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TAROTS & GAMES - The Tarot d'Argolance

Little story or the Tarot d'Argolance

First, why the Tarot of Argolance ? At the beginning, it was the Tarot of Argoland , portmanteau word which, according to a quite adventurous etymology, evokes the Country of... Argo, name of the vessel on which Argonautes gained Colchide in order to conquer this curious Skin of Light which is the Golden Fleece, but also the Country of the... Slang ("argot" in french !), which was in the past, on the old continent, > the particular language of the beggars, wanderers and robbers (I) - language understandable for them only -
Faithful as much as possible to processes usually ignored by the modern men we have become, I think I may say that the Tarot, on the same basis that any true symbol, is all that at the same time, i. e. a kind of perfectly structured and divinely proportioned nave, able to transport and lead safe and sound who seeks this improbable Gold, while the special language of its arcana deliver its light only when one plays the Game (Game anyone calls "Which loses wins gains" !), when one lovingly devotes oneself without reserve to this directed > Petty thieving (II) which is the Quest in this fanstastic Country !
But there, as the VIth and XVIIth Arcana of the Tarot together underline it, one doesn't fall in love so easely ! On this Realm more than any other, where dream and disillusions are not current anymore, it is the Thunderbolt which rumbles and suddenly falls, crushes, fulgurates, robs and holds under its dazzling Cup the wide-awaken heart of its men, all their lasting Life !
In short, from Argoland to Argolance , there is only one step, just a little slip that only the attentive ear justifies, because, after all, didn't it whisper its own Name to me ?

It is the book of Oswald WIRTH, the Tarot des Imagiers du Moyen Âge (III) or rather the deck served with the work and drawn by the author, which, in 1978, worked as aspur... The first intention was not to recreate a deck, but just to redraw some for my own use...

The Chariot from Oswald WIRTH The Chariot from the Tarot d'Argolance The Wheel of Fortune from the Tarot d'Argolance The Wheel of Fortune from the Tarot d'Argolance

The Chariot from Oswald WIRTH

The Chariot from the Tarot d'Argolance

The Wheel of Fortune
from Oswald WIRTH

The Wheel of Fortune
from the Tarot d'Argolance

From the start, I took the liberty not to preserve the egyptianisms that Oswald WIRTH introduced into his Tarot : Even if certain symbolic correspondences are undeniable indeed, they appear to be a kind of anachronism to me. The medieval artist, who was certainly not unaware of what we call today antiquity, however represented his characters, at any period they could belong, in costumes and sets of his time... He had other intentions that restoring the past in its historicity, in the same way that the heraldist was concerned with Le Caducיי de Mercureesthetics and naturalism or, the writer to make literature ! Their dignity conferred to these messengers of another age, a role and aimings differently deeper and higher, of which we do not have any idea today ! One could say that it consisted above all, of the conservation and the transmission of certain data , in conformity with the principles from which they rise and without the inspiration of which, from their point of view, nothing is done... nor to do ! That supposed that these principles were actually known and recognized. It resulted from that, at a degree or another, a natural authority, a Wisdom , doubled with an indéfectible faithful which one very often took for conservatism or superstitious fanaticism. Indeed, it could degenerate into a kind of obsolete and arbitrary formalism, > if certain bond was broken (IV), or even if the true knowledge of these principles and the ultimate reason of their worthy function in the heart of the medieval society was lost : Isn't Science without Conscience the ruin of soul ?

Thus, hunger came while eating (as we are used to say in french) and as I went deeper the study of the Tarot, it took shape (and still does !) what became the Tarot d'Argolance . Its elaboration was a hard test. What procrastinations, hesitations, time ! But also what discoveries and amazements which have, I must acknowledge, resulted in certain > choices in my life (V), to start with this curious job I have been practising eversince with delight ! When it was finally completed, I decided to show it to impassioned collectors and I was thus brought to carry out about ten decks for amateurs, all over the world ! Then came the time of the Tarot de la Félicité... which answers other requirements and also found its own way...


TheTarot d'Argolance, hand painted version

The hand-painted version of the Tarot d'Argolance .

