Monday, 3 January 2011

A Length of Linen, with a Rider-Waite Tarot Theme

There isn't much of it left, but I couldn't resist: white linen with a Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot print. That is indeed the Empress (with her crown of stars) and the Ace of Wands (though it seems to be sprouting more foxgloves than usual). Many of the smaller motifs also come from the deck (the sun and the moon, from their cards respectively; my eagle-eyed friend has also spotted the winged lion's head from the two of cups, there are others, just keep staring).

For those who aren't immediately recognising the images, the Rider-Waite-Smith is one of the most iconic and widely used tarot decks out there. Numerous modern decks have drawn inspiration (and often basic layout) from the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot. A brief gander at Aeclectic will throw up a plethora of beautiful decks drawn in the RWS tradition (including the Real Art of the Tarot, a really rather swoon-worthy incarnation). They were originally commissioned from Pamela Colman Smith by Arthur Edward Waite and was the first to illustrate the minor arcana.

(I did briefly wonder about the copyright of the RWS images used and it does, perhaps unsurprisingly, have quite a lengthy and complicated history.)

I'm very much in love with it, though I have no idea what should be done with it. There's about two and a half yards, enough for a shirt, a waistcoat (perhaps even two), a skirt or the contrast of something.

Given the prominence of the Empress and the Ace of Wands, I suspect this isn't exactly the print for everyone, but if you feel inspired, drop me a line.

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