Tarot Decks: Minchiate Pattern

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Tower card from the Minchiate Fiorentine photoreproduction deck published by Il Meneghello


The Minchiate deck originated in Florence in the 15th century and was used to play a trick-taking card game called minchiate. This deck differs from standard tarot decks in a number of respects, including the following:

  • it consists of a total of 97 cards (instead of 78), because of a net additional 19 trump cards,
  • the net additional 19 trump cards arise out of the disappearance of the Papesse card and the addition of 20 trumps unique to the Minchiate deck,
  • thus, there are 41 trumps, rather than 22,
  • 40 of the trumps are numbered (I to XL), while the Fool is unnumbered,
  • the 20 trumps unique to the Minchiate deck consist of
    • additional virtues (Hope, Prudence, Faith, and Charity),
    • the four elements (Fire, Water, Earth, and Air), and
    • the twelve signs of the zodiac,
  • the Emperor and Pope are replaced by the Western Emperor and Eastern Emperor,
  • the Empress is replaced by the Grand Duke.

A XVI Century poem, "I Germini" associates each of the forty trumps to a Florentine prostitute. In ancient times, Germini was a synonym for Minchiate.

Deck list

Antique specimens

  • Minchiate Fiorentine 'Carte Fine', published by Al Mondo circa the first half of the 18th century [1]
  • Minchiate Fiorentine [2]

Photoreproduction decks

Modern restorations

Online Deck Images - links

External links