These are inspired by the designs of the court cards in the Bolognese Tarocchino. The meanings are taken from the Grand Etteilla. My redesigns are inspired by the character Arlecchino/Harlequin.
Etteilla linked the suit of Batons to the French suit of Diamonds and the element Earth. Fittingly, the King and Queen of Batons become the man and woman of the country, and there is a connection to the natural world. Arlecchino’s costume in modern imagination is mostly the iconic diamond pattern, but the motley could include many different shapes. For this reason, I chose to use leaves and fruits in the print of their costumes. The Knave and Knight have a pattern based on autumn leaves and feathers, suggesting their role as travelers through a forest, one to carry a message, and the other mostly to make trouble. The Queen has a pattern of oak leaves and acorns, classic symbol of resilience. The winged crown helmet is a device straight from the Tarocchino, and I changed the faces on her shoulders to look more like the iconic Green Man. The King, the most “fruitful,” has an apple and pinecone pattern.
The Batons, renamed to Wands in the RWS deck, become more like staffs. I like these older batons because they look like they can give you a good THWACK on the head. This is very much in the spirit of Arlecchino.