Last year over at AT, palestrina posted in the 'What are you waiting for..." thread a few card scans from a collaborative art deck celebrating the Contrada del Leocorno's 2001 win in the Palio di Siena. I was intrigued enough by those cards that I put it on my list of decks to look out for. I just recently managed to find one.
The back story is that after each Palio di Siena, the winning contrada issues a book, known as a "Numero Unico," commemorating their victory. In 2001, the Contrada of Leocorno (the unicorn) structured their Numero Unico around the tarot trumps. It's actually quite a production. The outer box is designed to look like a big tuckbox with a repeating unicorn motif and a gold embossed unicorn head. In the box is the book itself and the "deck." Each of the book's chapters is associated with a tarot trump. The actual contents are a rather riotous mix of text, photos, drawings, and even comic strips, all documenting and celebrating the victory.
The "deck" is actually a set of very large cards (A4 size - approximately 8.3 x 11.7 inches for the non-metric among us) on fairly heavy stock, each by a different artist. The backs are the repeating unicorn pattern of the box.
Here's the box and its contents:
These are the cards palestrina posted that got me interested:
Some more of the cards:
As a bonus, while I was communicating with the seller, he mentioned that he had another set of cards based on the Palio di Siena if I was interested. This turned out to be the rather hard-to-find Arrigo Pecchioli/Maruska Rossi Tarocchi del Palio di Siena book and deck set, so I snapped that up as well. The hard-bound book, while entirely in Italian, includes beautifully printed historical artwork related to the Palio, while the cards rather cleverly associate the animal symbols of the contradas of Siena to the various tarot trumps:
All in all, a veritable Palio di Siena bonanza.
Last edited on Mon May 26th, 2008 02:52 am by papoon
Hi Debra, I wish to thank you for your kind words. I am the author of the "Pope" Tarot and I am very fascinated by Joseph Cornell's artworks.
These Tarots were printed in Siena (Italy) in 2001, to celebrate (as said) the victory of my city district (The "Unicorn") in the Palio race, which is one of the most ancient and important horse races in Italy.
The Tarots have been made by 22 different artists in some way involved in Siena's cultural life. Artists of different skill and importance, going from Joe Tilson and Daniel Spoerri to modest artists like me.
About my works, if you are interested in them, you can see some photos on Facebook, by typing Marco Neri Siena and, among my photo albums, "C'est moi l'artiste".
If you will send me a delivery address, maybe it won't be impossible for me to send you the Tarots set, as a gift.
Have a nice time, and thanks again for your appreciation for my work.