Tarot Collectors Forum Home 
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register

Frown Strong Editions
 Moderated by: tarotcol
New Topic Reply Printer Friendly
 Rating:  Rating
AuthorPost
 Posted: Thu Dec 24th, 2009 08:36 pm
  PMQuoteReply
1st Post
Kimber
Member


Joined: Fri Sep 21st, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 423
Status: 
Offline
Does anyone have a timeline regarding publication of the various Frown Strong editions?

I have two in my collection; both are in a side-by-side white box, but one one edition there are dots on either side of the numerals, and one the other there are not. I believe one is 1978 - original printing?? - by Leo and Cobwebs Press. The later one - 80s?- appears to have been published by Leo, without Cobwebs Press (I'm going on memory here, so bear with me if my details aren't exact).

I have also heard about another edition that was published in a green velveteen box...anyone seen this edition??

:zKimber

Back To Top

 Posted: Thu Dec 24th, 2009 09:42 pm
  PMQuoteReply
2nd Post
truelighth
Member


Joined: Tue Oct 9th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 1067
Status: 
Offline
Kimber wrote: Does anyone have a timeline regarding publication of the various Frown Strong editions?

I have two in my collection; both are in a side-by-side white box, but one one edition there are dots on either side of the numerals, and one the other there are not. I believe one is 1978 - original printing?? - by Leo and Cobwebs Press. The later one - 80s?- appears to have been published by Leo, without Cobwebs Press (I'm going on memory here, so bear with me if my details aren't exact).

I have also heard about another edition that was published in a green velveteen box...anyone seen this edition??

:zKimber

 

The only two printings of the Frown Strong that I know off are the English version and the French version. I have both. The original English version (I think by Cobwebs Press) has a black box and the art on the cards is more fuzzy. The French version, which has been published later, comes in a white box and has more crisp art.

I have never heared of a green velveteen box myself...

 

Oh, this is the info I have in my database about the deck, I hope it helps a bit:

The Tarot of Frown Strong was first published in 1978 in England. It was later reprinted in France in a very limited edition (not numbered) in 1991. The French version has slightly smaller cards then the original English one, but the print quality is much better.

Back To Top

 Posted: Thu Dec 24th, 2009 10:18 pm
  PMQuoteReply
3rd Post
gregory
Administrator


Joined: Wed Sep 12th, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3214
Status: 
Offline
Mine is a first edition (it says), English, in a black box. Published by Esoteric & Occult Productions, limited edition of 500, it says. 1978, numbered and signed. I hadn't noticed it being fuzzy....

Last edited on Thu Dec 24th, 2009 10:19 pm by gregory

Back To Top

 Posted: Thu Dec 24th, 2009 10:35 pm
  PMQuoteReply
4th Post
papoon
Member


Joined: Mon Apr 7th, 2008
Location: California USA
Posts: 498
Status: 
Offline
Funny thing, I have been meaning to post a similar question for the last few weeks, as I finally managed to score a copy (in my case, an Esoteric & Occult Productions edition in a black flip-top box with a gold-on-black printed insert in the inside top. Copyright 1978, but no indication of it being limited).

I knew that there were multiple editions, but I am particularly curious about the edition reproduced in this document, which is listed as copyright 1991 by R.Armin. Clearly, the text is based on the original LWB, but with some editing and expansion. But there are quite a few actual differences in the images themselves.

For example, in the 1978 edition, there is a cup on the little stand next to the Juggler. In the one at the link above, there is an hourglass. The Hierophants in the two editions are holding their implements in opposite hands. The original Nymph of Ability has an energy bolt (or something) emanating from her left hand, while the web version is holding a wand (or something) in that hand.

There are also a lot of fairly substantial color differences. The sky in the 1978 Communication is orange and in the one at the link, pale blue. The original Star is very pale blue on a medium blue background, while the web one is dark gray on a light blue background. There are also a lot of very small color differences on various cards.

Even some of the cards that are otherwise identical have certain elements that appear to have been redrawn

So, this is really a more than just another edition. It's actually a moderately extensive revision of the artwork. Do any of you have in your collection a version that matches the version on the web? Any idea who revised the art.

