|Joined: ||Sun Sep 9th, 2007|
Are you sure you are remembering this particular tarot and that it was in colour?I believe it was in color because I don't think I would have been moved to bid on images that looked like the two you've posted here. I'm certain it was a deck, and not a book, as I recall asking about some issue with the box it was in.
It seems so unlikely that a colour printed book of these images would not
now be locatable. Colour printing in 1939 was very expensive and usually
reserved for large edition popular books. The Loring tarot designs consisted
of 22 + 4 Aces + 16 Courts = 42 paintings (the pips were simple pen line
drawings). A book of this period with 42 colour illustrations would have
either have been produced for the mass market (as with other books of
Rolt-Wheeler) in which case we could pick them up easily in second hand
dealers, or it would have been a special highly prized small limited edition,
in which case it would have survived in the hands of various collectors
and one would find it selling by specialist dealers.
I find it so unlikely that colour reproductions would have been made of
the paintings at that time (1940s) and not survived in the hands of dealers
The black and white reproductions have survived through l'Astrosophie
monthly magazine, copies of which can still be found. These black and white
images were bound up in book form in around 1939 and a few copies of
this book still exist, but despite asking various specialist dealers in Grail and
mystical material, no one has ever seen coloured reproductions of these paintings.
So I wonder if you are remembering the same work. You were likely going by
small scans on an auction site, so it may not be easy to link these to the existing
black and white reproductions.
If these reproductions existed only a few years ago, then for the reasons
above, it is unlikely that this came from the 1940s, but arose out of modern
reproductions. This would indicate that the original paintings still exist
together as a collection and that someone was able to recently photograph
and reproduce these. If this is so, then these paintings could yet emerge
again from obscurity, which would be good news.
Though it's hard to tell much from these photos, they feel like opaque watercolor, or tempera or gouache to me. But we'd really need to see better images to be sure.
I disagree about it being unlikely that color images would have come from the 1940's, as I think it far less likely that a more recent (color) repro would be so rare or unknown.
I've found that there's not a lot of distinction made between the relatively ordinary, and the extraordinary in the tarot collecting world, so It wouldn't surprise me at all if there was a color version of this buried in a pile somewhere. In any case, someone certainly has it, as they beat me at auction.
I'll see if I can find anything in my archives, but it may be in deep storage on an old machine somewhere.