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Heraldic Devices of the Visconti di Madrone Tarot Deck

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08/14/2012 at 3:14 PM

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Visconti Biscione Heraldic DevicePerhaps the most obvious Heraldic Device on the Visconti di Madrone Tarot Cards is the biscione, an open-mouthed serpent.  This is the coat of arms of the House of the Visconti of Milan. Supposedly, it was taken from the coat of arms of a Saracen Killed by Otto Visconti during the Crusades.  This serpent appears on the Ace and Two of Coins, as well as the Lovers.

Also featured on the arms of Bianca Maria Visconti is the imperial eagle, which appears on the Empress and Emperor cards.

A Bon Droit Heraldic DeviceAnother common motif is the personal arms of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, father of Filippo Maria Visconti: A radiant sun with a dove, and the motto a bon droit.

The queen of swords also features the word "halmente," or perhaps "li almente".

Another heraldic feature of the deck is the ducal crown, found on the Page and King of Cups.