The origin of Tarot and Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan

To quote “A wicked pack of cards” by Ronald decker, Thierry DePaulis and Michael Dummett: The earliest Tarot cards surviving to us are those of an incomplete set made, perhaps in 1441, for the court of Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan. The pack of which this is the remnant was certainly constituted differently from our archetypal form; whether it represents an earlier stage in the evolution or a mere isolated experiment . . . the Tarot pack had certainly been standardised as regards the number and identity of the cards by 1450: the archetypal form (as we know it) was that which resulted from that standardisation.

Filippo Maria Visconti

Filippo Maria Visconti

This book also tells us that the order of the Tarot cards was originally also not arranged the same everywhere. The variations in order being from the earliest moment of which Tarot cards were known in the principal original centres of their used which were Milan, Ferrara, Bologna and Florence. The order observed in France is the best known order of which remains in use as it is today.