About this project
Thank you everyone for your support!
The Lost Tarot Major Arcana will be produced in a Limited Edition of 500, shipping September 2017.
JUNE 17th UPDATE: THE LOST TAROT EXHIBITION COMING TO AUSTIN, TEXAS!
July 21 – August 20, 2017 (July 21 - reception, everyone invited)
GEORGETOWN ART CENTER - 816 South Main Street - Georgetown, TX 78626
Housed in a custom-made box shipping with a gold wax seal, The Lost Tarot project will be printed full color throughout and manufactured entirely in the USA.
Inside the box you will find:
- The 22 Major Arcana cards and 4 Aces bonus, printed on heavy coated stock, 2.75" x 5.5", with a beautiful gold back
- A hand signed & numbered insert by artist Hans Bauer
- An interpretation guide written by Carly Fischer
- A scaled-down copy of William Bradford's Testamentum
Shown below are all 22 cards from The Lost Tarot Major Arcana Limited Edition:
The Lost Tarot Major Arcana Limited Edition will include 4 bonus Ace cards from the Minor Arcana (we anticipate publishing the full 78-card deck in the Fall/Winter 2017/18).
Although my primary occupation has been that of screenwriter (Anaconda, Titan A.E., among others) and novelist (Anaconda: The Writer's Cut, Fishtale, some more), I have long had an interest in photo-based art. Once, it was my desire to create a portfolio of highly distressed, antiqued photographs depicting well-known historical personages (Attila the Hun, Julius Caesar, Joan of Arc), as if they had simply shown up at my door requesting that I make their portrait. For several reasons (the difficulty of finding suitable models and period appropriate costumes), those first attempts were unsatisfactory and, in time, I moved from Los Angeles to a rural Texas town, where I soon forgot about the project.
After several years, during which I sporadically attended a local Renaissance faire, a friend reminded me of the earlier project, and suggested that most of the heavy lifting had already been done by the wonderful characters encountered at the faire, with their fantastic costumes, armor, and period accessories, the likes of which I never could have hoped to compete with in Los Angeles. My friend further suggested that I try my hand at a Tarot deck, about which I knew little at the time.
I decided to experiment with a single card, The Fool, and, if pleased with the result, would continue. To my great delight, the concept came together in ways that I cannot easily explain. I'm reminded of an interview with the singer/songwriter, David Crosby, in which he stated he doesn't know where the songs come from, they simply happen. And so it was with the images I came to call The Lost Tarot.
The majority of the primary elements were photographed over the course of several seasons at two Renaissance fairs: the Texas Renaissance Faire, the world's largest and most ambitious, located near Houston, and the Sherwood Forest Faire, near Austin.
A handful of images were staged and photographed at my home studio and surrounding areas. Some costumes, accessories, and armor for these images were created and shipped from the Ukraine.
Through trial and error I was able to create a full 78-card deck of heavily distressed mono images giving the impression of an authentic medieval Tarot.
Clearly, such vintage decks were already in existence, but mine would be different: The Lost Tarot would consist entirely of photographs, the idea being they were created with a crude prototype camera nearly three and a half centuries before the actual invention of the first cameras in 1839.
Over time, the concept of a color deck began to evolve. As an experiment, I tried my hand at several color images.
One card led to another, and before long I had created a second, complementary deck of color images.
Now, three years and 4,000 hours later, both decks (color and mono) are completed.
However, for this Kickstarter campaign, I'm releasing a limited, signed & numbered edition of the color version of the Major Arcana first, in order to sample the public's appetite for my creation.
This Limited Edition will include a companion guide, and the 4 aces of the Minor Arcana as a bonus. It will also include a scaled-down replica of William Bradford's Testamentum describing the origins of The Lost Tarot.
I decided to take my project a step further by creating a fictitious historical background explaining how The Lost Tarot came into existence, the deck being the brainchild of an English wool merchant, William Bradford, whose chance encounter with Leonardo 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.
