View single post by Ronan
 Posted: Sat Aug 24th, 2019 12:21 pm
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Joined: Sun May 12th, 2019
Posts: 8
On another forum, I posted some information (and a request for further information) on the Grimaud edition of Paul Marteau's Ancien Tarot de Marseille, and more specifically, on the accompanying booklets, as a reference for those interested in the spread of cartomantic ideas, among other things. Given its relevance to this forum, and the expertise of forum members, I thought I might reproduce part of that material here too, in the hope that further details might emerge.

On the subject of the Grimaud Ancien Tarot de Marseille LWBs, I thought it might be useful to create a thread in order to collect any relevant information, especially as far as English editions are concerned. Thanks to the kindness of some of our forum members, we now dispose of a few more of these elusive English LWBs on the Marseilles Tarot tradition. Links to the files on Scribd, where available, are provided for convenience.

Those who read French or who have been paying particular attention to the saga of the Grimaud/Marteau edition(s) of the Marseilles Tarot will have noted that Marteau’s deck was published in 1930, thus prior to the publication of his magnum opus ‘Le Tarot de Marseille’ in 1949. This deck was accompanied by a LWB penned by Marteau himself, and which contains some material not present in the later work, most notably divinatory meanings, as well as so-called “encounters” (Fr. rencontres) between cards, i.e. 2-card combinations and their combined meaning. Aside from that, it also contains some spreads, which are also contained in the later LWBs as well as in Marteau’s book.

I have been able to check my copies of the earlier booklet by Paul Marteau, and it turns out that the later English LWB (the 1969-1970 one) is in fact its approximate translation.

It was suggested some years ago that a forthcoming translation of Marteau’s ’Le Tarot de Marseille’ would also contain the extra divinatory material from the booklet, but that particular undertaking has seemingly vanished. There is another translation underway, so this may yet surface in English.

Copies of the booklet occasionally surface independently of the deck - it would have been in print from 1930 till sometime in the late 1950s at least, judging from the editions I have. It may very well have lasted until the takeover of the Grimaud firm by J.-M. Simon, in 1962.

Next, we have the post-Simon/Ducale (the company who took over Grimaud) versions of the booklet, one of which is available in English, dated 1969/1970. It has the image of The Lover on it, as does the box itself.

There is no indication given as to who wrote the booklet, but it is largely a crib of Marteau’s earlier booklet. Here is the PDF on Scribd:

The next edition, a 1977 booklet has both French and English, and is similar enough in structure to the earlier ones, but the content is different, though perhaps more ‘practical’. There is no cover image.

This deck has been included with decks in different boxes e.g. the blue one with the World and the Fool on the cover, and the one with the Sun/Lover. It may be read online, either as images or as a PDF here (only the English is provided):

For the 1980 edition, the Grimaud booklet was penned by Jodorowsky, ‘L’Art du Tarot’, with a picture of the Ace of Cups on the front cover. The box is the same as the previous one.

I will note that the 1980 deck with the Jodorowsky-penned booklet pictured above is absent from the otherwise comprehensive thread on AeT found here.. There is every chance that this booklet consists of material that was later reworked into his booklet for the Jodo/Camoin tarot of 1997, which has a very similar title. For the sake of completion, the entire French  J/C booklet is available online here:

A partial English translation of this LWB is available here:

Some other information is also available in English on the Jodorowsky/Camoin take:

From 1981 onwards, French decks were accompanied by a booklet written by Tchalaï Unger, "Le Tarot, Pourquoi, Comment, Jusqu'où ?" The cover has the Knight of Staffs on it. The box is the same blue one with the World and the Fool on the cover. From 1982, an English translation, "The Tarot: Why, how and how far", was also available. (A bilingual foreign deck - i.e. German and Spanish - in the 1980s continued to have a translation of the previous LWB in their respective languages, with the box with The Chariot on the cover.)

A Spanish translation of Tchalaï’s book was published separately, and this edition included black and white line drawings. (This book was later republished under a slightly different title.) There is a Portuguese translation too, but I do not know whether it was a LWB or standalone book.

French (.jpeg format):

We should also note the booklet accompanying the Grimaud “Taromantic” deck, a sort of cheat-sheet deck of the Major Arcana of the Grimaud TdM. There are plenty of images online, it seems to be still in print. E.g.

For our purposes, I will note that the LWB was penned by none other than Colette Sylvestre, who is a prolific French Tarot author. That is dated 1987, and gives very succinct divinatory meanings for the major arcana and the 4 aces. It also gives details on 2 spreads, the 4-card cross, and 10 card spread for general reading. There is no English on the copy I have, and I do not think that an English-language edition of this deck was produced.

The mini Grimaud Marseilles I have seen either contain a very condensed version of the earlier 60s/70s LWBs, or no LWB at all (promotional editions I have come across).

At this point, I want to note that there may be other editions I am not aware of, so any further information would be appreciated, and I would like to issue a request for information, and if at all possible, scans of other relevant materials, whether Grimaud specifically, or Marseilles Tarot more broadly. I think that it would be most opportune given the recent increase of interest in Marseilles Tarot, along with the relative difficulty of obtaining any practical information on the matter in English.

Could any of the collectors on the forum confirm whether the content of the LWBs pictured below matches the ones linked to above, or not?

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