Last edited on Fri Dec 25th, 2009 03:32 am by papoon

Back To Top

 Posted: Thu Dec 24th, 2009 11:06 pm
  PMQuoteReply
5th Post
gregory
Administrator


Joined: Wed Sep 12th, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3214
Status: 
Offline
It's Christmas. Time out. I will get mine out later :cl. Days later.

Back To Top

 Posted: Thu Dec 24th, 2009 11:33 pm
  PMQuoteReply
6th Post
Kimber
Member


Joined: Fri Sep 21st, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 423
Status: 
Offline
gregory wrote: It's Christmas. Time out. I will get mine out later :cl. Days later.

Fair enough! And since I asked the question, I'd better go ferret out the two decks I have so we can make better comparisons! :rr

Back To Top

 Posted: Thu Dec 24th, 2009 11:42 pm
  PMQuoteReply
7th Post
Quarkling
Member


Joined: Mon Sep 10th, 2007
Location: California USA
Posts: 204
Status: 
Offline
papoon wrote: Funny thing, I have been meaning to post a similar question for the last few weeks, as I finally managed to score a copy (in my case, an Esoteric & Occult Productions edition in a black flip-top box with a gold-on-black printed insert in the inside top, copyright 1978, but no indication of it being limited).

I knew that there were multiple editions, but I am particularly curious about the edition reproduced in this document, which is listed as copyright 1991 by R.Armin. Clearly, the text is based on the original LWB, but with some editing and expansion. But there are quite a few actual differences in the images themselves.

For example, in the 1978 edition, the there is a cup on the little stand next to the Juggler. In the one at the link above, there is an hourglass. The Hierophants in the two editions are holding their implements in opposite hands. The original Nymph of Ability has an energy bolt (or something) emanating from her left hand, while the web version is holding a wand (or something) in that hand.

There are also a lot of fairly substantial color differences. The sky in the 1978 Communication is orange and in the one at the link, pale blue. The original Star is very pale blue on a medium blue background, while the web one is dark gray on a light blue background. There are also a lot of very small color differences on various cards.

Even some of the cards that are otherwise identical have certain elements that appear to have been redrawn

So, this is really a more than just another edition. It's actually a moderately extensive revision of the artwork. Do any of you have in your collection a version that matches the version on the web? Any idea who revised the art.

I have the 1991 edition mentioned above, with the pale blue sky, hourglass, et al. However I do not have any other edition for comparison. It calls itself the "Original Tarot of Frown Strong" In addition, the LWB has no mention of who revised any part of it.

Back To Top

 Posted: Fri Dec 25th, 2009 12:15 am
  PMQuoteReply
8th Post
papoon
Member


Joined: Mon Apr 7th, 2008
Location: California USA
Posts: 498
Status: 
Offline
gregory wrote:
It's Christmas. Time out. I will get mine out later :cl. Days later.
No rush. I've got to go take down the Festivus Pole anyway.

Last edited on Fri Dec 25th, 2009 12:15 am by papoon

Back To Top

 Posted: Fri Dec 25th, 2009 01:11 am
  PMQuoteReply
9th Post
debra
Member


Joined: Sun Sep 9th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 1115
Status: 
Offline
What is it that's so compelling about this deck.  I'm not a surrealist but this could convert me. 

In other words, I want one.

Back To Top

 Posted: Fri Dec 25th, 2009 10:24 pm
  PMQuoteReply
10th Post
truelighth
Member


Joined: Tue Oct 9th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 1067
Status: 
Offline
gregory wrote: Mine is a first edition (it says), English, in a black box. Published by Esoteric & Occult Productions, limited edition of 500, it says. 1978, numbered and signed. I hadn't noticed it being fuzzy....


Ok, that is the edition I have too. The English one in a black box. And then I have the version that is in that article that Papoon mentioned, the white box with "The original Tarot of Frown Strong" on it. About the fuzzy art.. if you only see the English version with the black box, you wouldn't notice it. But if you compare those cards to the one from the 1991 white box, then you see a real difference.