Here is William Bradford's Testamentum in its entirety:
THE LOST TAROT
A CHRONICLE OF THE CURIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES RELATING TO ITS ORIGINS AND PARTICULARS
From the Journals of the Wool Merchant William Bradford
(b. Feb 28, 1488—d. Dec 13, 1555) Nottingham, England
Testamentum: William Bradford
Let it be known:
So it was that under the wise legislation of Henry the Seventh, a commercial treaty having been struck with the Florentine Republic, under which English merchants undertook to carry every year to Florence sufficient wool to supply all the Italian city states, saving Venice, in the Year of Our Lord 1504, I traveled to Florence for the purpose of delivering much desired Nottingham wool to receive the proper purple dye, in which the Italians much exceeded our English ability.
It was there as a young apprentice to an English trader that I chanced to encounter the esteemed Florentine, Leonardo da Vinci, a polymath of extraordinary vision; painter, sculptor, architect, and anatomist, prone to uncanny technological design and invention; wings for flying, a mechanical knight, a steam cannon, and shoes for walking on water.
Of particular interest to myself, the genius da Vinci envisioned an optical device, a camera obscura, for the capture of sun pictures; a boxlike contraption of wood, and a lens of ground glass, the pictures themselves formed through the application of chemicals on coated glass, the principal being first noted by the Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle; how light passing through a small hole into a darkened room produces an image on the opposite wall.
My master, who held me in some favor, and knew of my desire, purchased for me several of da Vinci’s drawings, the most intriguing being a design for the creation of sun pictures. Having returned to England, I became obsessed with da Vinci’s novelty, and how it might be brought to practical use. To this end, having become a polished gentleman of some considerable means, I employed various tradesmen to fashion different parts of the apparatus: the blacksmith Ulric Baynard for the construction of mechanical parts, Drogo Karolus, a grinder of finely crafted lenses, and Hugh Gaillard, the apothecary, for chemicals and imaging glass, until at last—Eureka!
Beyond the blush of first astonishment, which cannot here be overstated, being a soul of largely pragmatic considerations, myself possessing no skill as a draftsman or painter, but being an appreciator of the arts, I set my mind to how the device might be used in the service of creating a personal vision beyond that of still life, portraiture, and landscape.
Thereafter, I several times set sail for the boot in the sea, and upon occasion bought more drawings. It was during one such trip that I first encountered a new form of entertainment; a game of heavily colored playing cards the Italians called trionfi, or triumphs.
These I acquired by barter for my own amusement, in exchange for Nottingham wool. Upon further study, I understood the game to be a disguise for a powerful set of esoteric images forming a system of divination. From that point, I became consumed by deciphering the cards, and determined to make images for my own tarot.
Working in secrecy, certain that servants of the inquisition at the profane direction of certain members of the Holy Church would view the endeavor as the work of the devil—divination being a pastime of the King of Hell, punishable by torture and death—I enjoined family and trusted members of the good folk of Nottingham to sit for me, and so, the Great Work began.
Well set upon my task, following in the manner of the Italian Tarot in the use of code and symbol, I further sought the aid of the Flemish painter, Franz van Eyck, for the creation, where necessary, of fauna, floral, and varied adornment applied directly to the glass plates.
After eleven years of trial and considerable error, the undertaking was brought to completion.
It was shortly after the completion of the Nottingham Tarot that I learned of the death of the virtuoso, da Vinci, the great man’s spirit having flown, God rest his soul, Amen, in 1519, in France, where he spent his last days, while under the sponsorship of the French monarch, Francis I, although the news did not reach me until many months after the event. Having no wish to lay claim to the remarkable invention without giving due credit to the master, it was my fondest wish that I return to Italy and demonstrate its use, but it was not to be.
During the great epidemic of the sweating sickness in 1528, I hid the opus, leaving instruction with my eldest, Merek, and with my solicitor, in the event of my death. They, however, God rest their souls, preceded me in their ascent to Holy Heaven.
Having several times been visited by member of the clergy, who wished to know about the strange device, I pled innocence and claimed no knowledge of it, attributing the rumor of its existence to a rival businessman who wished to cause me grief and usurp my share of trade.
