Page of Swords | Sola-Busca Tarot | Giordano Berti
|The Page of Swords – Sola-Busca Tarot|
Giordano Berti, Tarot author and scholar, is the man behind this work and he has very kindly agreed to answer some questions about the deck, and, more specifically, the Court Cards.
the Sola-Busca Tarot I’m promoting is not my
work. As you know I’m writer, not Tarot producer. This is the deck realised by
Wolfgang Mayer in 1998 in Germany, faithfully reprinted from the
original deck of 1491.
copies. Each of these decks has a Warranty card numbered and
hand-signed by Mayer.
sell the warehouse stocks, the printer having died, and I have bought
about 300 decks.
artwork – has it been edited or recoloured?
extraordinary because it respects both the measurements and the original
colours of the fifteenth century deck.
the family Mayer had no packaging, I asked an Italian craftsman to
manufacture two types of box. A book-shaped box, with marbled paper
in Florentine style (DeLuxe box), and a box with sturdy golden
cardstock (Golden box).
deck’s 8-page booklet where I summarise the story of this deck. I also give the meanings of the 78 cards taken from the book ‘Sola-Busca
Tarot’ by Sofia Di Vincenzo (US Games
Systems, Stamford, 1998) and a simple method to use these cards.
mm, i.e. 5.9 x 3.2 inches. Wolfgang Mayer used a cardstock
slightly larger so you can see exactly the boundaries of the paper in
its original size.
show fully illustrated Minor Arcana cards, is that correct?
that the Sola-Busca is the only Tarot deck
that came up to our day complete with all 78 cards. But this deck is
very important historically because is the first fully-illustrated deck. It was necessary to wait for the
Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot, printed in 1909, to find a new deck
illustrated in the Minor Arcana. In fact,
some of the Sola-Busca served as inspiration for the Arthur Edward
Waite and Pamela Colman Smith.
Tarot deck – which other decks have you been involved with, Giordano?
1974 and afterwards I studied at the University the relationship
between art and esotericism … but the Tarot are my first love and I
have devoted a lot of effort both in the historical study and the
design of new decks.
historical exhibits about Tarot in
important places such as the Castello Estense in Ferrara (1987), the
Archaeological Museum of Bologna (1983) and the Museum of Castel
Sant’Angelo in Rome (1985).
and exhibition catalogues, but one of my biggest satisfaction has
been the design of new Tarot decks.
created eleven new decks, all illustrated by great artists. The
complete list can be found on the website Tarotpedia, at the page dedicated to Giordano Berti.
most important, because each deck requires a great effort and
each one almost becomes a child to you.
Scarabeo, 1994), 78 illustrations by Giacinto Gaudenzi and Saverio
of Druids (Lo
Scarabeo, 1994), with Bepi Vigna, 78 illustrations by Antonio
Lupatelli and Severino Baraldi.
Scarabeo, 1995), 78 illustrations by Giacinto Gaudenzi.
Scarabeo, 2001), 78 illustrations by Andrea Serio Dante_Tarot.
Tarot of Eternity (Lo
Scarabeo, 2003), 78 illustrations by Severino Baraldi.
Tarot of Renaissance – Estensi Tarot (Lo
Scarabeo, 2003), 78 illustrations by Jo Dworkin.
Negro, 2005), 78 illustrations by Luigi Scapini.
Negro, 2007), 78 illustrations by Davide
Scarabeo, 2007), 78 illustrations by Arturo Picca.
Wirth Tarot (Lo
Scarabeo, 2007), 78 illustrations by Stefano Palumbo.
Tarot of the Golden Dawn (Lo
Scarabeo, 2008), 78 illustrations by Patrizio Evangelisti.
artwork is beautiful and I have been looking at the Court Card
images. Why are the Pages the only
rank who do not have names?
the inventor of these cards have not given a name to the Pages
because there are few references to famous servants in ancient
are the names of the remaining Court members? Are
they characters from classical literature?
famous Knights, Queens and Kings are included in the Sola-Busca Tarot with the
clear intent to put them in relation with the life of the Alexander
the Great, represented in the King of Swords.
Arcana of this Tarot, how is it different to other Tarots?
Arcana of the Sola-Busca Tarot portray characters from Greek and Roman history,
except for Nenbroto
(Trump XX) and Nabuchodenasor
(Trump XXI), who are Biblical characters, and the Fool
(Trump 0), which has no name.
intent of the inventor was not to create a gallery of ancient
celebrities, because many of the names of the Major
Arcana are not famous for anything. Probably there is a profound
mystery in choosing these characters: they could refer to friends of
the author of the deck, who shared philosophical interests with him.
iconography of the Major Arcana in
the Sola-Busca Tarot is very different from the traditional one. In many figures
there are torches and altars with fires: a detail that, according to
Sofia Di Vincenzo, alludes to the practice of Alchemy.
supposed inventor of the Sola-BuscaT, the
painter Nicola di Maestro Antonio, was a friend of alchemists.
Swords is a wonderful image – he seems to be strumming a tune on his
lute to the sword in front of him! Tell me about his
character and how he is interpreted in the Sola Busca Tarot.
allegorical way the ambiguity of feelings that animate the immature
people, not just those who are young. The contrast is given by the lute,
an instrument of peace and poetry, near the sword, instrument of war
that at any moment the Page could take it in his hand with menacing
intent, both defensively and offensively.
different to other issues of the deck?
Vincenzo, that the Sola-Busca Tarot is the first deck to be designed
with non-gaming purposes, but this is purely speculative. It is evident in
many cards references to Alchemic tradition, which must be
interpreted not as a way to make gold but as practice for improving
publish, before the end of 2013, a
book I’m working on, entitled Sola-Busca
Tarot. Secret Code of Alchemy.
If you would like to buy the Sola-Busca Tarot, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Giordano’s website to explore the deck in greater depth. Read other articles about the Sola Busca Tarot here
Vivianne · 9th June 2013 at 10:43 pm
Surprisingly delicate and subtle artwork for a deck like this; I like it 🙂
Alison Cross · 11th June 2013 at 7:21 am
I am getting more into the older style decks these days. Although still constantly seduced by lovely new things too!
Bonnie Cehovet · 8th June 2013 at 1:58 pm
Ali – Incredible interview! Kudos!
Alison Cross · 11th June 2013 at 7:21 am
Thanks Bonnie – your kind words are very much appreciated 🙂
Roskis · 8th June 2013 at 12:41 pm
Thank your for this interview, I guess you asked all the things we wanted to know but were afraid to ask. It is such a beautiful deck, I wish I had it.
Alison Cross · 11th June 2013 at 7:20 am
It's beautiful, isn't it? Maybe you can spend your birthday money on a copy 😀