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Happy 2018

May 2018 be great for all of you !

I’ve been working since the end of 2015 on “Les Triomphes”, I’m about to finish the pre-ordered decks, thanks to all the people who gave me their trust for their patience.

On the “more affordable” range of product, I’m extremely excited to announce a completely new serie of facsimiles of the Triomphes de Paris, handmade, starting with a limited Blue edition of only 12 copies, at a regular price, and a unique handpainted deck also pretty affordable for the collectors.
The handpainted serie will probably be produced one by one with different caracteristics, this very first copy is printed on a luxury 300g aquarelle paper and the drawings are retouched by hand.
The regular fac simile will be printed next on white paper, some new limited editions on coloured paper, and if the demand is sufficient maybe a “deluxe” version with glued backs (although I find the new back design, inspired by the handmade back design for “Les Triomphes”, quite satisfying).

See below and in the store !

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Palimpsest Lenormand 3rd ed

pubpalimp3I’m really happy to inform you that a third edition of the Palimpsest Lenormand is finally available. It will be distributed as print on demand by PrinterStudio so I won’t have to manage stocks and shipping, as I can’t afford the time being currently working on Les Triomphes .

You can get them through this link : Palimpsest Lenormand 3rd ed.

Be aware that I won’t be managing nor tracking those sales, so if you can afford the time then just let me know with an email you bought it there !

Differences with the second edition :

  • no wrapping enveloppe
  • comes in a plastic box
  • features a title card and an extra double back card
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In an old box… Triomphes de Paris and Triomphes MMXII are back – not for long

Doing some sorting in old cardoard boxes I stumbled upon a totally unexpected stock of some of my out of print decks (no, no Palimpsest Lenormand there, sorry for those who keep asking about this deck).

There I found 15 copies of the Triomphes de Paris fac-simile 2nd edition, which is a good news for those who wanted to buy the last remaining copies. Also were three copies of the FIRST edition, among which was one with the extra and quite rare “ECVREVIL XXX” card (it was only available in the first run).

Even more unexpected, there lied four signed copies of the TRIOMPHES MMXII which were probably put aside for someone who forgot to ask for them, and I totally forgot they even existed.


The most curious oddity I didn’t remember existed is a very peculiar slightly larger than life Triomphes de Paris facsimile, poker sized and printed on plastic cards ! Plastic cards do sound great (and I mean “sound” as in noise), they tend to be subject to scratches if not taken care of properly, normal use on a playing card textile is allright. Five copies only were ever printed, and a single one is still wrapped in its celloplastic enveloppe. This so-called “Deluxe edition” was initially created as a prop for a movie – but the director decided to (or had to) cancel the Tarot reading scene, so the cards were never used (the movie was a nice one though). Illustrated here is another copy which I unwrapped that I’ll keep for my personal collection. I never went ahead and published a plastic or regular poker sized facsimile, although it was a really nice size for this fac simile. Alas this project happened a little moment before I had suddenly so many quality problems and delays troubles with my former printer.

If any of these items interest you, please contact me privately through email at (the TdP 1st ed. with the extra card is gone already and only 13 2nd ed. are remaining as I am typing this).

I think everyone with or without a facebook account can see this link which has more pictures

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Les Triomphes are not here but closer than ever

So here it is official at last ! I’ve been working almost non stop on my next deck during the last months, and it is still not finished but the first round of preorders is already open. The special price of 300€ shipping included will only last for the first 10 preorders, then shipping will no longer be included and the price will be raised as explained on the dedicated page (which is currently the front page of the website).

Since I’m taking a couple of days away from the tools to get busy with all the emailings, contacting past customers, answering emails, social networking, etc… I thought it would be appropriate to post something on this rather inactive blog.

What else to add ? Yes : PREORDER MY DECK, you know you want it !


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Food for thoughts for the summer

Two very interesting images as a source of meditation about the Tarot iconography and engravings.

First one is for all those who wonder what level of mastery reached the average cardmaker. Better than words, here is an anonyous woodcut from circa 1550 representing Henry the VIIIth on horse (click to enlarge) :

henry VIII à cheval 1550 - godet pub. 118209Now how skillful do you feel this is compared to your average XVIIth century playing card ?

