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Tarocco Bolognese

17th-century luxury pack by Giuseppe Maria Mitelli.

The Tarocco Bolognese is a tarot deck found in Bologna and is used to play tarocchini. It is a 62 card Italian suited deck which influenced the development of the Tarocco Siciliano and the obsolete Minchiate deck.

This is one of the oldest decks in continual use, dating back to at least the 15th century, though it has gone through modifications. First, the pip cards from 2 to 5 had been dropped from each suit since the early 16th century bringing down the number of cards from 78 to the present 62. The imperial and papal trumps, having been of equal rank, were converted to four moors, two of which are identical, during the early 18th century. Later in that century the face cards and trumps became reversible and most trumps added Arabic numerals. None of the cards are labelled and only trumps 5 to 16 are numbered. The hierarchy of cards in the long suits (swords and batons) goes from King (highest), Queen, Knight, Knave, 10 to 6, and Ace (lowest). For cups and coins it is King (highest), Queen, Knight, Knave, Ace, and 6 to 10 (lowest).

The trump cards are as follows:

Trump Name of the card
(20) Angel (Anzel) or Judgement
(19) World (Mond)
(18) Sun (Sole)
(17) Moon (Louna)
16 Star (Strela)
15 Tower (Torr) or Lightning
14 Devil (Dievel)
13 Death (Morte)
12 Traitor (Traditour)
11 Hermit (Eremeta) or Time
10 Fortune (Furtouna)
9 Fortitude (Forza)
8 Justice (Giustezzia)
7 Virtue (Virto) or Temperance
6 Chariot (Car)
5 Love (Amour)
(1-4) four Moors (Murett)
(0) Magician (Begkett)

This deck is directly related to the 40 card Primiera Bolognese deck. The Primiera set goes from ranks Ace to 7, Knave, Knight, and King while the Tarocco set goes from ranks 6 to 10, Knave, Knight, Queen, King, and Ace. All ranks that they share in common appear very similar but are not identical.

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