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Lorraine Sharkey
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Joined: Fri Sep 13th, 2019
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Hi, I thought I should introduce myself before posting to the trading section. Adam was kind enough to add me here many months ago under my own name, although perhaps I would have chosen a pseudonym instead, such as Pagan1 (my eBay name) or Violet Fleur du Mal (my FB name, from when I played Game of Thrones Ascent). I have many friends (and not-friends) in the tarot community, from way back when I cofounded Tarotgarden almost 20 years ago.
I’m from NYC, and I first learned about tarot when I was taking an undergraduate course at Queens College called Sociology of Death. I did my research paper on Symbolism in the Tarot Death Card, picking up several dozen mainly mainstream decks for images to use. This was the start of my collection, but by the time another collector introduced me to the late Frank Jensen, my first collection exceeded over a thousand tarots, most quite rare. When Jeannette and I started Tarotgarden in 2001, we imported decks from more than 40 countries, and we were the only website mentioned In Kaplan’s Encyclopedia vol. IV. Unfortunately Jeannette and I had different visions for how our business should evolve, so I sold her my half of Tarotgarden and my first collection in 2003, and I took a long break from tarot to travel and get my first Master’s degree in Psychology of Culture.
I recently returned to graduate studies for my second Master’s degree, this time in Ancient and Medieval History, and I have been relating my research to tarot whenever possible. I would like to do a thesis on symbolism in the Tarot Devil card, but am not having much look finding an appropriate advisor for that topic. I started collecting again because of this, and I have been able to replace many of my favorites from my first collection (special thanks to Adam and also to Steve here, as well as to Lily Stone and Hollywood Kat). However a few remain elusive and I am hoping to tempt some of you to sell or trade me those exceptionally hard to find tarots, or help me with leads. The ones I particularly still want to to replace are the Venetian Historical, the Brazilian Namur, Mexican Acuario by Rebetez, and the strangely shaped Hungarian deck Ismerd Meg Onmagad a Tarot Segitsegevel. Please message me if you have any information about any of these.
I will be posting my current collection list soon, it is currently around 350, not counting another 150 or so I’ve given to my oldest daughter. I don’t think my second collection will ever reach the extent and value of my first collection (which included originals of Michael’s Tarot, all the originals from Shandra McNeill, the original 1951 Taro Sacerdotal, the Iona shown in Kaplan, and many rare Italian art tarots that Argeo of Alida found for me) but I am happy to have some of the new interesting indie decks that came out while I was away from collecting, as well as many new (to me) imported decks. I will probably try to keep this new collection down to under 500.
My husband and I were planning on moving to New Orleans but our plans are currently postponed. I had hoped to sell tarots in the French Market there, and I picked up a few extras that I can now instead use towards trades for the Venetian Historical, Namur, Acuario and the Hungarian tarot I am seeking. These include a Merlusine, Folchi Erte, Gruyeres, Minotarot, Sternenmadchens, Steiner, Szabo, Lubok, Hanslian Engel, Japanese Jugendstil and many others, and there are probably around a hundred in my collection I would also consider using for trades. I will gratefully pay or trade their value several times over...I know how difficult they are to find, and it would be more than worth it to me to be able to finally replace them. Thanks for reading all this!

OnePotato
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Joined: Sun Sep 9th, 2007
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Hello Lorraine.

I believe I remember pagan1 from ebay, back in 2000 or so, when I was selling my extra copies of Bill's Tarot. I started collecting a few years later, in 2006, after Stuart Kaplan's auction at Christie's. At that time I bought the hand printed Anna Maria D'Onofrio at Tarotgarden. I've seen your name on several of the old TG photos, and wondered about some of those "unavailable" decks, and your story.

I think you'll find a lot has changed in the past 15 years. I rarely buy new releases, and there doesn't seem to be much discussion anymore. These days most of my energy goes into the older decks.

Anyway, welcome to the forum.

Lorraine Sharkey
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Joined: Fri Sep 13th, 2019
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Hi, yes the D'Onofrio portfolio was part of my first personal collection- that is real gold used in the painting, according to Argeo from Alida who originally obtained it for me.

Yes, I can see how much has changed in fifteen years, it seems that newer collectors (such as those found on FB trading groups) are not even familiar with the classic 20th century decks shown in Kaplan, and will not pay much for them...yet will pay a thousand dollars for an indie deck that has been out of print for just a few months! I picked up a copy of the "Slow Holler" for 25 USD on eBay and resold it for 200 USD s few weeks later, to a buyer who had actually offered me more than 800 USD for it (which I have since learned is what many are willing to pay for it, but I just can't justify that kind of price for what it is)...yet when I offered them bargain prices on some of my older decks, they had no interest whatsoever.

Even so, I do like some of the new indie decks, and it is certainly easier to get the Japanese, Russian and Eastern European imports now.

This week I am focused on a new storage system (as opposed to the old storage system of 30 cardboard boxes in my closet) for my new smaller collection- two media stands, two night tables and a "cubby" from Overstock that my husband put together for me, and anything I can't make fit will be given to my daughter. So my new current collection will probably be relatively small, around 300 or so tarots.

So what happened to all the copies of the Venetian Historical? I had several copies pass through my hands in the past but now nothing...I would have expected the painted Elisabetta, the Maison de Je, the 22 card Leboroni etc to be much harder to replace, but it is only the Venetian Historical that remains elusive, despite having contacts in Italy search everywhere. I would pay/trade a LOT for another copy.

Thanks for your reply,


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