Petit Etteilla, Paris: H. Pussey, 1860-1886 (32-card piquet pack download)

What we call the “Petit Etteilla” refers to a class of 32-card piquet decks for cartomancy based on Etteilla’s 1770 text, which used the courts (Kings, Queens, Jacks), Aces, Tens, Nines, Eights, and Sevens from a playing card deck. To the 32-card pack, Etteilla added a 33rd card called “Etteilla” to designate the querent. And thus he proposed that the original Egyptian tarot pack consisted of 33 cards.

UPDATE: I referred to this deck as a “Petit Etteilla” because that’s how the British Museum referred to it. However, one of our community’s preeminent tarot historians, with a particularly vast amount of knowledge on the Etteilla, John Choma, came back with some clarifications.

This is not a Petit Etteilla deck, but an unrelated deck called the “Livre du Destin” (or Book of Fate), created some time in the mid-1800s. You can check out a few historic examples (thank you, John, for the links!): here (M. Violet, éditeur), here (Le Livre du destin), and here. These images are also notably similar to other 19th-century oracle decks like the 53-card Sibylle des Salons and the 36-card Petit Cartomancien.

This download of Petit Etteilla card images, courtesy of the British Museum, is the edition published between 1860 and 1886 by Jean-Henri Pussey in Paris, France. The originals were 70 mm x 111 mm, hand-colored etchings on pasteboard.

Petit Etteilla

(Originals, 70 mm x 111 mm)

CLICK ON LINK TO DOWNLOAD ZIP FILE

If you’re savvy with digital photo editing and graphic design, then work directly from the 70 mm x 111 mm originals, and format the layout design to your personal preferences.

Left: Original vs. Right: Formatted for MPC w/ bleed

To upload the card images onto a print-on-demand site like Make Playing Cards (MPC),  you’ll need to re-format it to one of their standard dimension offerings, such as 70 mm x 121 mm (standard tarot card size) with 36 mm bleed margins, I’ve done that below. But my touch-up work is imperfect.

33-card Petit Etteilla formatted for MPC

(70 mm x 121 mm)

CLICK ON LINK TO DOWNLOAD ZIP FILE

If you’re not picky and my tinkering of the originals is acceptable to you, then you can upload the 70 mm x 121 mm MPC formatted version directly onto MakePlayingCards to order your own tarot card size copy of this historical deck.

But if you are a pro with graphic design yourself, then I strongly recommend working off the Originals (70 mm x 111 mm) and tinkering with those.

To use this version of the Petit Etteilla in the way Etteilla intended, as a 33-card deck with the Querent card, I’ve added the above 33rd card to the 32-card pack  from the British Museum.

The card caption “ETTEILLA” comes from the Grand Etteilla Lismon engravings and the image found on my reconstructed 33rd card is from the Grand Etteilla’s Rota Fortuna card (outer ring from the Etteilla I, also by H. Pussey and the inner spokes from the Etteilla II, Lismon engravings).

UPDATE: Here’s an alternate reconstructed Card 33 version, based on Card 1, Chaos (or the male significator card) from the Grand Etteilla. So if you prefer this version over the other one with Rota Fortuna, click on the below to download the JPG image files.

Card 33

Original: 70 x 111 mm | MPC: 70 x 121 mm

The facsimile images are in French, and if you’re not fluent in French, then I recommend hand-writing the English translated keywords onto the cards after you’ve printed them out. It gives it a much nicer aesthetic that way than if I typed the English onto the card images for you.

To accommodate modern sensibilities, I interpret the card assignments figuratively rather than literally, so for example, “A Widowed Woman” doesn’t necessarily mean a human female who has lost her spouse. Instead, I interpret it as indicating a past emotional loss that still has an impact on the present situation. Likewise, “A Widowed Man” means a past business or professional loss that still has an impact. A Man of the Law is interpreted to mean political, legal, or institutional influences. A Man of the Court symbolizes socioeconomic privilege.

When the descriptive is someone “dark-haired” (or brunette), I interpret it as a pragmatic, logic-focused, skeptical, or science-based personality. When it’s a blond or “fair-haired,” I interpret it as a creative, intuition-reliant, instinctive personality. And so on.

You can download a little pamphlet of my card interpretations for the Petit Etteilla:

Card Meanings Pamphlet

(8.5″ x 11″ sheet printables)

CLICK ON LINK TO DOWNLOAD PDF FILE

Here’s the text in a docx MS Word file so you can cut, paste, and use at will:

Card Meanings Pamphlet

(MS Doc file)

PUBLIC DOMAIN

Any added value I’ve contributed to the public domain Petit Etteilla files and all text I’ve provided (such as the card meaning translations) are dedicated to the public domain. Use at will, freely, even commercially or for profit. No credit back needed.

4 thoughts on “Petit Etteilla, Paris: H. Pussey, 1860-1886 (32-card piquet pack download)

  1. shadowrose

    Thank you very much for sharing! I still keep wondering where you source all the time for those projects.
    And I also appreciate your modern approach on card meanings.
    However, there seem to be different versions of the petit, too. The one I found on Queen of Tarot (by Jean Baptiste Alliette; Learn Lenormand is also referring to it) has the simple playing card design, but inscriptions on all four sides. And it doesn’t always align with those here. E. g. the queen of diamonds (I really love that maritime scenery in the background) here reads “hope” (if my translation is correct?). In that other deck it is simply “a woman”, “a foreign woman”, elemental air or “mother”.
    Well, I like the fully pictured version better and it’s entirely possible to add the other keywords.

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    1. I bet if we looked at the totality of all these old texts and old decks, there are probably a ton of inconsistencies, and it’s probably not even fair to call them “inconsistencies.” Just differences of interpretation? Two of Coins and Eight of Coins are just two examples of cards that really run the whole spectrum of card meanings depending on what source you’re looking at lol. So I’m not surprised by the discrepancy you found. (And yes, I think there are several different versions of 30-something card decks that go by the moniker “Petit Etteilla.)

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  2. Pingback: Reading with the Livre du Destin (or Book of Fate) – benebell wen

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