Second illustration is an awesome “etching rubbing” by Cantelupe de Henzell Herbert (hence possibly from a glass engraving), a typical “huguenot” criticism of the papacy (1575-1600) :

Herbert - pope as satan 1575-1600The great Jean-Marie Lhôte pointed out back in the 1970’s (in “Le tarot, discours en forme de catalogue en forme de catalogue à propos d’une exposition sur les tarots réalisée par la Maison de la Culture d’Amiens”, La Bibliothèque Volante n°1, avril 1971) how such images remind us tarot amators of our beloved cards, this one with a Pope as a horned devil with wings will probably interest all tarot lovers.

Both pictures courtesy of

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Great news for tarot lovers

Several great news on !

Triomphes de Paris the little black booklet

First : a companion booklet for the Triomphes de Paris, the little black booklet, is finally available starting right now (english only) as digital download.

Second : any buyer who bought the Triomphes de Paris deck or fac simile (1st or 2nd ed) from or directly from me before march 2014 will get a coupon for a free copy of this e-book – just send me an email for verification !


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Bernardin Suzanne : no gender ambiguity

(note : this was written back in 2011 but was left unpublished in drafts)  Some copies of the quite late (1839) “de Marseille” tarot pack by Bernardin Suzanne have regularly been seen on auctions for a few years.

A peculiar gender ambiguity has been spread about this tarot cardmaker…

A rapid Google investigation shows that several “tarot experts” websites (“le guide du tarot” [ ], Marseille modern cardmaker Philippe Camoin along with Alejandro Jodorowsky on, “tarot de marseille gratuit” or this ebay auction: ) all call this deck as “Suzanne Bernardin” tarot and not “Bernardin Suzanne”, all of them being quite affirmative about the cardmaker gender : if Suzanne is not the patronym, then it’s a woman’s name.

Some women actually were in charge of cardmakers business, this wouldn’t be a unique occurrence, as cardmakers widows or heirs were allowed to rule their late husband or father workshop – a pretty famous example was documented by Gérard Van Rijnberk in his book about Tarot : “Veuve Toulon” à Marseille (which Rijnberk presents – probably erroneouosly – as an explanation for the V.T initials on Conver’s tarot Chariot(**)).

So are our “experts” right ?
Other clues let think otherwise when we consider experts (without quotation marks) works.
For instance, the catalogue “Cartes à jouer et Tarots de Marseille, la donation Camoin” – probably (?) known from the current owner of the modern Camoin factory – lists at entries #203, #210 & #211 the cardmaker “Bernardin Suzanne” (in the order given name, family name).
Second and even more convincing evidence : chronologically further away from us but much closer to the source, Romain Merlin’s paper about  playing cards origin in the Revue Archéologique, sixteenth tome, volume II wrote at page 759 “tarot de Bernardin Suzanne” in the normal order given name-family name ; in 1859 he also gives the 1839 date. It would be extremely unlikely that the very accurate Romain Merlin would not point the case of a female cardmaker … if this were the case.

Hence we can assume Bernardin Suzanne had Suzanne for family name, and was a male, although now that a doubt has been spread we have to wait for some diligent scholar to investigate in Marseille registries just to be certain.

This should be a lesson to us tarot amateurs, to double check our facts and avoid creating rumours because they are legions those who will exploit any “unusual detail” and use it to acertain their personal theories, which can do nothing but mislead honnest seekers.

Notes :
* : probably errouneously sinc initials on the Chariot card are supposed to be the engraver initials, not the cardmakers unless it is the same individual,  and it would be no less surprising regarding the period ideology that a cardmaker widow had any formation and expertise in carving cards molds.

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Triomphes de Paris fac simile 1st ed. … let’s finish with a few surprises!

There are now only 4 copies left (edit : as of 21st august 2013 there is no ocopy left) for the first edition of the Triomphes de Paris fac simile.

I wrote in a previous post here about the differences between the first and second editions, and although I prefer the second one, I know some people liked the thickness of the first – but that’s how it is, there won’t be anymore first edition !

Anyway, the next three orders for the “triomphes de paris fac simile 1st edition” will each receive along with their deck one of the three signed “épreuve d’essai” – taken from  early prints of the original deck – as illustrated on the left. The last deck ordered will receive a unique signed enveloppe containing three authentic cards from the Triomphes de Paris – some of those rare cards that didn’t make it to one of the 32 deck  (when other cards in the deck were damaged or misprinted, or when an extra sheet was printed “just in case”).

Also if you decide to order both the first and second edition, not only wil you receive either one of the three signed “épreuve d’essai” or the three cards, but you’ll also be able to enjoy a 10 € discount by using the coupon TDPFS1AND2