Saturday, August 11, 2007

The many faces of RWS

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The rider waite smith tarot deck is by far the most popular and copied deck in history. The rider waite deck has many clones like the Hanson-Roberts deck and others but in this post I will be only focusing on the decks that have taken the RWS drawings and re-colored them thus keeping the the same image but giving it a new look.

I have bought five versions of the RWS. I have the Rider waite, Universal Waite Tarot,Radiant Rider-Waite, The Original Rider Waite, Golden Rider Waite. Why do i have so many versions of the same deck? Well I love the rider waite deck. Its my favorite simply because I had it as my first and I love to see it in different colors to see if it can give me a new look and feel of what th card means. Also it adds verity to my collection. I like to switch between RWS decks from time to to time. The only thing I would love to see on a RWS deck is Golden edges like in the Golden Tarot. I did find that there was once a deck that had this and it out of print now so I am upset.

The following decks versions of the RWS.

The Original Rider Waite
Te Original Rider-Waite Tarot differs from the Rider-Waite Tarot, as it has less saturated colors and a brownish hue, titles as drawn by Pamela Colman-Smith, and a more decorative back pattern.

The Rider Waite
This deck that we all know (the one with the blue and black plaid stripes) is not the original, it is a 1971 remake.

Giant Rider Waite
This deck is a much larger version of the rider waite. There are no changing just the size.

Rider-Waite Tarot (University Books)
This version of the Rider-Waite Tarot was published by University Books beginning in 1959.

Universal Waite Tarot
The Rider-Waite with artwork in the style of the Hanson-Roberts deck. This deck has a much more softer glow feel to the cards.

Radiant Rider-Waite
Poshkus has re-illustrated and updated Pamela Colman-Smith's famous images used in the Rider-Waite Tarot. Compared to the original, these cards are much more luminously colored and three-dimensional.

Albano-Waite Tarot
Pamela Colman-Smith's artwork is copied exactly and re-colored. There are several similar tarot decks, but the Albano-Waite Tarot is loudly colored, sometimes garishly so.

Golden Rider Waite
Colman-Smith's images have been reproduced as oil-paintings which gives them a more indistinct outline but a richer hue.