The King of Cups | Art | Visconti Sforza

Published by Alison Cross on

From the workshop of Benifacio Benbo, 
Il Re di Coppe, 
Visconti Sforza Tarot
Yeah, there’s so much of the figure missing that when I looked at this image I thought the King was actually lying in a box with only his legs sticking out.  As if he had been SLIGHTLY overusing his Cups.
And here’s what The King of Cups looks like when he’s not lying in a box.
The top image was sold in 2008 at the Milan auction house for Christies for a jaw-dropping 19,500 Euros.
So the next time your other half rolls his/her eyes at your frantic late-night, wine-fuelled ebay bidding to procure YET ANOTHER tarot deck, you can point out that it’s AN INVESTMENT.
That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!
What’s been the most expensive Tarot deck you’ve ever purchased?

Alison Cross

The Tarot's Court Cards are my specialist area.Β  They talk to me. Not LITERALLY though ....


Inner Whispers · 2nd June 2014 at 3:52 pm

My Dear One has bought me a couple of expensive decks as Christmas presents over the years (yes, a man who feeds my tarot addiction, it is truly love!) The Infinite Visions (Gloria Jean) which worked out about 85 quid with shipping etc, and the Illuminated Tarot (Carol Herzer), which was about 300 all told, I think. I've used the Infinite Visions quite a bit, the Illuminated less so, but it is soooo pretty!

    Alison Cross · 4th June 2014 at 3:52 pm

    How wonderful that your other half feeds your addiction! Mine doesn't feed it, but he rarely puts the brakes on it lol! Glad to see that you use the Infinite Visions deck a lot. It's sad when decks don't get used, just because they're 'spensive. Well done!

Joanne Sprott · 30th May 2014 at 1:03 pm

Most expensive deck so far has been Ciro Marchetti's Gilded Tarot Royale, which is nothing compared to some of these others, but most of my decks are in the Β£15 area. I do use my GR every week, though, for a weekly forecast. I'll have to start bringing in income as a Tarot reader before I can justify some of the pricier decks.

    Alison Cross · 30th May 2014 at 1:45 pm

    oh Jeez – don't wait for THAT to happen. Buy them when you see them and use the resulting financial guilt to make you work harder to pay off the credit card *Queen of Wands Rx face* πŸ˜€

Shannon · 29th May 2014 at 8:24 pm

I got the Tyldwick Tarot when they were doing the first printing. I think it ended up being around $92 USD by the time it got here. I love love love the design and the beauty of it, but of course I am sacred silly of even shuffling that deck because it cost so much. Sometimes, I have to buy a deck and tell myself that this is the "get dirty/torn/worn copy" that I'm allowed to wear down just so I'm not so careful with it.

I have a regular deck of cards that belonged to my Grandmother who played solitaire multiple times a day. You can barely see the pattern on them, they are so worn and used and creased to the shape of her hands and fingers. They are especially precious to me because of that. So, I know in my head that my decks are meant to be *used* but sometimes I have a hard time allowing it. πŸ™‚

    Alison Cross · 30th May 2014 at 11:20 am

    Shannon – How lovely to have the Tyldwick! *envious face*

    And to have your grandmother's cards that she used for Solitaire – that's so marvellous!

    I think commercially published cards have durability, but it's less certain when it's a private printing. You do not want creases in your $100 deck!

Moti Black · 29th May 2014 at 6:30 pm

The most expensive deck I have ever bought was never meant to be so expensive πŸ˜‰ I supported the Badger's Tarot through Kickstarter, and got hit by bad exchange rates and an astronomical Royal Mail (Hostage) Import VAT and 'handling charge', meaning a Β£25 deck ended up being nearly Β£60 :s

I love the Visconti Sforza Deck – I recently got the revamped one with the shiny gold all over it πŸ™‚

    Alison Cross · 30th May 2014 at 11:18 am

    *eyes glaze over* SHINY TAROT…….. *shakes head and returns to consciousness* Yes, I've been hit a few times recently by Customs and Excise. It's not fair; we don't seem to have any otehr way to pay the Excise due on a deck ( a couple of quid) without also incurring the Β£8.00 Royal Mail 'processing' charge too πŸ™

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