The Lost Tarot by Hansjurgen Bauer with companion guide by Carly Fischer (HJB Studio, 2017), is a limited edition Major Arcana tarot deck and truly a world of it's own. A fictitious historical background was created just for this deck by it's author. I really think this is a nice touch and allows you to step into a new world, the world of The Lost Tarot. Per Bauer, the fictitious premise of how this deck came into existence is this:
"The deck being the brainchild of an English wool merchant, William Bradford, whose chance encounter with Leonard da Vinci on the Continent resulted in the purchase of a design for an optical device (the first camera), leading to the making of the first known photographs, i.e., The Lost Tarot, how in 1994 the deck was discovered buried in a farmer’s field near Nottingham, England, and how the use of digital tools allowed for its restoration."
The deck is carefully wrapped and comes with a Testamentum from this fictitious William Bradford to help add a deeper element of this world creation. I love that it has an old and weathered feel to it, but I found it a little hard to read to be honest. I hope that if another edition is printed, they make it a little easier on the eyes.
The companion guide is nicely written and breaks down symbolism in the deck as well as offers archetypes, key words, and an affirmation for each Major Arcana card. The Four Aces however, do not include archetypes and an affirmation for each card.
Here are a few of my favorite images from the Major's
The Four Aces are my favorite of all. They really are quite beautifully done.
My Overall Thoughts & Impressions
The card stock is of decent quality although the cards themselves due to their length may be difficult to manage for small hands. I was a bit confused as to why the deck box wasn't wrapped in plastic upon taking it out of the mail envelope as most decks traditionally are, but I do enjoy the fact that the deck does include a wax stamp on the front cover. It adds a very nice touch to the medieval feel of the deck.
I do find some of the imagery to be striking and thoughtful while a few others I find that I don't resonate with and find to be a bit messy or cartoonish like The Magus and The Devil. Who do I think this deck would be good for? I would recommend this deck if you are really into world creation, the medieval period, renaissance fairs, and falling into the fictitious myth surrounding the deck's creation. I suppose that this would be a great way for you to bond with it. I appreciate the time and effort it took the creator to do this and the extra touches like the wax seal and the Testamentum.
As this is my first Major's only deck, I feel that I personally as a reader need more. Some images flow well together, while I feel a few are out of place or aren't fully cohesive with the rest of the deck. I could definitely get a better feel from it if the other 52 cards were present. It is not my preferred style of artwork, so I feel that my personal taste has something to do with it as well. For my personal tastes, I would definitely like to see more of a universal flow with the imagery if a full deck is created.