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Suit System:IPT
Recommended Name:  the Tarocco Siciliano, early form.

This pattern was originally classified as IPT-2.
The pack is properly called the Tarocco Siciliano, of which the present pattern may be designated the "early form" to distinguish it from IPT-2.1.


This form of Tarot pack is exclusive to Sicily. By the testimony of the Marchese di Villabianca, writing about 1790, the Tarot pack was introduced into Sicily from the mainland (probably from Rome) in 1663; there it underwent certain changes, including the replacement of the Devil by the Ship. By the 1760s, the full 78-card pack was still used for four-handed games, but was reduced to 63 cards for three-handed ones: by the date at which the earliest surviving examples were made, only the shortened pack was in use. Only a single-figure form is known.


The suit cards are of a straightforwardly Portuguese type: all save the queens and 10s have indices. The Batons frequently, and the Swords sometimes, have dog's-head handles. The court cards are king, queen, cavallo and donna (maid): in Coins the numerals are 4-10, in the other three suits 5-10. With the Fool (Fuggitivo) and the twenty-one trumps, this makes a pack of 63 cards. The trumps bear Roman numerals from I to XX, with an additional one, inscribed LA POVERTA, ranking below the I (Bagotti or Picciotti). There are no Pope or Popess: trump IIII shows a female figure with a banner inscribed LA COSTANZA (Constancy). The Hanged Man (XI) is hanged by the neck. There is no Devil: XIIII is the Ship, the design being borrowed from the Minchiate pack (Element of Water), while Jupiter, shown on his eagle with Ganymede hovering over a city, replaces the Angel as XX, the card being inscribed GIOVE. The Tower (XV) shows no lightning and is not undergoing destruction. XVIIII, corresponding to the World in other packs, shows Atlas (l'Atlante). In detail, the trump sequence differs from that in any other pack; in general style, the trump designs resemble those of Minchiate packs (IPT-1).


Tuzzolino, using the trade-name "Il Camello", probably of Palermo, c.1780;

Felice Cimino, Palermo, 1802-05.

Tarocco Siciliano, early form

Illustration 1 of Tarocco Siciliano, early form (jpg 726 x 859)
Illustration 2 of Tarocco Siciliano, early form (jpg 726 x 859)
Cards from a pack by Tuzzolino.

The International Playing-Card Society August, 1978

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