Carlo Della Rocca’s tarots: beauty is in the cards

Tarocchi Carlo Della Rocca-Ferdinand Gumppenberg

Ace of coins

Around 1830, Ferdinand Gumppenberg – a German printer who had moved to Milan in 1809 – asked etcher Carlo Della Rocca to make him a deck of tarot cards.

Della Rocca had studied under etcher Giuseppe Longhi (1766-1831), but never achieved his level of fame. Indeed, although he was quite popular in his time, we have no record of his date of birth or death.

His tarot cards feature the four traditional Italian suits – swords, batons, cups, and coins – and an innovative design that influenced many card makers in the 1900s.

Here is a sampler from his deck, which included 78 cards (22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana) etched on steel and colored by hand.

Let’s resist trying to divine our future, and simply enjoy this present beauty.

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April 13, 2015