Re: Minchiate Francesi / Poilly decks

... :-) ... yes, it's very nice, and a lot to think about.

I see this line:

Around 1500
Chaos not a theme, but the shepherds literature and with it Hesiod

1527 Teofilo Folengo has fun with some language Chaos and writes Caos del Triperuno.

Rabelais gets the Folengo fever and has an Italy journey. He loves games. He indirectly propogates Folengo and Tarot in France. He has success, but fights with prohibitions.

A not so much known "somewhat chaotic" poet comes to Italy and at the Ferrarese court. He has some connections king Francois ... but occasionally he's also in prison. He translates Ovid. He's published in France, with a Chaos picture. The picture is used for the Alciato genre. (around 1550).

Tarot becomes really popular in France c. 1574, with king Henry III. He's friendly to Italian culture ... but he has to arrange with contemporary politic. Tarot cards get the double tax than playing cards (1483). But generally the French world stays open for Italian influence, especially when the new king Henry IV marries Maria de Medici. Tarot is on a triumphal march. This gets a crisis in 1617. Too much Italians. Again taxes problems. Also other problems, especially between son (Louis XIII) and mother (Maria de Medici). And the world has problems, the 30 years war in Germany involve a lot of other parties. In 1627 the current Gonzaga duke of Nevers-Rethel (Tarot promoter) leaves France and goes to Mantova to become duke of Mantova. This causes another war as part of the war in Germany. Mantova is sacked and robbed. The Gonzaga daughters in France are more in prison than in freedom. In 1637 the princesses are free, but the Gonzaga duke dies (the scene with Tarot rules and with Marolles). The king gets the son, which he long desired (in the 22nd year of the marriage). The Gonzaga daughters arrange salon life in Paris. One becomes the queen of Poland (1445). The king dies, Richelieu dies, again France get's a reigning King's mother (1643). She arranges herself with Mazarin - an Italian. Mazarin was a card player since his youth. He ascended from low birth to highest positions with the help of playing cards. He also loved books - 40.000 in his library. He loved Folengo. The young Louis XIV got a lot of playing cards for his education. Also Mazarin brought his nice nieces to the French court. Mazarin got his crisis, but he survived it and France with him. Germany was weakened by the long war, Spain was also weak and France had splendid conditions. Poland got a crisis and France bought Polish art en masse for cheap money. Louis reigned 72 years and survived all and everything.
Marolles reopened the Chaos chapter with his Ovid (1655). The French graphical art reached its height, Marolles participated, becoming the father of the French collections. Mazarin bought Nevers-Rethel from the Gonzaga ... and died. And with him the Italian influence. At the gambling casino court of Louis XIV it was played likely with French playing cards.
Poilly took the Chaos motif, and later followed Etteilla. Folengo was well known in France. Etteilla influence dominated the whole cartomancy scene for some time. Usual Tarot was a card players Tarot.

Minchiate was popular in Florence. It had there (possibly) 10% of the market around 1790. Around 1840 this were (possibly) only 1 % ... so there was then a dramatic change in the interest. Genova (not far from France) is said to have had also an interest in Minchiate. Actually it is said to have played the game longer than other regions. It appears, that it had been played with 98 cards mostly ... well, as the Poilly deck. Dummett and McLeod express the opinion, that a lot of South Italians went to Genova and lived there. as Minchiate (as Gallerini or Ganellini) also had been in Sicily, it's possible, that Sicilian persons brought the game to Genova. Tarocco Siciliano (called a shortened Gallerini) had two beggars. Actually I would like to see such a Genovese Gallerini. But I don't know it.


The mentioned crazy Ovid poet is here noted ...
Aneau explains in the preface to the Imagination poetique that he found a set of woodblocks in Macé Bonhomme’s workshop which he was told were useless because they had no text to go with them, and so Aneau undertook to give them new life by creating a text (the Picta poesis/Imagination poetique). The account is interesting, illustrating clearly the way in which old woodblocks could be used as a starting point for emblems. But Aneau’s statement that the woodblocks lacked a text is inaccurate, since a number of the blocks he used as a basis for his emblem book had already been recently used by Bonhomme in 1550 and 1551 for editions of a French translation by Clément Marot of the first two books of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and together with others were also to be used in 1556 for an edition of the first three books (the third book being translated by none other than Aneau himself). Aneau’s Picta poesis was popular enough to justify Bonhomme producing a second edition in 1556, and a third in 1563/4, in association with Charles and Louis Pesnot. (The French version ran through only two editions.) ... hp?id=FANa

And the noted image is this one:

Image ... id=FANa040

Re: Minchiate Francesi / Poilly decks

The catalog, which I found earlier, was partly updated.

Description of the Poilly decks.


Two new pictures of the Poilly Minchiate, which I didn't know till now ...



If you wish the source:
If you give the following to the search engine ...

