Holly's Rider-Waite Site


So, there's been evidence that there are several different printings from the original edition of this deck that vary from one another. What version is US Games putting out currently?

From what is written on the box the common deck (yellow box, ©1971) comes in is stated the following:

"The original and only authorized edition of the famous 78-card Tarot Deck designed by PAMELA COLMAN SMITH under the direction of ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE


Reissued in collaboration with Miss Sybil Waite and Rider & Company, London"

My understanding is that this reprint came from Arth Waite's own personal deck. The implication is of course, that this is a Pamela A. The coloration I will argue with. The line part of the deck I will not.


 Pamela A - 1910

 US Games - 1971


 Pamela A - 1910

 US Games - 1971

There are tonal differences which I've always written off to being a result of not being able to reproduce the earlier colors. BUT - the lines are the same between the two versions in both the Fool and the Sun example. The word "LOVE" appears in both Sun cards. My vote is cast for the US Games version being taken from a Pamela A. Great job! Now only work on the coloration. And let us all pray that godawful version called "The Original Rider Waite Tarot Pack" disappears from existence!! The 1971 version is as close to the "original" pack as one can easily get. Accept no substitutes.

Okey-dokey, I'm doing a bigBIG revision on my theory here. I've acquired some other decks that tell me exactly where this version comes from. Arthur Waite did NOT have a personal deck (from email correspondence from John Gilbert). This is very possibly from a set of Pamela A drawings, BUT well after the fact. More to come on this topic. 4/17/04

PS - I've gotten over my hatred of the Green Slime 1993 edition after having seen the 'usual suspect' yellow box deck with the new typefont on the card titles. That latter deck is my new "worst deck". The Green Slime version has moved up a few more notches - still dislike it, but. . . .

[ship of Fools]

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