For quite a while now I’ve been using the Lasenic’s Tarot deck, a somewhat obscure Czech tarot that’s still loved by quite a few. First published in 1938, and inspired by Oswald Wirth’s designs (Lasenic studied with Wirth), it’s a curious mix of light and dark – especially in the Major Arcana:
(Wonky scanning is my own.)
Trigon Publishing of Prague is the current publisher, and I recently approached them to ask for permission to include their deck as the header image for this blog. Not only did they give me permission to use the images of their cards (in any form; thus the scanning), they also included in their email a wonderful snippet of the history of this interesting deck:
Lasenic’s Tarot was designed by Pierre de Lasenic (original name Petr Kohout, 1900-1944) and drawn by Vladislav Kuzel (1898-1965). Originally it was published in black and white as illustrations in Lasenic’s book “Tarot, klic k iniciaci” (Tarot, The Key to Initiation, 1938-1939). In the midst of members of secret society Horev, which was founded by Lasenic, were used private copies of this cards, also in black and white version. Later it was coloured, according Lasenic’s instructions. This colourfull version was pattern for our edition of Lasenic’s tarot cards. We published it in 2001 and it is still available.
Trigon has done an amazing job with this deck: the cards are a bit fatter and squatter than your “usual” Lo Scarabeo or US Games-style tarot. The card stock is durable but has the most wonderful texture – not glossy, not laminated…almost waxed? Very easy to shuffle, and with a lovely aged look to the backs:
Interestingly, there isn’t a lot of information on the net about this deck, as far as I could find. There was some conversation about it back on the Aeclectic Tarot forums (nearly ten years ago!), but other sources such as Tarotpedia are sketchy at best.
Lasenic’s Tarot Deck By Petr Kohout and Vladislav Kuzel copyright © 2001 by Trigon Publishing (No ISBN?)