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Suit System:FT
Recommended Name:  the Upper Austrian Animal Tarot.

This pattern was originally classified as FT-1.2.
Known sometimes as "Animal Tarot" or "Tiertarock" or "Upper Austrian Tarot", this pattern shares several features with FT-1 (Bavarian Animal Tarot) and in order to distinguish between the two patterns (and to differentiate the pattern from other cards sometimes termed "Animal Tarot") it is recommended that this pattern shall be named "Upper Austrian Animal Tarot".


As a result of the paucity of material, it is at present difficult to deduce the early history of this pattern. Although the designs on the trump cards obviously have as their model those of the Bavarian Animal Tarot (which in turn are known on an earlier German-suited pack, see exhibition catalogue TAROCKE MIT FRANZÖSISCHEN FARBEN by Detlef Hoffmann and Erika Kroppenstedt, Bielefeld, 1967), the fact that the pattern is only known with double-ended court cards and trumps seems to make it possible that it did not exist long before the date of the earliest pack known to us (1813). However, it must be acknowledged that Trappola packs with double-ended court cards were known in Austria some thirty years earlier and that Tarot cards with Italian suits had been made in the Wels area in the 18th century.

The court figures, although apparently based on the Bavarian ones, have a distinctive style, rather more austere in appearance.

Although known by the name "Upper Austrian" this pattern was also made in Bohemia where it was manufactured until at least 1858.


At first, 78 cards. 4 suits of 4 double-ended court cards and 10 pip cards, plus 21 horizontally divided double-ended trumps with identical animal subjects at each end, bearing roman numeral at top left of each illustration, plus the Fool. Later, 54-card packs were made, the ace-6 of the black suits and 5-10 of the red suits being suppressed. As with FT-1 and FT-1.1 (the Belgian Animal Tarot) the subjects on the trumps remain nearly constant but vary in order from pack to pack. Distinguishing cards: the king of Hearts holds his sword aloft; the king of Spades lacks the Bavarian harp; the trump cards have no panel top and bottom (a feature present in both FT-1 and FT-1.1).

Some known Makers

Jakob Wokaun, Prague (1815);

Peter Schachner, Wels (1813);

Friedrich Eurich, Linz (1817);

Jos. Dimler, Wels (1827);

Wenzel Sewera, Prague (1858).

Upper Austrian Animal Tarot

Illustration 1 of Upper Austrian Animal Tarot (jpg 670 x 784)
Illustration 2 of Upper Austrian Animal Tarot (jpg 670 x 790)
Cards from a pack by Wokaun of Prague.

The International Playing-Card Society March, 1978

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