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Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set

Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set

Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set

Featuring the Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial Edition Deck

List Price: $ 35.00

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3 comments on “Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set

  1. 41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    US Games Gives theTarot World A Birthday Present, June 28, 2009
    By 
    Thalassa “Queen of Air & Darkness” (San Francisco, CA USA) –

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    This review is from: Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set (Paperback)

    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!

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  2. 52 of 62 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Wonderful packaging but deck is only just lacking. . ., May 12, 2009
    By 
    Edmund Zebrowski (Schaumburg IL) –
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    This review is from: Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set (Paperback)

    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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  3. 26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Handsome Box Set Celebrating “Pixie” Colman Smith, May 19, 2009
    By 
    Janet Boyer “Snowland Deck Creatrix” (JanetBoyer(dot)com) –
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    This review is from: Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set (Paperback)

    “Although she may have been disillusioned with the art and publishing establishment, Pamela never ceased to believe in her abilities or in the worthiness of her art. Her personal effects contain many scraps of paper covered with drawings and doodles, and even her church missal is sketched on its margins and flyleaves. Smith was always busy with pencil and sketchbook.” — From The Artwork & Times of Pamela Colman Smith by Stuart R. Kaplan

    While Pamela Colman Smith is best known for illustrating the Rider-Waite Tarot, in her day she received accolades and endorsements for not only her drawings, but also her paintings, theatrical set designs, cardboard props and storytelling abilities. In fact, J.M Barrie of Peter Pan fame thusly raves of Smith’s oral presentations of folk stories from Jamaica: “I know of no more delightful entertainment for children than yours, so quaint, so simple; and it is the prettiest of pictures, the children sitting agape around you.”

    Irish poet and Nobel laureate W.B. Yeats echoes Barrie: “Miss Pamela Smith tells her little stories so naturally and simply that one cannot think she would have told them differently at the other side of the world, or a thousand years ago…”

    In the introduction to Smith’s illustrated book Annancy Stories, American diplomat and novelist of the South Thomas Nelson Page described the Jamaican tales as “perhaps the most original contribution to Negro Folklore since Uncle Remus.”

    In addition to her prolific art–which included watercolors, portraits, children’s book illustrations, theater program drawings, book frontispieces, sheet music graphics and theatrical costume designs–Smith was also a publisher, poet, children’s author, essayist and superb raconteur.

    With the much-anticipated Pamela Colman Smith biography, author and U.S. Games founder Stuart R. Kaplan chronicles the social milieu of Smith’s day, as well as Smith’s originality, panache, friendships, business ventures, manner of dress, and engaging storytelling.

    The 101-page book The Artwork & Times of Pamela Colman Smith features over 100 non-Tarot full-color samples of Smith’s art interwoven with Mr. Kaplan’s meticulous research. One of the most fascinating elements of the biography is the plenteous entries from her personal visitor’s book containing poems, comments, signatures, doodles, and sketches from many prominent artists, writers and actors.

    Another intriguing inclusion is a hand written letter from Smith to Alfred Stieglitz asking for money and mentioning that she “just finished a big job for very little cash: a set of designs for a pack of Tarot cards 80 designs.”

    The handsomely packaged double-sided fold-out box with two easy-pull yellow ribbons not only includes The Artwork & Times of Pamela Colman Smith biography, but also:

    * A 238-page glossy version of Arthur Edward Waite’s Pictorial Key to the Tarot

    * The Smith-Waite Centennial Edition Tarot Deck, faithfully reproduced from the original 1909 deck

    * Sky blue drawstring organza bag for deck storage

    * Six glossy postcards featuring an assortment of Smith’s art

    * Three 5 x 7 glossy replications of Smith’s artwork

    * Black and White photo of Pamela Colman Smith

    * 5 x 7 foldout of three Tarot spreads

    Chock full of wonderful goodies, the Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set is a must-have for deck collectors, fans of the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot, art lovers and theater enthusiasts. This deluxe keepsake box set will be especially treasured by those who feel it’s high time “Pixie” gets her due as an accomplished artist, keen observer, and soulful artisan outside of her Tarot illustrations.

    (To see 16 images from the Smith-Waite Centennial Edition Tarot, visit the Reviews–Decks section at JanetBoyer.com)

    – Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book

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