My new Tarot deck, Original Rider-Waite, came in the mail yesterday, and it is very nice. It is not really “original”, though, as the print plates were destroyed in the London Blitz, but rather a photo facsimile. The more well-known (“classical”) version of Rider-Waite (originally published in the 70s) has very stark colours, but this reproduction is a lot less garish. The artwork is a little more rough (it was probably redrawn for the 70s version), but overall I think it is a big improvement, and the new-old colours are at once more balanced and more lively.
The deck was created by famous occultist and freemason, A. E. Waite, with art by Pamela Colman-Smith; both were members of the Golden Dawn. It has become the template of numerous “clones”, including Paul Foster Case’s BOTA-deck.
Original and “classical” versions: