Fine Books Auction: Tarot History

Just got word of a huge auction coming up. And when I say huge, I mean huge. Stuart R. Kaplan should be well known to most of us for his outstanding Tarot Encyclopedias. These books are truly amazing. I’ve seen them but still don’t own my own set (sob).

But I digress. You want to know more about this auction, don’t you?

Swann Galleries of New York is presenting a Fine Books auction on April 2, 2009 featuring Works on Cards & The Occult from the Collection of Stuart R. Kaplan. Many of these works are referenced in the Encyclopedia of Tarot by Kaplan.

Collection highlights include rare manuscripts and first edition books relating to playing cards and tarot.

This is going to be huge, y’all!

LOT 16: Les Cartes a Jouer du XIVe au XXe Siecle: A two-volume, first edition (1906)of an encyclopedic history of playing cards with lavish illustrations in full color.

LOT 17: First edition (1770) of Jean-Baptiste Alliette’s first book, a treatise on divination with regular playing cards

LOT 18: Group of 7 works by Alliette from the 1780s

LOT 19: First edition of the final volume of Aretino’s dialogues concerning card games and tarot, 1589re

LOT 20: First edition (1572) treatise on games with reference to tarocchi

LOT 21: 1526 poem on Italian card game primiera, old vellum loose binding

LOT 22: 47 engraved plates and maps concerning mythology and esoteric language, and ancient origins of tarot (1787) Pages 365-410 in Volume 8 includes the famous “Du Jeudes Tarot” detailing the ancient Egyptian origins of tarot.

LOT 23: First edition of Moonchild, a 1929 novel by Aleister Crowleys

LOT 26: Handwritten notebook, containing over 180 leaves, with original transcribed text from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, circa 1890s.

LOT 29: Group of 8 first-edition volumes signed by famous fortuneteller LeNormand (published 1814-1831)

LOT 32: 18th century handwritten manuscript English Fortune Tellers, with astrology diagrams

LOT 33: Three 1782 volumes by Saint-Martin on the occult philosophy of the Major Arcana

LOT 34: 19th century manuscript The Art of Divination by Cards: A Complete Revelation of Destiny by Means of Cards & Tarot

Descriptions and images of all items (Lots 16-34) may be viewed online at Swann Galleries or at the public Exhibition March 28-April 1 at 104 East 25th Street, New York, New York.

Public Auction Sale 2175 is being held Thursday April 2 at 10:30 AM.

I am so glad I am not near New York. LOL I’d be selling my arms and legs to get at some of this. šŸ™‚

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5 thoughts on “Fine Books Auction: Tarot History”

  1. Arwen, thanks for the link to Kaplan’s sale. Actually, there is a way to place a bid online. The only thing that’s preserving my budget is the fact that almost all the books are esoteric-occult, which isn’t my area of interest. Lot 34 is interesting, though. It comes from the library of Stourton Castle in England. In the late 1800s, two students of the occult calling themselves Mercurius and Eleusis wrote out a translation of a French card-reading book and dedicated it to their teacher “Edgar Bonner, the most celebrated astrologer in Europe”. The manuscript is 178 pages long, so the students must have had a lot of time on their hands, or were very anxious to impress their teacher.


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