c.1890 Grimaud Chinois Tarot Ancien with Sea Monsters
78/78 cards complete, without box
Published by B.P. Grimaud, Paris, France c. 1890
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Card Measurements: 10.4 cm X 5.6 cm
DESCRIPTION: Rare antique Parisian Circus Tarot deck, manufactured in France by Grimaud & Chartier. Late 19th century cards, with 21 Major Atouts, 1 fool (a kind of Joker), and 56 Minor cards with French suit markers of hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades (Ace-10, Jack, Knight, Queen, King).
Atouts are drawn with Chinese-styled temples & clothing, as well as a host of sea monsters. The deck is typical of late 19th-century French Orientalism and "chinoiserie."
Cards have rounded corners, two-way pips, and turned courts. The cards have no corner indices and use Arabic numerals. The backs/versos are decorated with a brown pattern of dots and crosses.
Style: Tarot Chinois
Colours: blue, red, green, yellow, peach
Borders: dual black line embroidered pattern borders
Reverses: brown pattern of dots and crosses.
Paper: thick pasteboard card stock
Numbering: Arabic numerals
Corners: square, rounded
Suit Markers: Hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades.
Tax Stamp: Ace of Clubs, “This stamp was in use in France from 1890 to 1917, and from 1922 to 1940.” The text reads 'RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE' and 'DÉCRET DU 12 AVRIL 1890'. (Endebrock 2011).
CONDITION: The deck is in good condition overall, with some age, corner, and edge wear, as well as discolouration, patina, and slight stains. All cards are numbered and marked in an old French cursive hand.