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Tarot de Marseille
The name Tarot de Marseille is not of particularly ancient vintage; it was coined at least as early as 1889 by the French occultist Papus (Gérard Encausse) in Chapter XI of his book le Tarot des bohémiens (Tarot of the Bohemians), and was popularized in the 1930s by the French cartomancer Paul Marteau, who used this collective name to refer to a variety of closely related designs that were being made in the city of Marseille in the south of France, a city that was a centre of playing card manufacture, and were (in earlier, contemporaneous, and later times) also made in other cities in France. The Tarot de Marseille is one of the standards from which many tarot decks of the 19th century and later are derived. There are also the standard twenty-two trump cards. At times, the Fool, which is unnumbered in the Tarot de Marseille, is viewed as separate and additional to the other twenty-one numbered trumps. Occultists (and many tarotists nowadays) call these twenty-two cards the Atouts (trumps), Les Lames Majeures de Figures (The Major Figure Cards) or Arcanes Majeures (major arcana) in French. The museum displays a dozens of varieties of tarot de marseille.

Tarot de Marseille, type Arnoult, published by Grimaud, France, 1890.

Ancien Tarot de Marseille, types Nicolas Conver, published by Grimaud, France, 1939.

Tarot of Etteilla
Etteilla was the first to issue a revised tarot deck specifically designed for occult purposes rather than game playing. In keeping with the belief that tarot cards are derived from the Book of Thoth, Etteilla's tarot contained themes related to ancient Egypt. "Etteilla", the pseudonym of Jean-Baptiste Alliette (1738 – 12 December 1791), was the French occultist who was the first to popularise tarot divination to a wide audience (1785), and therefore the first professional tarot occultist known to history who made his living by card divination. Etteilla published his ideas of the correspondences between the tarot, astrology, and the four classical elements and four humors, and was the first to issue a revised tarot deck specifically designed for occult purposes (1791). The museum displays a dozens of varieties of etteilla tarot.

Livre de Thot (Book of Thot), par Etteilla, published by Ducherre, c.1850.

Grand Etteilla, par Etteilla, published by Grimaud, c.1890.

Etteilla Tarot (Types IIb), by Z.Lismon, c.1838.

French Tarot Nouveau
The Tarot Nouveau, French Tarot Nouveau or Bourgeois Tarot deck is a general style of tarot playing card deck. The Tarot Nouveau differs from other styles of tarot deck, such as the Tarot of Marseilles and Rider-Waite decks, in that the Tarot Nouveau is designed solely for playing the various tarot card games for which the 78-card tarot deck was originally devised, such as French Tarot. In the French language, this deck is often called the tarot à jouer or playing tarot. This usage is distinct from cartomancy and other divinatory purposes, for which the tarot is most commonly known outside Continental Europe. This deck is most commonly found in France, Wallonia, Suisse romande, Québec, and Denmark. The museum displays a dozens of varieties of french tarot.

Chinese Tarot, published by Grimaud, c.1890.

Bourgeois Tarot, publisher by Grimaud, c.1890.

Italian Tarocco
Tarocco is a type of tarot deck of Italian origin. It is the most common tarot playing set in Italy. This deck pattern was derived from the Tarot of Marseilles but was made reversible for modern game playing. Trumps and most pip cards have indices in modern Arabic numerals (for trumps, cups, and coins) or Roman numerals (for swords and batons). The museum displays a dozens of varieties of italian tarocco.

Italian Tarot, published by B.P.Grimaud, c.1900.

Autrian Tarock
Tarock differs from other forms in the function of the Fool which is now simply the highest trump. Games of this category include Cego, Zwanzigerrufen and Königrufen. The decks are widely played in Germany and the countries within the boundaries of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, for which even the name Tarockanien has been coined: the Austrian variation of the game (and the variations thereof) is thus still widely popular among all classes and generations in Slovenia and Croatia, while in Hungary different rules are applied. The Swiss game of Troggu is believed to be an intermediary form linking the older tarot games to the Central European ones. The museum displays a dozens of varieties of  autrian tarock.

Industrie und Glück Tarock, Austrian Tarock, Type B, Ferd. Piatnik & Söhne, c.1900- 1910.

