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Suit System:FT
Recommended Name:  the Tyrol Hunting Tarot.


For a hundred years, from c.1790 onwards, this pattern was obviously manufactured and played cxclusively in the Habsburg crownland Tyrol. Nine Tarot packs printed from different woodblocks or stones (from c.1850 onwards) are known to the writer so far, the earliest by the cardmaker Johann Albrecht of Innsbruck showing a tax stamp valid pre-1803 (British Museum, Schreiber coll.). The succcecding packs come from Bozen/Bolzano as well as from Italian-language Trentino (the then so-called South Tyrol), from Trento/Trient and Rovereto, which has been connected to historic Tyrol for about 600 years.

From outside of Tyrol just two examples are known to the writer. The one, (Linz coll.) is by Andreas Benedikt Göbl of Munich and stems probably from his last working years (c.1780), as Johann Albrecht worked with him from 1778 before moving to Innsbruck in 1787. The other (Cary coll.) is made c.1880 by Ferdinand Pittner of Graz (Styria) by lithography transferred from the Karl Albrecht of Bozen example.

In the Tyrol, this Tarot pattern was the one most used by far during the whole 19th century. The latest example known to the writer bears a tax stamp 1882-1899.

The trump scenes show specific hunting events using techniques as used during several centuries - by falcon, horse, hound; using spear, big knife, shotgun - in hunting hare, boar and deer. In several cases the double scenes' composition is most peculiar, so a single-ended predecessor can be assumed. 'Modernised' examples from Innsbruck (c.1855 - 1880) show on four atouts scenes different from the 'classic' ones, so better suited for double presentation. Pagat (Hans Wurst with sausage) and Skys (Harlequin with flute) are taken from a Bavarian Animal Tarot type, the figure cards showing the Paris export pattern, Bavarian style.


There is a peculiarity in the composition of Tyrol-made Tarot packs: in most cases, 66 cards out of 78 are preserved or used, indicating that specific numeral cards were not played in the Tyrol version of Tarot. Although no adapted rules are available, the writer feels quite sure of the reason: a fifth player can take part in a Tarot playing round (66 cards minus 6 for the stock = 60 cards, which can be divided among 3, 4, or 5 - even 6 - players, without any cards left over.

66 cards (typical): 21 trumps and Skys, plus 4 suits of 11 cards comprising king, queen, cavalier, jack; red suits Ace-7, black suits 10-4. 78 cards: including red suits 8-10, black suits Ace-3.

Some makers

(All use double-ended trumps and figures).

Innsbruck: Johann Albrecht, c.1790, c.1810, 1818; (Michael) Albrecht,1822, 1831; Josef Schöpf, c.1855 (Cary coll.); Ingenuin Fasser, c.1865.

Bozen: Franz Krapf, 1839-1857; Karl Albrecht, 1858-c.1885.

Trento: Giuseppe Bendelli, 1843, c.1860, and several packs c.1870 from same woodblock, without maker's name and tax stamp.

Rovereto: Giuseppe Filippi, 1835.

Sources of Information

ALL CARDS ON THE TABLE by Sylvia Mann, Leinfelden-Echterdingen & Marburg 1990.

THE GAME OF TAROT by Michael Dummett, London 1980.

DIE TIROLER JAGDTAROCKE by Peter Blaas, (IN) TALON 2/1993, Österreichisch-Ungarischer Spielkartenverein, Wien/Budapest.

TAROCKE MIT FRANZÖSISCHEN FARBEN by Detlef Hoffmann & Margot Dietrich, Deutsches Spielkartenmuseum, Leinfelden-Echterdingen 1984.

KARTENSPIELEN IN ALT-TIROL / CARD GAMES, PLAYING-CARDS AND CARDMAKERS IN THE OLD TYROL (bilingual) by Peter Blaas (IN) TIROL - immer einen Urlaub wert, Winter 1992/93, Innsbruck.

The Tyrol Hunting Tarot

Illustration of Tyrol Hunting Tarot (jpg 609 x 656)
(Top two rows) from a pack of 66 cards by Franz Krapf, Bozen 1843.
(Below) from an 'Italian style' pack of 66 cards by Giuseppe Filippi, Rovereto 1835. (Blaas coll.)

The International Playing-Card Society 7/1994 PB

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