Anyway, I bought my English copy from a woman whose father used to know the artist Leo (last name Armin, so it is probably the R. Armin that the French version states) and she got me the following info from her father:

"Well, Just spoken to my father. Leo Armin [swiss] was a great pal of my
father, he described him as the Jesus Christ of the 80'/90's, an extemely
clever chap, who had the ability of learning new languages in minutes.  He
had a chapel in Putney where his deciples payed £10.00 a week for learning
courses in all sorts of subjects.  He also built a church in Florida, Miami
Beach West with its walls & ceilings covered with Copper and when you
entered it was like walking into Heaven [so my father described it!]
Leo had  thousands of people following him and cured people, even his
celebrity following included Peter Sellers the Actor who donated thousands
of pounds.
He then wanted to produce his own bible and this American deal involved my
father, but fell through and The Private Eye magazine exposed him, resulting
in trouble.
BUT the cards you have are a Unique Design, Designed by Leo himself and if
you can discover the Mystique interpretation in them, then that is why you
have them & I don't."

My guess is that Leo Armin or R. Armin.. whatever his real name was, decided to republish them later and got a chance to do so with the French Publisher D'Emin, hence the white box version. He may have even revised his designs. Which would explain the differences. And as I said, there is a definate quality difference between the two versions, which I referred to as the fuzziness. But maybe it was his original intent to make the cards more mystical (or it was the print quality) and he later decided to change that too.


Back To Top

 Posted: Fri Dec 25th, 2009 10:26 pm
  PMQuoteReply
11th Post
truelighth
Member


Joined: Tue Oct 9th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 1067
Status: 
Offline
papoon wrote: So, this is really a more than just another edition. It's actually a moderately extensive revision of the artwork. Do any of you have in your collection a version that matches the version on the web? Any idea who revised the art.
I think my version is like this one in the article. With the white box.. I would have to check though, but I am very certain it is.

Back To Top

 Posted: Sat Dec 26th, 2009 02:10 am
  PMQuoteReply
12th Post
Kimber
Member


Joined: Fri Sep 21st, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 423
Status: 
Offline
Here is the information from my database on the two editions I have; a black box edition circa 1978, and a white box edition circa 1986; both printed in London, but by two different publishing companies; Cobwebs Press and Regal Print Co.:

"The Tarot of Frown Strong is a tarot by the Swiss esoteric teacher Leo Armin. Leo Armin was a healer and guru from the 70s and 80s who had his own group of followers (among whom was actor Peter Sellers).  He also ran a church. 

The Tarot of Frown Strong was first published in 1978 in England. It was later reprinted in France in a very limited edition (not numbered) in 1991. The French version has slightly smaller cards then the original English one, but the print quality is much better.

The original version came in a hinged box with green velvet interior, and was published by Cobwebs Press (London). It was released to the US in 500 signed copies.   

The Regal Print Company (London) edition appears to have been printed in 1986. It is not signed and varies from both the original English version and the US Games version in that the numbers do not have dots on either side and the typeface is not the same. No mention is made of “Leo”.  World Copyright is attributed to “S.B. Armin 1986”.

 

Back To Top

 Posted: Sat Dec 26th, 2009 09:16 am
  PMQuoteReply
13th Post
papoon
Member


Joined: Mon Apr 7th, 2008
Location: California USA
Posts: 498
Status: 
Offline
Kimber wrote:
The original version came in a hinged box with green velvet interior, and was published by Cobwebs Press (London). It was released to the US in 500 signed copies.   

The Regal Print Company (London) edition appears to have been printed in 1986. It is not signed and varies from both the original English version and the US Games version in that the numbers do not have dots on either side and the typeface is not the same. No mention is made of “Leo”.  World Copyright is attributed to “S.B. Armin 1986”.

Hmm... Then mine seems to be yet another slight variation. Mine is from Cobwebs Press ©1978 by Esoteric & Occult Productions and came in a hinged box, but no green velvet interior and not numbered or signed. But it does have the dots on either side of the numbers.

There appear to be quite a few versions.

Back To Top

 Posted: Sat Dec 26th, 2009 12:05 pm
  PMQuoteReply
14th Post
truelighth
Member


Joined: Tue Oct 9th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 1067
Status: 
Offline
Kimber wrote:
"The Tarot of Frown Strong is a tarot by the Swiss esoteric teacher Leo Armin. Leo Armin was a healer and guru from the 70s and 80s who had his own group of followers (among whom was actor Peter Sellers).  He also ran a church. 

The Tarot of Frown Strong was first published in 1978 in England. It was later reprinted in France in a very limited edition (not numbered) in 1991. The French version has slightly smaller cards then the original English one, but the print quality is much better.