Now, myself gravely ill and approaching imminent death, in the spirit of the enigmatic undertaking that has consumed me these two and fifty years, I make my final entry: regarding the fruit of my labor and blessed vision born under the direction of the Mage da Vinci, and wishing dearly that it not be lost forever, the treasure trove lies buried somewhere in Dear England. May they who discovers its whereabouts do with it as they will.
By me—William Bradford.
April 22 in the Year of Our Lord 1555
RESTORATION - RECONSTRUCTION
Printing and box manufacturing for The Lost Tarot will begin July 2017; six weeks later, assembly will take place in August 2017.
The Lost Tarot Major Arcana Limited Edition will ship September 2017. All other rewards will ship with the decks.
The following people are involved bringing this project to life:
Hans Bauer is a screenwriter (Anaconda, Titan A.E., among others), novelist (Anaconda: The Writer’s Cut, Fishtale) and creator of photo-based art. He strives to create images that transport the viewer to landscapes of magical realism.
Laurent Daubas (contributor) is a graphic designer, entrepreneur, and coauthor of two interactive children’s books. He loves art, design, and popular culture, and conceived all Kickstarter graphics, including the presentation video.
Carly Fischer (contributor) is a dance instructor and certified Tarot professional. Author of The Lost Tarot interpretation guide, she seeks to enrich your life through art, symbolism, and positive thinking.
All three reside in Austin, Texas.
The Lost Tarot (Major Arcana) Kickstarter campaign has a $15,555 goal
Printing: 58%, or $9,000, for the printing of all decks & boxes, companion guides, Testamentums, and all rewards
Shipping: 20%, or $3,100, for the shipping of all decks & rewards, worldwide
Others: 12%, or $1,900, for some setup costs and artist compensation
Fees: 10%, or $1,555, for the Kickstarter base fee (5%) and all payment processing fees (5%)
Why is this campaign so expensive to fund if the deck is only for the Major Arcana?
The Lost Tarot (Major Arcana) Limited Edition represents the fruit of 3 years labor. The deck and box will be manufactured entirely in the USA, and printed to the highest standards. Due to the cards elongated size, an expensive custom die was required. Because this is a limited run of 500 decks, printing costs are higher than usual.
Will you later be offering a Minor Arcana or a full 78-card deck?
Yes, a color version of the complete deck, Major and Minor, will later become available, as will a limited sepia version, Major and Minor.
How do I know this deck is a limited edition and a first printing?
Discreetly placed near the right side border at the back of each card is the number 1. Only the limited edition/first printing will display this number. It may take you a moment to find it, but it’s there.
What is a Testamentum?
A Testamentum is simply an Old English word borrowing from the Latin for testament, a legal term meaning to “testify” or “witness.”
Is William Bradford’s Testamentum real?
No, the Testamentum is a fiction, a "game of pretense," created for the purpose of supplementing the Lost Tarot, a chronicle of the curious circumstances relating to its origins and particulars.
The cards are finished, but now I need your help in raising the funds to cover the $15,555 cost of bringing The Lost Tarot Major Arcana Limited Edition to fruition (printing, boxes, shipping, and myriad attendant details).
Of course, I am not just asking you to contribute. Every level of participation brings its own reward.
Furthermore, shipping is included with ALL rewards, there will be no unpleasant surprises at checkout.
Tier 01 - The Spread - $10
The $10, Tier #1, The Spread reward is offered with all Tiers, except #3, and displays neatly arranged along a grid the 22 cards of The Lost Tarot Major Arcana Limited Edition.
Tier 02 - The Fool's Journey - $20
Starting with a $20 contribution, The Fool's Journey reward is offered with Tier #2. In the upper rewards, this lovely, unsigned, print is also offered with Tier #4, #7, #9, #12, #13, #14 and #15.
Tier 03 - The Lost Tarot - $40
Starting with Tier #3, and for all other pledges above that, The Lost Tarot (Major Arcana) Limited Edition is offered as a $40 reward.
