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Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set

Featuring the Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial Edition Deck

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2 comments on “Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set

  1. US Games Gives theTarot World A Birthday Present To celebrate the centennial of this most important deck, Stuart Kaplan has opened the vaults to create a stunning presentation of a beloved favourite. The set is magnificently packaged in a box that would look well on the library bookshelf, and contained within are many delights. When one opens the treasure chest, one finds several postcards of Pixie’s art (and one of her), a shiny new (non-pictorial) copy of Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E. Waite, and a splendid book by Kaplan containing a wealth of information about Pamela Colman (Pixie) Smith. In a small but mighty tome, her life, her times and her art are lovingly presented with lots of glorious reproductions that help put the “big job for little money” in perspective. But the jewel in the crown is the reproduction of the 1909 Waite-Smith deck. It is splendid (several have pointed out that the colours are a tad muddy, but I think it conveys a sense of age).Having seen (and fondled) an original 1909 RWS deck, I have always said that if everyone could see the myriad exquisite details in each card, one would come away with an even deeper appreciation for what Pixie did. She created a magical – and often theatrical – landscape for the archetypes and designs to play. Even if you’ve spent hours studying and contemplating the images, be prepared to invest a lot more time. There are wonders and delights in profusion to be seen in this glorious revival of the deck.Thanks to Stuart Kaplan and thanks to US Games for giving the world a birthday present for the RWS birthday!

  2. Wonderful packaging but deck is only just lacking. . . The Pamela Colman Smith Centennial deck arrived today and I have to tell you it was the best $20 I ever spent on Amazon…well almost. The production values of the set are outstanding. The boxed set is very hefty and is stunningly packaged. The box opens with a gatefold and each side has its own cover hiding the treasures beneath. Before we get to deck lets go over the Books-postcards-prints side. Here we get 6 postcards of PCS, a glossy leaflet featuring three spreads ( 5 card love, Woven, and 3 card relationship) , 3 larger prints of her work as well as to books A.E. Waite’s Pictorial Key that clocks in at 239 pages and the 101page Artwork and Times of PCS by Stewart Kaplan. Both are printed on exquisite heavy weight paper and the PCS book has copious images of her works outside of the deck. The downside to these books is the bindings, if not handled carefully, could be prone to breakage. The covers are very heavy card stock that too needs to be handled with care or it will crease with relative ease. The good part is it looks like they are sewn bindings so the pages should be safe, but for those that want to keep their set in mint shape just handle them with care. All in all a minor gripe about this half of the set. Onto the deck . . . . Side two pops open with the deck and a pale blue organza bag to keep it in. (Does anyone REALLY use those?) The deck is of very nice stock and has a nice semi-gloss finish to it so those that were worrying about the stock can rest easy, The deck measures up to about 1 1/4 inches so it’s thicker then then normal 3/4-1 in decks we are used to but not as thick as the original that comes in at just over 1 1/2 inches. As for the images, yes Virginia they are from the Pam A. The only sort-a issue I have is that many of them look like they are reproductions of pictures of the deck if that makes any sense. Like if you take a picture of a card then print out the picture as opposed to having placed the card on a scanner and taken it like that. It’s not on all cards but on a bunch of them enough to make it distracting. This also makes some of the fine lines blur a little.. The other thing is the artificial `aging’ of the deck. This again takes away some of the crispness of the images and mutes the colors. Is this better then the ORWS? BY MILES!!!! You’ll want to toss that one in the trash once you see this one, but is it the holy grail of decks? Sadly it falls short for me. It will become my go to for RWS reading wise but after going through it with the Pam A crackle back that I have tucked away in a box there is still a part of me that wishes that the original was cleaned and presented as a bright vivid reproduction as best as it could have been. All in all a great effort that I’d give a B- too because the packaging, books, extras and card stock are outstanding (I hope they use that stock on other decks.) but the images are still sadly lacking. . . .sigh. . . . . but the cards do shuffle well and feel good under the fingers. I have no doubt that this will become the go to deck for most RWS fans and untill we get a brighter version of the 1910 this edition deserves it

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