English, with occasional words in Hebrew and Greek.
English translation by Charles Rainsford of French text on the history and use of tarot cards for divination by Antoine Court de Gébelin.
Ms. codex. Title from title page (V. 1, p. v). Pagination: V:1: Paper, 188 leaves; [vi], 1-290, 201-278, [ii]. V.2: Paper, 180 leaves; [ii], 1-174, [i], 1-55, 55-182. V.3: Paper, 130 leaves; [iv], 1-246, [x]. V.4: Paper, 196 leaves; [x], 1-76, 72-87, 87-110, 1-4, 4-141, [cxxiv]. Contemporary pagination in ink, upper outer corners. Script: Written in a cursive script. Decoration: Several pen and ink diagrams throughout (for example, V. 3, p. 212); pencil drawings of tarot figures (V. 2, p. 175; V. 3, p. 150). Binding: Contemporary parchment. Moderate to severe moisture damage has made the paper very fragile and the text illegible in many places. Volume 4 has severe moisture damage to paper and many leaves are stuck together. Origin: Written in Lymington, 2 September 1793 (V. 2, p. 174) and Gibraltar, 28 February 1794 (V. 3, p. 346) and 25 July 1795 (V. 4, p. 110, 141).
Purchased with support from the B. H. Breslauer Foundation.
Formerly owned by Charles Rainsford (British army officer, fellow of the Royal Society, and alchemist); bequeathed by Rainsford to Hugh Percy, Second Duke of Northumberland. Owned by the 2nd through 12th Dukes of Northumberland, ms. 604-607, Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, 1809-2014 (bookplate, inside upper covers; stamps throughout). Sold at auction at Sotheby's (London), 15 July 2014, as part of Lot 411.