Shipped in a lovely, custom-made, red & black box, stamped in gold wax with the HJB Studio logo, inside you will find a numbered & signed insert from artist Hans Bauer, 22 cards from the Major Arcana, a bonus of 4 Aces from the upcoming Minor Arcana, a companion guide, and a folded, scaled-down, replica of William Bradford's Testamentum.
This very special Tarot deck will be printed in a Limited Edition of 500. Get one before they are gone!
Tier 04 - Three is the Key - $50
A combination of rewards from Tier #1, #2, and #3, the Three is the Key $50 reward gets you The Spread, The Fool's Journey, and The Lost Tarot Limited Edition deck.
Tier 05 - The High Priestess - $75
For a contribution of $75, The High Priestess reward nets you The Lost Tarot Limited Edition deck, The Spread, as well as a fine art photograph, 13" x 19", unsigned, of The High Priestess, printed on museum quality metallic pearl paper.
Tier 06 - Nobody's Fool - $100
The Fool now looms larger with Tier #6, Nobody's Fool, where, for a contribution of $100, you will receive The Lost Tarot Limited Edition deck, The Spread, and a 13" x 19" fine art photograph of The Fool, signed by artist Hans Bauer, printed on museum quality metallic pearl paper.
Tier 07 - Tell Your Fortune - $150
With the $150, Tier #7, Tell Your Fortune reward, you can choose your preferred Major Arcana card to be printed as a fine art photograph, 13" x 19", on museum quality metallic pearl paper, and signed by artist Hans Bauer.
In addition you also get The Spread, The Fool's Journey, and The Lost Tarot Limited Edition deck.
Tier 08 - Arcana - $200
Is numerology relevant to your spiritual life?
With the $200, Tier #8, Arcana reward, you can choose your own numbered Lost Tarot Limited Edition deck (01, 02, 07, 08, 10, 13, 16, 17, 27, 500 excluded), where the insert will be signed to your name of choice by artist Hans Bauer.
Along with The Spread, this reward also nets you a Fool AND your preferred Major Arcana card, both printed as a fine art photographs, 13" x 19", on museum quality metallic pearl paper, and signed by artist Hans Bauer.
Tier 09 - The World - $250
At a participation level of $250, Tier #9, The World reward, now gets you TWO of The Lost Tarot Limited Edition decks (why not keep one as a future present for someone special), a 13" x 19" fine art photograph of The World, signed by artist Hans Bauer, printed on museum quality metallic pearl paper, The Spread, and The Fool's Journey.
Wait, that's not all! This very special reward also gets you a unique, scaled-down replica of William Bradford's Testamentum, 11” x 17”, signed, printed on velum paper.
Tier 10 - The Hermit - $500
The Tier #10 Hermit reward starts at $500 and offers TWO of The Lost Tarot Limited Edition decks, The Hermit, a very special fine art photograph (24" round), signed by artist Hans Bauer, printed on museum quality metallic pearl paper.
Along with a The Spread, this reward also nets you a scaled-down replica of William Bradford's Testamentum, 11” x 17”, signed, printed on velum paper, The World AND The Fool, both printed as fine art photographs, 13" x 19", on museum quality metallic pearl paper, and, here again, signed by artist Hans Bauer.
Tier 11 - The Greater Secret - $500
NO LONGER AVAILABLE
Tier 12 - Knight of Swords - $700
The Knight of Swords is Tier #12, where, for a contribution of $700, you get THREE of The Lost Tarot Limited Edition decks, the unique hand crafted (in the Ukraine) costume seen in the Knight of Swords card, either a color or mono version of the Knight of Swords card as a fine art photograph, 17” x 23", signed by artist Hans Bauer, printed on museum quality metallic pearl paper, and finally, The Spread, and The Fool's Journey.
But hold on, along with this one-of-a-kind reward, a full size replica of William Bradford's Testamentum, 15” x 23”, signed, printed on parchment, is also offered.
