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GALLERY INDEX
~~ Gallery 5 ~~
The Tarot and other Early Cards
· page II ·

REGIONAL TAROTS - 5
Germany  ·  Austria  ·  Czech Republic
Hungary


part 1
Bologna
Sicily
part 2
Milan
Piedmont
part 3
Switzerland
France
part 4
Belgium

back to the
GALLERY INDEX


other pages

page I
classic
tarots
page III
trump card
arrangements
page IV
modern &
non-standard
page V
theMulûk
wa-Nuwwâb
page VI
the Visconti
Tarots
page VII
the tarots
of Ferrara
page VIII
the tarot
of Marseille
page IX
the Tarot
de Paris
page X
Viéville's
Tarot
page XI
the
Minchiate
page XII
Mitelli's
Tarocchino
page XIII
Mantegna's
Tarot
page XIV
the
Hofjagdspiel
page XV
the
Hofämsterspiel
page XVI
the deck by
Jost Amman
page XVII
the Italy 2
Moorish deck

I wish to thank Lóránt Kégl for his help with the Hungarian glossary


GERMANY · AUSTRIA · CZECH REPUBLIC


TAROCK  ·  TAROKY
The pattern adopted in central Europe (southern Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia), called Tarock in German and Taroky in Czech, is somewhat similar to the French one, from which it sprang, but it has only 54 cards.
Its set of trumps (Trumpf) consists of 21 subjects and a joker called Sküs (Czech Škýz), obviously born from the French Excuse, described in part 3.
the area in darker colour indicates
a less frequent use of the pattern

the Sküs card and two trumps, from a
Tarock deck by ASS (Germany)
The trumps are not too different from the ones of the French Tarot, double-headed, with couplets of genre scenes matched along the horizontal division line; the large number above, though, is spelt in roman numerals, located in a corner, with no decoration nor flourish.
The Sküs is not numbered; it features a harlequin or jester in the curious attitude of holding a hat on top of which a similar but much tinier jester balances.

Comparing the scenes featured by the trumps of this deck with the ones of the Tarot, remarkable differences can be told, since the themes of the French scheme are not followed.
Subject no. I (see picture at the bottom of the page) features a girl playing a tambourine and, on the opposite side, a fool playing a xylophone: this card is usually referred to as Pagat, after the Italian tarot's first trump il Bagatto, literally "the trivial performer".
In subject no. II, an eagle with a sword pouches on a rock that bears the words Industrie und Glück ("Industry and Luck", see also the expressions gallery): for this reason, the standard German/Austrian Tarock pattern is often referred to with this name. However, in its Czech editions this card does not feature any text at all.

sample from a Tarock deck by Piatnik (Austria)


some courts from a Tarock deck by Piatnik (Austria)
The pip cards of the Tarock are reduced; in fact, only values from 1 (ace) to 4 of the red suits (Diamonds and Hearts), and from 7 to 10 of the black ones (Spades and Clubs) are needed for the game. These cards bear no indices.

The court cards are the same ones as in any other tarot, i.e. knave, cavalier, queen and king. Their illustrations are closer to the ones found in German-suited patterns than to the French Tarot's design (see the German and Austrian galleries for reference).
The knave of Diamonds and the one of Clubs feature the manufacturer's name on the rectangular and oval shields they respectively carry.


knave of Diamonds and trump II
from a Taroky deck by O.T.K. (Czech Rep.)

During the 19th century, several fancy editions of the Tarock were issued; in most of these decks the traditional double illustrations of the trumps were replaced with city views.


Wiener Veduten Tarock

The sample shown above comes from the Wiener Veduten Tarock ("views of Vienna tarot"), first issued around 1870 by Piatnik (Austria), and reprinted in 1974 by the same manufacturer, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Piatnik's firm.
The fine etchings, coloured by stencil with watercolour paints, depict forty views of the city's most important buildings, monuments and establishments. The Pagat (i.e. trump no.I), the Sküs and the suit cards are traditional.

detail from trump no.II: "Karlskirche"



CEGO TAROCK
The area of the Schwartzwald or Black Forest, in Baden-Württenberg (south-western Germany, by the French and Swiss border), adopted an interesting variety of tarot cards for the game of Cego. The pattern too is known with the same name, which may have a Spanish or Portuguese origin.
In fact, in this game some extra cards called Blinde ("blind, blindfolded") are dealt in the center of the table for the players to bid on; this likely derived from the early game of L'Hombre (17th century Spanish game), and in Spanish the word ciego, or cego in Portuguese, actually means "blind".
The pattern was probably created around the mid 19th century, as suggested by the earliest literary record, consistent with this dating.

The Cego Tarock may be considered a hybrid between the standard Tarock described above and the French Tarot. It has 54 cards, as the former deck.
The set of trumps, here called Trocks or Trocke (a further name is Stecher), consists of the usual 21 numbered subjects, plus a numberless Sküs (joker).


trumps from the Cego tarot by F.X.Schmid (Germany)
At present, the Cego Tarock is made by the two leading German manufacturers, F.X.Schmid and ASS, whose editions bear quite different illustrations.
In Schmid's version these cards features couplets of genre scenes, inspired by everyday's life, similar to the French scheme, though not fully matching it (see part 2). On each side, above the illustration is a large Western numeral, placed centrally and enclosed by a black and white flourish, as in most Tarot editions.

Instead, in the edition by ASS, called Adler-Cego ("eagle Cego"), the couplets mainly show animals, from common ones (pig, mule, etc.) to exotic species (rhinocerus, elephant, and others); curiously, there is no eagle among these subjects, as the name of the deck may wrongly suggest. The numerals are Western, in the center of a salmon-coloured rectangle, but without any flourish nor frame.

