In January 1846 Claudio Foudraz, a lithographer from Turin, deposited an absolutely new model of Tarot: 78 cards in the “Chinese style”, although respectful of the traditional symbolism of the Arcana.
All memory and traces of those cards were lost until 6 years ago, when their refined beauty and an exotic taste that leaves us amazed, at long last came to light.
The Oriental Tarot is the result of careful stylistic research that led the author, Claudio Foudraz, to reinterpret many characters, both in the Triumphs series and is the Court figures. Even the pip cards have something original, in both form and geometric arrangement of Cups, Pentacles, Wands and Swords.
The characters created by Foudraz, so pretty and seductive, with their sumptuous embroidered silk dresses and their sinuous movements, reflect the conventional representations of China, during the eighteenth century and the first decades of the nineteenth century, that graced the homes of the aristocracy and the upper middle classes in every part of Europe.
The Oriental Tarot by Claudio Foudraz does not appear in any Encyclopedia of Tarot or in catalogues of antiques. This deck was rediscovered by chance in 2010 by Giuliano Crippa, president of the Italian section of the International Playing Cards Society, but this discovery was only made public in 2014, on The Playing Card magazine, by another member of IPCS, Nicola De Giorgio.
The Foudraz deck is kept in the form of uncut sheets at the archive of the Academy of Sciences of Turin, which has authorized this reprint edited by Giordano Berti and publushed in co-production by Rinascimento – Italian Style Art and Araba Fenice Publ.
ABOUT THE REPRINT
Following the scanning of the original sheets and printing a test of the deck, it was decided to give these cards the utmost dignity.
Thus, the publisher commissioned the painting of the cards to an expert artist that added delicate watercolour in a way consistent with the mid-nineteenth century style.
In early September 2016 the deck was printed on special “Vellum paper”, soft like silk, in a limited edition of 700 copies.
The size of the cards is faithful to the original one, with the addition of a white border on the four sides.
A warranty card, with the serial number and the signature of the curator, Giordano Berti, was added to the 78 cards.
In the booklet that accompanies the deck, Berti describes the fashion of “chinoiserie” that inspired the Oriental Tarot by Claudio Foudraz and reports the results of an unpublished research regarding the activity of this lithographer.
After the first printing of the booklet, a French scholar, Philippe Noyes, has played a personal research on the origins of Claudio Foudraz and his family. A summary of this research has been included in the subsequent reprints of the booklet. The documents found by Noyes are visible on the Tarot Forum Tarot Aeclectic (see the link below, in the section REVIEWS).
Among the many documents found by Mr. Philippe Noyes, we report here the log sheet of the birth of Claudio Foudraz in Bessans, dated February 4, 1802.
Cards and booklet are in a refined book-shaped box designed by art designer Letizia Rivetti and handcrafted by “RINASCIMENTO – ITALIAN STYLE ART”.
The outside of the box is gray marbled paper with silver inserts. The interior is lined in velvet.
Publisher: Araba Fenice and RINASCIMENTO Italian Style Art, Italia, 2016
Curator: Giordano Berti
Limited edition: 700 copies, numbered and hand signed
Deck: 78 cards + 1 warranty with serial number; hand signed by Giordano Berti
Dimension of the cards: 115 × 68 mm
Artbox: invented by art designer Letizia Rivetti.
Packaging: “RINASCIMENTO – Italian Style Art”. Book-shaped box. Handcraft production. Velvet interior. Exterior in tobacco marbled paper with gold inserts.
Booklet: written by Giordano Berti. 18 pages in full colors with historical information on this deck; semi-rigid cover; size 85 × 125 mm.
AVAILABLE LANGUAGES OF THE BOOKLET:
Italian, by Giordano Berti
English, translation by Vic Berti
Oriental Tarot (Tarocchi Orientali), by Bonnie Cehovet
Genealogy of Claudio Foudraz, by Philippe Noyes
Understanding the Oriental Tarot, by Aitzie Olaechea
Oriental Tarot 1845 Unboxing, by Chloe McCracken
Oriental Tarot’s Court cards, by Alison Cross