"Cartes à jouer et Tarots Millon-05112011-bd.pdf"

... you should find between the search results a nice link titled "Cartes à jouer et Tarots"
This will deliver a nice playing card catalog as pdf with much interesting information ... and pictures.

Re: Minchiate Francesi / Poilly decks

I had trouble, from Huck's presentation, in seeing the whole layout, from the 21 of one list to the 40 and 42 of the others, including what each added or subtracted. So here is the whole list.

A. First are the 21 at Gallica, ... hemindefer, using Huck's descriptions but adding other details, indicated in bold, that I thought might be helpful in identifying similarities to other decks and pictures.

01 Mercure (flying)
02 L'amour (blindfolded flying Eros with arrow and flowers)
03 L'Esperence (woman at small island with big anchor; Hope)
04 La Force (woman carrying a column)
05 La Fortune Woman standing on wheel in the sea; wings at her feet)
06 La Justice (woman with Libra and sword ... in the background a city view)
07 La Charité (woman with two children)
08 La Prudence (woman with mirror, snake)
09 Les Ages, la Vieillesse (bearded men seated by a house)
10 Age Viril (hero with sword and shield and dragon; "Golden Vlies" in a tree) (Jason)
11 Ages Adolescence (3 young women and a young sitting men reading from a book) (or: children studying with opened book and two young female teachers)
12 Ages l'Enfance (three naked children playing "hiding" in a garden)
13 Element l'eau (woman on shell drawn by two dolphins)
14 Element Feu (man with hammer, gorgon-shield and helmet in work; smith) (Two versions? (1) Perseus seated at a table holding a helmet, with a shield with Medusa's head or face on it. (2) Vulcan at his forge or smithy.)
15 Element Terre (woman in landscape with fruits and with baton and crown)
16 Momus (Fool) (jester with a horned cap and puppet on a stick)
17 Les Etoiles (Woman sitting at cloud with night heaven and star-scepter)
18 La Lune (Diane sitting on crescent moon, her feet on a cloud, arrows on her back in a case, looking at bow)
19 Le Soleil (Helios at chariot with 4 horses)
20 La Renommé (Angel with trumpet; Fame)
21 Le Monde (putti sitting on globe, playing with sand-glass; Time?)

B. Now we add, from Merlin, his descriptions in parentheses, plus descriptions from another source given by Huck, I forget where, and a couple of my own, from the pictures:

Sense of taste, young woman seated on a bench with fruits. (Merlin: fruits);

Sense of smell, young woman seated on a bench with flowers. (Merlin: flowers)

Sense of touch, young man riding an eagle flying high in the sky. (Ganymede)

Sense of sight: (Narcissus.)

Sense of hearing, man playing a violin while riding on a fish in the sea. (Arion riding on a dolphin)

(Venus Naissance) i.e. Birth of Venus

(Bacchus): my description from picture: man in chariot pulled by leopards, holding a wand/scepter with vines at the top.

Air: (Juno)

And one more, in the set of 42, from the picture, no. 1:

Chaos: my description from picture: man sitting on cloud with three stars directly over his head, light shining through clouds from behind.

Then the zodiac, going backwards from December in Merlin, forward from January in the list of 42:

31. January, illustration of aquarius.
32. February, illustration of pisces.
33. March, illustration of aries (in Merlin, capricorn).
34. April, illustration of taurus.
35. May, illustration of gemini.
36. June, illustration of cancer.
37. July, illustration of leo. (my description: lion sitting on cloud)
38. August, illustration of virgo. (my description: lady on cloud with sheaf of wheat)
39. September, illustration of libra.
40. October, illustration of scorpio.
41. November, illustration of sagittarius.
42. December, illustration of capricorn (in Merlin. Aries)

There are 40 in Merlin’s list, which omits Momus and Chaos.

Re: Minchiate Francesi / Poilly decks

mikeh wrote:I had trouble, from Huck's presentation, in seeing the whole layout, from the 21 of one list to the 40 and 42 of the others, including what each added or subtracted. So here is the whole list.


There are 40 in Merlin’s list, which omits Momus and Chaos.
Momus is noted at the top of Merlin's list, unnumbered (preceding No. 1). It are 41 cards, not 40.


Thanks for the additions. Here are some more descriptions and it's the base for my knowledge about the list with 42 cards:

I've made (earlier) a list to show the relations between the different versions:


... somewhere in this thread. There I added further explanations.

Actually it would be best to have all pictures together. The deck had a remake edition. Somebody should have the missing pictures.

Re: Minchiate Francesi / Poilly decks

We have 21 of 22 pictures of the Minchiate-Francesi-22-cards-version (card Nr. 16 is missing ... this should be AIR, and something with Juno).
These are here: ... hemindefer
don't be fooled by the menu ... you've to press the arrows at the bottom of the left menu to get more pictures. The presentation has 21 trumps and 16 court cards. The number cards seem to havebeen not very remarkable.