Spanish Naipes & Baraja 
The Naipes Españoles or Cartas Españolas ("Spanish cards"), also known as Baraja Española ("Spanish deck"), are the playing cards associated with Spain. They have four suits and a deck is usually made up of 40 or 48 cards. It is categorized as a Latin deck and has strong similarities with the Italian deck and less to the French deck. Spanish suited cards are widely used in Spain, southern Italy, parts of France, Hispanic America, North Africa and the Philippines. The suits closely resemble those of northern Italian cards and Italian tarot decks. In fact, the Baraja, like the tarot, are used for both game playing and cartomancy. The Baraja have been widely considered to be part of the occult in many Latin-American countries, yet they continue to be used widely for card games and gambling, especially in Spain. The museum displays a dozens of varieties of spanish naipes.

Italian Tarocchini, published by ?, Treviso, Italia, c.18th Century.

Naipes Cards, published by B.P.Grimaud, France, 1890.

Ganjifa & Mamluk Cards
Despite the significance of Persia in the history of Ganjifa cards, the very earliest known text reference (Ibn Taghribirdi) and card specimens (Mamluk era) are from Egypt. Playing cards are known in Egypt from the twelfth century AD. Ganjafeh was a popular card game in Iran and the Arab world." For example, the word 'kanjifah' ( كنجفة ) is written in the top right corner of the king of swords, on the Mamluk Egyptian deck in the Topkapı Palace museum. Circa 1375, the playing cards which are believed by scholars to have inspired modern Tarot were introduced in Europe (specifically Sicily and Spain) via an invasion of Islamic forces during the Mamlûk sultanate in Egypt. The Mamlûk cards contained two suits that can be recognized in modern Tarot: swords and coins. We can call the Mamluk and Ganjifa cards a prototype of the European playing card and therefore one of the first steps leading to the development of the tarot pack, as we know it today. The museum displays a dozens of varieties of ganjifa & mamluk cards.

Handpainted Ganjifa Cards, India, c.19-20th century.

Handpainted Ganjifa Cards, India, c.20th century.

Crowley Thoth and Golden Dawn Tarot
The Thoth Tarot is a divinatory tarot deck painted by Lady Frieda Harris according to instructions from Aleister Crowley. Crowley referred to this deck as The Book of Thoth, and also wrote a book of that title intended for use with the deck. Crowley originally intended the Thoth deck to be a six-month project aimed at updating the traditional pictorial symbolism of the tarot. However, the project was to span five years, between 1938 and 1943, as its scope grew ever wider. Crowley and Harris were meticulous in their work, and Harris painted some of the cards as many as eight times. Completed by Lady Harris but then rejected by Crowley, these were never intended to be a part of the deck proper. Neither Harris nor Crowley lived to see the deck published. The first full publication was by Ordo Templi Orientis in 1969, although this initial printing was seen by many to be of inferior quality, and in 1977 Harris' paintings were rephotographed for a second edition. A further update with new photography took place in 1986, while the current edition is based on a revision of this update which was first printed in 1996. The museum displays some of varieties of thoth tarot.

Thoth Tarot Cards, by Aleister Crowley, distributed by Samuel Weiser, USA, 1968.

Papus & Wirth Tarot
Joseph Paul Oswald Wirth (1860, Brienz, Canton of Bern – 1943) was a Swiss occultist, artist and author. He studied esotericism and symbolism with Stanislas de Guaita and in 1889 he created, under the guidance of de Guaita, a cartomantic Tarot consisting only of the twenty-two major arcana. Known as the "Arcanes du Tarot kabbalistique", it followed the designs of the Tarot de Marseille closely but introduced several alterations, incorporating extant occult symbolism into the cards. The Wirth/de Guaita deck is significant in the history of the occult tarot for being the first in a long line of occult, cartomantic, and initiatory decks. The museum displays some of varieties of Papus & Wirth Tarot.

Wirth Tarot, Elizabeth Haich, 1975.

Tarot Printing Plates 
The museum displays around dozens of tarot printing plates.

Under construction, images are not available at the moment.

Original Tarot Drawing 
The museum displays around dozens of original tarot drawing.

Under construction, images are not available at the moment.


Get in touch with the Museum



44 Nguyen Khuyen Street, An Cu Ward, Ninh Kieu District, 900 000 Can Tho City, Vietnam

Phone number

(+84) (0) 916416409