 cm