'Entrelacs I'

'Entrelacs II'



'Convexe I'

'Convexe II'

Hand-painted back designs (80 by 155 millimeters) from the Tarot Argolance and the Tarot de la Félicité

In 1982, I had printed 1000 copies presented in boxes covered with leather, decorated with gold. The faces of the cards were enhanced with gilded nets and the backs of silkscreen printed designs. The whole with a booklet containing a comment, the significance of the Arcana and an original method of fortune telling... But I gave up its production because that took too much time and was not viable. So, I devoted myself to Enluminure and the medieval imagery in general, developing a personal technique, enriched with my experience as a card-maker... It is this particular technique which I later baptized the > Méthode des quatre As ( Method of the Four Aces).

The Tarot d'Argolance of the first generation.

At that time, the fortune wanted my deck to attract the attention of Stuart R. Kaplan, author of the Encyclopaedia of Tarot, in which I was suggested to make the Tarot of Argolance appear...

The Tarot d'Argolance (as well as its younger brother, the Tarot de la Félicité ) that I continue, as occasion arises, to paint by hand, is, in its printed/silkscreen printed version, available in uncut up sheets, framed or unframed, signed, numbered and in the form of a deck of the second generation, presented in artisanal wooden box or leather case, signed, numbered as shown below :

The Tarot d'Argolance of the second generation.

> More about the traditional style of production of the silkscreen printed/printed version of the Tarot d'Argolance


> the particular language of the beggars, wanderers and robbers (I) In fact, it was (and still is) a very famous jargon or gibberish which one described as vulgar, but learnedly worked out and spoken by all those which belong to the same Company, to the same Circle, exert the same Ministry, practise the same Art, take part in the realization of the same Masterpiece and which were sometimes known as "Foxes"...

... Then, the Moon says :
"Beyond all the divergent beliefs,
Beyond the mortal shouts and bites their partisans inflict,
Beyond the meats they dispute in the darkness,
Beyond the avenues in vogue the superstitious customer attends and the endless boulevards the enthusiasts of the reason vainly try to measure,
There, between Dog and Wolf, stands the russet-red silhouette of one of the most beautiful hosts of the Forest,
There opens up the celestial way of Foxes,
Which certain Fools and Beggars pace up and down,
Knight errants that unsuspected beacons guide in their quiet and night peregrination ".
... Ah ! ... What else could the Moon tell, while taking the useless trouble to put Capital letters and Quotation marks at all the words !

> Petty thieving (II) A handful of Thieves indeed, are polishing an astounding Coup de Théâtre on which they have been secretly working for a long time, glorious Deed and the most beautiful trick played on men, conjuring trick, last Straw... of which they have the incredible secrecy... ! But it is another story, cruel and dark... I will tell you soon depending on how you feel ! (III) : 1927. I vol. in-4°. Republished in 1967 in the "Symbolism", and by Tchou, in 1978.

> Tarot des Imagiers du Moyen Âge (III) : 1927. I vol. in-4°. Republished in 1967 in the "Symbolism", and by Tchou, in 1978.

> if certain bond was broken (IV) : The history of the Tarot and its "appearance" about the middle of XIVth century, is binded to this rupture which the Christian Occident knew then, and which has something to do with the advent of a certain age, wrongfully called "humanistic Rennaissance" !

> choices in my life (V) : Thus, leaning on the staff I was offered, I internally took the way and while I was walking, I was brought to knock at the door of an old-fashioned Inn, today more famous because of its provincial and all dressed up customers than for extraordinary kindness, scarcity and sweet food that are served here, between Midday and Midnight...



APO Note

The Tarot d'Argolance in my eBay Store !

Designer : Pierrick Pinot
Country of Publication : France
Number of Cards : 22 + 2
Publication Year : 1984
Publication Status : Limited edition of approximately 1000 copies, signed, serial numbered
Reference : Encyclopedia of Tarot, vol. III, p.75
Description : Silkscreen printed backs, four-color offset printing process faces, enhanced with silkscreen printed golden strokes, two coats of a "two components" silk varnish on both sides.
Style of production : Traditional
Cards Format
: 7,5/15
Weight : 150 g

> More !


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