 

This part is the info I also have in my database. Or rather, I wrote that myself for a Ebay auction when I sold a copy with the white box (after getting the black box and the info from the seller mentioned above, I decided I would only keep the black box version. I later purchased another white box again :v).

But from the additional info that you had, I gather now that it was incomplete and that the black box is not the 1978 version. I didn't know that before. It gets more and more complicated!:f


Last edited on Sat Dec 26th, 2009 12:07 pm by truelighth

Back To Top

 Posted: Sun Dec 27th, 2009 04:10 pm
  PMQuoteReply
15th Post
gregory
Administrator


Joined: Wed Sep 12th, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3214
Status: 
Offline
papoon wrote: Kimber wrote:
The original version came in a hinged box with green velvet interior, and was published by Cobwebs Press (London). It was released to the US in 500 signed copies.   

The Regal Print Company (London) edition appears to have been printed in 1986. It is not signed and varies from both the original English version and the US Games version in that the numbers do not have dots on either side and the typeface is not the same. No mention is made of “Leo”.  World Copyright is attributed to “S.B. Armin 1986”.

Hmm... Then mine seems to be yet another slight variation. Mine is from Cobwebs Press ©1978 by Esoteric & Occult Productions and came in a hinged box, but no green velvet interior and not numbered or signed. But it does have the dots on either side of the numbers.

There appear to be quite a few versions.

OK - mine is one of that 500 lot, and IS numbered and signed on a separate card (well, more like a bit of paper.) The box is hinged, black on the top and white below, with Justice on the centre of the top, (and on the bottom it says © Construction FIELD copyright !!!) The whole inside of the lid has glued inside it a black sheet with gold print about tarot and the deck and referring to Leo – and giving the details of Esoteric and Occult Productions Limited, P.O. Box 35, Putney, London SW15 1QU.

Inside there is a gold card insert with a divider up the middle, separating deck (left) from the LWB - and there is a green velvet ribbon to pull up the deck with. Inside the LWB it says "also published by Cobwebs Press”: and a couple of items, but on the BACK it gives details of Esoteric and Occult Productions and refers you to the address on the inside of the box.

 
Under the LWB is the signed numbered sheet of paper – same size as the LWB. Mine is 483 of 500, and is signed "Leo" and a symbol I am too dim to name ! It then says : The Tarot of Frown Strong is part of the Esoteric work of the Emin Faculty, founded by the author, Leo. For further information, contact the Emin Faculty, 1100 E Oakland Park Boulevard, Suite 106, Ft Lauderdale, Florida 33334.
 
And it says Distributed in the USA by U S Games Systems Inc, New York 10016. 

There are dots at the sides of the numbers.

And in the LWB it says Copyright Cobwebs, 1978. Cards and leaflet first published in 1978. Printed in Britain.
Are we any further ahead here ?????


