Present? For ME? AGAIN??

1JJ Swiss Set

1JJ Swiss Set by Stuart Kaplan. US Games, 1970 (click to enlarge)

I am a lucky fish! Behold, the newest deck in my collection: a near mint 1JJ Swiss (Deluxe Edition)! This is a gift from the same co-worker who gave me the Mini Nova, who received it as a gift from another friend. As you can see, it cost someone a whole $1.00 once upon a time :D What’s so great about this is that it isn’t a deck I would have bought for myself – at least not yet – but it’s one that should be part of any serious collection. As a reader, too, I should expand into the Marseilles side of things.

This is such a score, not just because of what it is, or because it’s in such great condition, but because it’s old (1977) and used and has history! Mmmm, old treasures… The box on this one is pretty badly beaten up, but the contents appear unused; the only sign of aging is a slight greying of the paper. Just holding the contents reminds me of how important old books are to me. I’m getting all misty… excuse me for a minute while I huff the 1JJ…

*inhales deeply*

Right. Phew. What have we got here?

  • 1 deck – made in Switzerland-, all cards present, unchipped, no discoloration, no warping. French titles, Deniers (not Pentacles), disturbingly flesh-toned plaid backs and a flowery handkerchief to bundle it all together. Did I mention the smell? Mmmmm.
  • 1 accordion-fold pamphlet with card summaries and instructions for the Celtic Cross.
  • 1 bright yellow spreadsheet, with an explanation of how to conduct a reading, as well as paragraphs detailing each of the positions in a Celtic Cross (“Ancient 10-Card Tarot Spread”).
  • 1 “Illustrated Guide” book with a brief, but comprehensive introduction to tarot history and the 1JJ. Two pages are devoted to each of the Majors, including a description, divinatory meaning and reversed meaning. A black and white illustration of the cards is also shown. The High Priestess is renamed “Juno” and the Hierophant, “Jupiter”. The Wheel of Fortune depicts Fortuna turning the wheel and Strength (11) features Hercules “taming” a lion.The Courts are given a page each, in the same style as the Majors. Pips are unillustrated – except for the Aces – with divinatory and reversed keywords. The meanings appear very similar to the RWS. Not knowing enough about the history of cartomancy, I don’t know who’s borrowing from whom here. Something to add to the “Big List O’ Research”. The book concludes with 7 interesting spreads, including the “Name Spread“!
  • And finally, 1 much abused – but remarkably resilient – slip-cover box to keep the contents safe for 33 years. Well done, little box!

Lucky moi, ne? Now I’m going to be a brat and ask for one more leetle bitty thing:



4 thoughts on “Present? For ME? AGAIN??

  1. Digital Dame says:

    Oh, I see you redecorated :) Very nice, I like what you did with the slipcovers.

    I have a copy of the 1JJ, I think it was the first deck I ever had. One of my sisters gave it to me when I was young, so it was hot off the presses at the time. ;) Mine is in the red lift-off cover box, which after galavanting around the world with me while I was in the Navy is slightly worse for wear. The LWB is long gone, but the cards themselves are in astoundingly good shape for all that. All present and accounted for, no damage other than a slight curve now from all the riffle-shuffling. I didn’t appreciate the art at the time, but it really is quite fine.

    Congratulations on your new treasure!


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