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Western Playing Card Co. “Tarock” Cards, c.1935
Very rare set of Tarock cards, made c.1935 by Western Playing Card Co., then based in Racine, Wisconsin. I believe that these are the first tarock cards made by a U.S. card company – a response to the large influx of German immigrants in the decades previous that settled in the Milwaukee area. The major arcana and courts of the minor arcana are based upon familiar C.L. Wüst designs that I have always known by the name “Encyclopedic Tarock” and that are also commonly called “Bourgeois Tarock.” The term “bourgeois” refers to the fact that the scenes in the major arcana are scenes of everyday life.
The deck is complete at 54 cards. There are 21 major arcana and the fool card. The black suits of the minor arcana have the usual 4 court cards, plus pip cards numbered 7-10; the red suits have the usual courts, plus pip cards number Ace-4. The cards are bridge card size, rather than the large size favored by European makers, measuring 89mm x 58mm, and they come in the original box.
The cards are in excellent moderately used condition, with edge wear and evidence of handling, but without creases, tears or other issues. The box is in very good, perhaps even excellent, condition, clean and structurally sound with a good sample card, but with some scarring to the top.
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