In both editions each card's couplet suggests a contrast. F.X.Schmid's set recalls the French scheme: various themes, such as the ages of life, the seasons of the year, etc., are represented as indoors and outdoors scenes, or with male and female personages, and so on. Instead in the version by ASS, a farm animal matches a wild one (i.e. pig and boar), or a humble one pairs off with a more noble one (i.e. mule and steed), a lion is shown at rest and while hunting, a brown bear is opposite to a polar bear (white), and so on.

trumps from the Adler-Cego edition by ASS (Germany)


detail of trump no.19 (winter),
Cego Tarock by F.X.Schmid
The Pagat (trump no.1) is sometimes called der kleine Mann ("the small man"). Also the Sküs or joker has an alternative name, Stieß or Gstieß; it looks very similar to the French Excuse, and features a minstrel playing a lute.
The suit cards are the same ones as in the standard Tarock: Diamonds and Hearts run from 1 (ace) to 4, while Clubs and Spades run from 7 to 10.

Adler-Cego: detail of trump no.2
(sea-lion / sea monster)

The design of the court cards varies according to the maker. The illustrations in F.X.Schmid's version are surely closer to the French Tarot, but the numeral index is missing, as in ordinary German Tarock decks. The courts in the edition by ASS are reminiscent of the ones found in the Württenbergisches Bild (i.e. the local regional pattern), but they partly resemble also those of the French-suited Jass cards used in Switzerland. In both cases, the pip cards are identical, and have no index at all.

(above) Cego courts from F.X.Schmid's edition;
(below) the same subjects by ASS are completely different


the Sküs, by F.X.Schmid (left) and ASS;
(below) Cego pip cards, by F.X.Schmid


more samples of "der Sküs" can be seen in Bo Bernville's website Tarock



HUNGARY

Due to close relations with the German culture, Hungary too uses a regional deck named Tarokk, which apparently looks very similar to the standard German/Austrian Tarock.
There are indeed many elements of similarity, and the joker is called Skíz (this name is basically the same Sküs spelt according to the Hungarian pronounciation), identical to the German one. The courts too are the same ones found in a standard Tarock.
Also the trumps may seem identical; but at a closer look, only about half of the Tarokk's illustrations are the same as the German ones. Some subjects mismatch, but there are also scenes whose rank is different in the two versions: for instance, one of the two illustrations of the German trump no. XVI shows a woman holding a child while a man plays a pipe; an identical scene is found on the Hungarian trump no. XIX.

Also in the Hungarian version trump no. I is called pagát, while no. II is referred to as sas ("eagle"), no. III as kakadu ("cockatoo, parrot"), and no. IIII as kanári ("canary").

The Tarokk deck is more often produced in a 42-card version: in fact the most popular game played with the Tarokk, called Paskievics, only requires four pip cards: two red aces (Diamonds and Hearts) and two black 10s (Diamonds and Clubs); the usual four courts in each suit, the 21 trumps and the Skíz card make the rest of the pack.


samples of Tarokk deck, by
Játékkártya Nyomda (Hungary)


two comparative samples of trumps taken from German, Austrian, Czech and Hungarian tarots: the one in the top row is the Pagat;
only some of the Hungarian subjects (far right) match the scenes featured by the other national versions




part 1
Bologna · Sicily
part 2
Milan · Piedmont
part 3
France · Switzerland
part 4
Belgium


further reference to tarot decks can be found in Trionfi and in The Hermitage

TAROCKTAROKYTAROKKTAROT
TRUMPFKARTENTAROKYTAROKKOKTRUMPS
FARBKARTENFARBY SZÍNES LAPOK SUIT CARDS
FARBENFARBY SZÍNEKSUITS
KAROKÁRA KÁRÓDIAMONDS
HERZSRDCE KÕRHEARTS
PIKPIKA PIKKSPADES
KREUZKRÍE (cross) TREFFCLUBS
ASESO ÁSZACE
FIGURENKARTENFIGÚRY FIGURÁKCOURT CARDS
BUBEDOLNÍK BUBI / BOTOSKNAVE
REITER / KAVALLJAZDEC LOVASCAVALIER
DAMEDÁMA DÁMAQUEEN
KÖNIGKRÁL KIRÁLYKING
SKÜSŠKÝZ SKÍZEXCUSE (JOKER)



page I
classic
tarots
page III
trump card
arrangements
page IV
modern &
non-standard
page V
theMulûk
wa-Nuwwâb
page VI
the Visconti
Tarots
page VII
the tarots
of Ferrara
page VIII
the tarot
of Marseille
page IX
the Tarot
de Paris
page X
Viéville's
Tarot
page XI
the
Minchiate
page XII
Mitelli's
Tarocchino
page XIII
Mantegna's
Tarot
page XIV
the
Hofjagdspiel
page XV
the
Hofämsterspiel
page XVI
the deck by
Jost Amman
page XVII
the Italy 2
Moorish deck



OTHER GALLERIES

non-standard patterns advertisement decks sizes, shapes and colours standard pattern variants non-suited cards Mercante in Fiera Uta Karuta, Iroha Karuta, Dôsai Karuta Âs nas
regional patterns: Italy regional patterns: Spain regional patterns: Germany regional patterns: Austria regional patterns: Switzerland regional patterns: France regional patterns: Sweden regional patterns: Portugal regional patterns: China regional patterns: South-Eastern Asia regional patterns: Japan regional patterns: India uncut sheets mottos and proverbs

or back to
Introduction
INTRODUCTION
AND HISTORY

Multi-language Glossary
MULTI-LANGUAGE
GLOSSARY
the Fool and the Joker
THE FOOL &
THE JOKER
Index Table
INDEX
TABLE
Regional Games
REGIONAL
GAMES
Playing Card Links
PLAYING CARD
LINKS






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