Tier 13 - King of Swords - $700
The King of Swords is Tier #13, where, similarly to Tier #12, and for the same contribution of $700, you get THREE of The Lost Tarot Limited Edition decks, the unique hand crafted (in the Ukraine) costume seen in the King of Swords card, either a color or mono version of the King of Swords card as a fine art photograph, 17” x 23", signed by artist Hans Bauer, printed on museum quality metallic pearl paper, and finally, The Spread, and The Fool's Journey.
Once again, along with this one-of-a-kind reward, a full size replica of William Bradford's Testamentum, 15” x 23”, signed, printed on parchment, is also offered.
Tier 14 - Oneness - $1,000
NO LONGER AVAILABLE
Tier 15 - The Tree of Life - $3,000
NO LONGER AVAILABLE
If the current campaign is a success, future plans include a second Kickstarter campaign:
- The complete 78-card Lost Tarot color deck (Major and Minor Arcana).
Then later, a third campaign:
- A limited edition of the full mono version of The Lost Tarot (Major and Minor Arcana).
Here is a preview of both these future projects:
"There are hundreds of different Tarot decks from which to choose, each with its own energy, mythology, symbolism and artwork. But few can compare to the lush beauty of The Lost Tarot, a collection created by photo-based artist Hans Bauer. Each card in the deck is a masterful work of art — full-color lush and poetic imagery that draws from the energy that is its creator. Art aficionados who are familiar with Bauer’s work —always dreamlike and lyrical with a soupçon of the mystic — will be suitably impressed with his latest project, which is gallery worthy by any standard. Even those who place no stock in the Tarot is a tool of divination will appreciate the sheer beauty of this deck. But for those who are believers, The Lost Tarot is a breathtakingly beautiful conduit to lift the veil and unlock the sixth sense." — Donna Gable Hatch, a writer-editor-collage artist, Outer Banks, North Carolina
"Some say the Tarot predicts fortune or future. In reality, it does quite the opposite. According to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, “The most powerful source of information comes from within; the Tarot aiding as a conduit to one’s Higher Self.” Present in Europe since the mid 15th century, it was not until the 18th that the Tarot came into use as a guided meditation. I find it fitting that Hans Bauer chose to create his own Renaissance themed Lost Tarot, as his photo-based art is inspired by this same period. Each card contains an ample amount of meaning, while the visual feast of accompanying imagery provided a representation of that meaning, creating a sense of wonder. Card by card, I wait for the story to continue." — Stephen Garriques, author of Galerie Project: Creating immersive experiences through music, art, and technology
"Hans Bauer’s Lost Tarot presents the best of two worlds; making the understanding of each card not only a beautiful statement of classical interpretation of Old World magical traditions, but also evolving ancient archeteypes into a highly personal vision. I look forward to using The Lost Tarot as my primary reading tool." — Mark Edward, Psychic Entertainer and Author
"As a professor of mythology and creative writing who reads and collects the Tarot, I am always excited to see the arrival of a new deck. With The Lost Tarot, photo-based artist, Hans Bauer, creates a dazzling palette of medieval imagery, while preserving the universal symbols of each card, enriching both my personal and academic life." — Kathleen Ann Hudson, Phd, Schreiner University
Risks and challenges
All possible precautions have been taken in order to avoid foreseeable risks in completing this beautiful and unique project.
The Lost Tarot (Major Arcana) Limited Edition deck is complete and ready to be printed, the custom-made boxes ready to be manufactured. Test printings for the cards have already been carried out and a printer decided upon, so there should be no issues or challenges in the printing and manufacturing of the decks.
As we do not have a final sample on hand, please note that the style of the box may vary from the mockup screenshots presented above.
For the production of the rewards, sufficient time has been left until the delivery date of September 2017, so here too deadlines should not be missed. If any issues arise, they will be made public and adjustments made to the dates of delivery.
The only negative outcome would be a failure to fund this campaign, in which case an alternative method of funding would be considered; The Lost Tarot (Major Arcana) Limited Edition will still remain a self-published project.
I hope you will help us make this campaign a success!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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