Comparison of card faces: Rider deck trumps
H ere are the Rider trumps from December 1909 through 1939, when Rider stopped producing tarot cards (until 1971) The default image (the one you see first) is from their prototype deck, currently named the “Roses & Lilies” because of the blue background pattern on the card backs. If you click each link below the cards you can cycle through each version of that card (e.g. A: 1910-1920, B: late 1930’s, C: early 1930’s, or D 1920(?)). You will notice how the “same card” images change between the versions. These images have not been altered except minor scaling to help them match image dimensions to help you compare the line work and ink application. Each version differs subtly. You can tell this by examining the borders, coloring and mistakes in the recoloring, ink saturation, and technique of printing. But also, the same card from each version is slightly larger or smaller than the others. The “R&L” “A” and “D” versions should be almost identical in size and line art, and the “B” and “C” as well, with exception of The Sun card. That being said, this is why I made this page; so you can see for yourself exactly what changed from version to version. As an example, pay close attention to the left border of The Magician card and the lower right rose in the corner. The “D” has been said to be an exact photograph of the “A,” but the printing plates were not exact as we can see by the lack of color in this flower, bringing doubt to this general assumption.
This is an invaluable tool for studying the changes between editions as different copyists hand redrew Pam’s art, and colorists changed the way the colors were presented. These changes were a result of different print runs at different companies with different technologies. If this page is popular enough I will take the time to do this with all of the cards in the Rider deck. Please use the contact us form to let us know your thoughts on this.