Last edited on Sun Dec 27th, 2009 04:12 pm by gregory

Back To Top

 Posted: Mon Jan 11th, 2010 01:38 am
  PMQuoteReply
16th Post
Keen
Member
 

Joined: Sun Jan 10th, 2010
Location:  
Posts: 1
Status: 
Offline
I have one of the original pre-release Frown Strong tarot packs which predates the 1978 general printed release and I understand was only made available to a few members of Leo's original group. It has distinct wavy borders at the sides of the cards, has no numbers at the bottom and the drawings and style vary quite dramatically from the cards in the printed releases in 1978 and 1991. I also have the 1991 version. If anyone wants to sell their 1978 version I would be very interested to buy it. Please contact me if you have a copy.
The history of the cards as told to me by members of Leos group who were actually with him at the time was that the knowledge of the Tarot dumped on Leo from the unseen worlds one day out of the blue - he hadn't specifically been researching it at the time - when it dumped in on him Leo grabbed his son John's paint set and painted the outline characters of the Tarot in a childlike way with colours like a child would use but the pictures as I'm told were incredibly essence connected. At a meeting later with his students, the students drew the Tarot pictures on the floor of a rented hall in an all night session under Leo's instruction after which one of the students called Tagir (one of Leo's original students) produced the artwork.  The original "draft" version (which I have a copy of) was deemed as containing far too many mistakes in the style and content and the borders were seen as superflous and a different "clean" and more exact version was produced and formally printed.  I spoke to Tagir at a conference last year about the history and different versions of the Frown Strong Tarot pack and he explained that the later versions also had various mistakes in them especially in the colours of some of the cards - the reason being was that the printing company couldn't exactly reproduce the colours requested from them and Leo's students at that time also didn't have the funds to keep reprinting a master copy to get more exact colours. There were also some glaring mistakes that Leo pointed out to him including the Green Man (card 15) should be looking down rather than straight ahead and the people should be holding on to the Green Man instead of the rock - ie the Green Man shouldn't appear to be so dominent as the people are holding on to him of their own free will, in card 17 the bird should be a sparrow (instead of what looks like a vulture) so symbolise the silver essence, in card 1 the Juggler should have the bottom of his legs cut off and he shold be facing forwards with his hands in an inviting pose, in card 5 the Hierophant should be closer and not so threatening, in card seven the sphinxes were too big as the person should clearly be in control, in card 21 the Nymph of Ability should be dancing etc etc.
Interestingly Tagir said to me that he was still playing around on his computer with the Frown Strong Tarot cards to get it more accurate and he showed me some of his latest printouts but he didn't mention any plans to get it re-released.
There is further explanation of the cards in the archive "The Journey - The archives of the Emin Foundation Volume Two" and then further deeper detail in "The Journey - The archives of the Emin Foundation Volume Sixteen".
A further even more esoteric Tarot was produced by Leo called the Gemrod Taro (yes without the end t! The letter T esoterically meaning in the alphacuriobet "sense of gain" and at midlevel meaning "To do, make action. Doing letter" not being required). This Taro can be seen in Leo's book "Dear Dragon - Including the 21 Tabloids known as the Gemrod Taro". The Gemrod Taro was also released to Leo's students as laminates which could be stuck onto cardboard and I used to have a copy but it's been lost. Again if anyone has a copy I would be interested in buying it as it's out of release now.
If anyone is ever in London they are welcome to drop by for a chat to them about the significance and mystery behind the cards and the incredible life journey that Leo offered his students.  I have studied Leo's works since 1987 and have a wealth of incredible stories about Leo and many lessons behind the Tarot cards.

Back To Top

 Posted: Sat Jan 30th, 2010 07:46 pm
  PMQuoteReply
17th Post
Kimber
Member


Joined: Fri Sep 21st, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 423
Status: 
Offline
Thanks for all the background info, Keen. The deck has an interesting history indeed!  I can't find my black box version at the moment, but I did firnd my white box version; cards say coprright R. Armin on the back, but the lwb is dated 1986(Regal Publications).  This edition lacks'dots" on either side of the titles; I believe my black box version includes dots on either side of the card titles.

That's the problem with having too many decks - I can't find anything without an all out search!  And organizing them requires SPACE! :f

Back To Top

 Posted: Tue May 18th, 2010 04:59 pm
  PMQuoteReply
18th Post
targus
Member
 

Joined: Tue May 18th, 2010
Location:  
Posts: 2
Status: 
Offline
Hello Keen

I was reading about your question of the gemrod taro.
I do have it ,are you still interested of buying?
Please let me know.

Back To Top

 Posted: Tue May 18th, 2010 07:11 pm
  PMQuoteReply
19th Post
AdamMcLean
Member


Joined: Wed Sep 5th, 2007
Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom
Posts: 1244
Status: 
Offline
targus wrote: I was reading about your question of the gemrod taro.
I do have it

Would you be able to scan in a  couple of the images?

I am sure many of our members would like to see these.

Back To Top

 Posted: Tue May 18th, 2010 07:51 pm
  PMQuoteReply
20th Post
targus
Member
 

Joined: Tue May 18th, 2010
Location:  
Posts: 2
Status: 
Offline
I cannot show it because of copyright.

Back To Top

 Posted: Tue May 18th, 2010 08:19 pm
  PMQuoteReply
21st Post
gregory
Administrator


Joined: Wed Sep 12th, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3214
Status: 
Offline
I believe under copyright law, up to 10% is OK for research and reviews - and posting a couple of cards here would fall well into that.

Back To Top


 Current time is 08:57 pm

Top



UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2011 Data 1 Systems