Then I've collected at various places trump cards, which either belonged to the 42-card-version or the 41-card version (the Bacchus card). Naturally these are not part of the 22-trumps-version:






... which makes totally 26 trumps and 16 are missing. From these "missing 16" 10 belong to the 12 months, 4 belong to the 5 senses, and there is no Venus and no "Juno as Air".

If anybody has pictures of these cards, we would be very enjoyed.

Re: Minchiate Francesi / Poilly decks

If anybody has pictures of these cards, we would be very enjoyed.
Thanks to MikeH and Andrea Vitali I got some of the missing pictures.

From this view now it is very clear, that Etteilla took his inspiration (at least) for the first 5 trumps from the 42-trumps-version of Poilly.

(first Poilly - second Etteilla)
1 Chaos - Chaos (Questionant)
2 Sun - Sun
3 Moon - Moon
4 Star - Star
5 Monde - Monde (World)






With card number 6 the view and the names becomes different ...


... but the rainbow appears at both pictures


Number 7 is rather different ...


... but number 8 decides in both cases of a nude woman and Etteilla searches here his Questionante.


The Minchiate Francesi sorted the elements from 6-9 ...


... and from number 10 - 18 it used 9 motifs unknown to Tarot and from 19 - 23 it used 5 motifs of the usual 7 virtues in Minchiate. Etteilla used the 4 elements on some of his first cards (2-3-4-5) after 1 = Chaos and mixed additionally the 7 days of creation to numbers 2-8. After Nr 8 he skipped the normally unused Tarot motifs and went directly to the "4 cardinal virtues" with numbers 9-12.

After this the Poilly-42 deck:

24 Fame (Renommee) = Angel
25 Mercury
26 Bacchus
27 Amor = Love
28 Venus
29 Momus = Fool
30 Fortune = Wheel

and Etteilla:

13 Love
14 Devil
15 Magician
16 Judgment
17 Death
18 Hermit / Traitor
19 Tower
20 Fortune
21 Chariot

Minchiate Francesi / Conversation deck 1775

The Minchiate Francesi used from the 7 usual virtues only 5, skipping Temperantia and Fides.


Some first analyses of the conversation deck 1775, which caught some new attention recently ...
... show that this feature repeats: Temperantia and Fides are missing

Probability calculation says, that the repeated feature is not probable, that this happened accidental (probability 1 : 128 = 1 : 2^7).

So either the author of the conversation deck 1775 "likely" either knew the Minchiate Francesi or another tradition, which skipped Temperantia and Fides.

The 5 cards are:






Fortitude shows the scene of the Roman hero Horatius Cocles, who burnt his arm.


It might be that the virtues changed their name. Fides might have been transmuted to "Fidelity", Temperance uses two bottles and two bottles appear at another motif:


The dog doesn't take the offered sausage from the thief.


Well, this is a possibility, but the interpretation seems to be a little bit hair-drawn.

Re: Minchiate Francesi / Poilly decks

Your idea that Etteilla borrowed from the first 9 of Poilly for the first 8 of his tarots is a good one, even compelling for the first 5 or 6. De Mellet is the one who has been considered by others to be Etteilla's source, since most of the later trumps of the Marseille (17-21 except for 20) are at the front end of Etteilla's deck(2-5); but the correspondence to Poilly is closer, as far as the themes and the order, even though the imagery is closer to the Marseille.

Your idea about what happened to Temperance and Faith is interesting. I assume that the designer of the 1775 cards felt they should somehow be there, but put them as "Fidelity" and "Bottle" instead. But I don't know why he would have gone to the trouble to make these changes (unless the mutation happened before 1730, and the Poilly we' re seeing is different in this respect from the 1660 Minchiate Francesci).

Here are the missing 15 cards of 1730 Poilly, in not very good photos I took with my cheap camera.

14 Taste and 15 Smell: ... _0565a.jpg

16 Touch (Ganymede) and 18 Hearing (the legendary musician Arion; see ... _0566a.jpg

31 Janvier (Aquarius) and 28 Venus Naissante (I don't see any "Naissante", i.e. being born) ... _0567b.jpg

33 Mars (Aries) and 32 Fevrier (Pisces): ... _0568a.jpg

34 Avril (Taurus) and 35 Mai (Gemini, female and male): ... _0569a.jpg

36 Juin (Cancer) and 39 Septembre (Libra): ... _0570b.jpg

40 Octobre (Scorpio) and 41 Novembre (Sagitarius): ... _0571a.jpg

42 Decembre (Capricorn) ... _0572a.jpg

I don't see much of interest here, as far as influencing or being influenced. Venus is idiosyncratic: I don't know any other "Birth of Venus" like this one. And these representations of Touch and Hearing, as well as Sight (Narcissus, which you showed) are rather unusual, I think. But I haven't examined the iconology of the five senses very much.

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