Real or fake, tarot deck from Teh Finder (S01E10 - The Conversation)
April 25, 2021 3:47 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to determine if a tarot deck from an episode of the TV series The Finder (S01E10 - The Conversation) is real, and if real, where I could find it.

Only a couple of the cards are shown in the episode, and I'm not sure if they used original artwork for the 2-3 cards shown on screen or if they licensed and existing deck.

I've tried reverse image searches and searching for the card characteristics and imagery, but I haven't been able to find any matches. Again, I don't even know if the deck is real or if it was created just for 'show'.

I've attached an image of the Thirteen card (Death) and the back of the card showing the design and iconography. Does anyone have any information that might help me track this deck down, if it exists? Thanks in advance!


posted by Jim T to Religion & Philosophy (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I would be shocked if they weren't cards from an actual deck of Tarot that the props people picked up somewhere. To budget bespoke art for a couple of cards on a tv show would be ridiculous. But, there are soooooo many different decks out there, from soooooo many manufacturers, I can't imagine being able to track it down.

You might try asking these folks if they recognize the deck.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:52 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]

I posted the picture yesterday in a private group of tarot enthusiasts. So far no one has recognized it. It is a small group so you might have better luck on the link Thorzdad posted.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:47 AM on April 26

I don't know much about tarot. But here are some things that point to being designed by the art department of the show.

1-the cards look huge when you see the actors handling them in the wider shots. Tarot experts would know better--of all the esoteric decks out there, how many also come printed in very large sizes? The scene where one guy holds up the "justice" card, he is gripping it at the bottom, and more than 3/4ths of the card is above his hand.

2-there are only four cards shown, so it's not like they'd have to design a full deck. For three of the cards, the art looks like what I think of as "typical" tarot art. That is, they look a lot like the Rider Waite art or the first google image result, but cleaned up and more bold. All caps, similar font, period after the card name, including the roman numeral for the card number up top. The changes that are made include
- no signature or copyright notice anywhere on the card face
- the linework is way more bold, and there is less crosshatching
- most contrast in the color. eg Justice is set up the same, but the robe is blue against red, vs red against maroon
- the tower has less going on. only one body falling out, no big crown up top.
- the devil art is bowdlerized. The devil's hairy legs now look like a furry hula skirt. The two little demons? people? in the lower corners don't have chains on them anymore. No female breasts showing anymore--they both appear to be male chests. No more front-facing bare crotches--one is covered by a snake, and the other has the lower half twisted to the side. The roman numeral is moved down to where the chain ring would be. This show was on network tv, right?
- the death card is the one that is most different. The iconography is way more clear (no horse, no flag). More immediately recognizable as "death" when flipped over, even before the dialogue that goes with the card.

3- They do have graphic designers and artists on staff. For example, googling one of the designers listed for the show on imdb, you can see that she designed the map of the gulf used in a scene--even though plenty of maps of the area probably already existed. ( Not prop design, but this artist wrote about given a few hours to sketch out an interior for a small casino with a stage for the show.)

Not saying they're definitively not real cards! But it wouldn't be way out there for the art department to create some large tarot cards with clearly visible, bold iconography in support of a scene where the cards are a plot point. It may seem expensive, but odd are it's faster turnaround (maybe even cheaper considering hourly rates of legal vs art) than sorting out public domain/clearance with the legal department for a specific preprinted deck with the features they want, depending on the year the deck came out.
posted by neda at 10:05 AM on April 26 [4 favorites]

It looks like the show's art staff had access to some printable, safe-for-TV tarot major arcana art. In the scene before the tarot reading, Leo notices a fortune teller's cart in the shopping mall. That cart has two poster-sized tarot cards (chariot and wheel of fortune) displayed on the side. The posters are done in the same style as the cards we see later. There is a "psychic fortvnes tarot" logo on top of the cart that may or may not be a clue to help identify the artwork.
posted by Avelwood at 11:59 AM on April 26

My wife collects decks, and studies tarot history. I asked her and she said: "I don't recognise that deck... but it's cool, and now I want it."

MeMail me if you are interested in her youtube channel. I don't want to self-link or advertise it here.

Also, please MeMail me if you do find the deck is real and for sale. I need gift ideas ;)
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 3:39 PM on April 26

« Older What is the end goal for COVID restrictions?   |   Should I shoot my shot? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments