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

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.

Photos via:
http://www.gonnelli.it/it/asta-0014/della-rocca-carlo-tarocchi-.asp

Tarocchi Carlo Della Rocca-Ferdinand Gumppenberg

Ace of batons

Tarocchi Carlo Della Rocca-Ferdinand Gumppenberg

Ace of cups

Tarocchi Carlo Della Rocca-Ferdinand Gumppenberg

Two of coins

Tarocchi Carlo Della Rocca-Ferdinand Gumppenberg

Ace of swords

Tarocchi Carlo Della Rocca-Ferdinand Gumppenberg

Seven of coins

Tarocchi Carlo Della Rocca-Ferdinand Gumppenberg

Queen of swords

Tarocchi Carlo Della Rocca-Ferdinand Gumppenberg

Knave of swords

Tarocchi Carlo Della Rocca-Ferdinand Gumppenberg

King of coins

Tarocchi Carlo Della Rocca-Ferdinand Gumppenberg

King of cups

Tarocchi Carlo Della Rocca-Ferdinand Gumppenberg

King of batons

Tarocchi Carlo Della Rocca-Ferdinand Gumppenberg

The back of the cards, decorated with the blue block print of a small landscape with a rural hive and bees flying around it. The incision on the bottom reads, "F.G. MIL." (Ferdinand Gumppenberg, Milan).

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