Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

#151
Thanks for the very valuable instructions on how to access playing card images at the BNF, Ross. I never would have guessed. Also for saving us the trouble of loading innumerable sets of images (my computer is very slow) to get to number 159. They seem to conform to Lacroix's description. The Hearts and Spades in that deck conform perfectly to both the French and the German suit signs. The Crescents (Diamonds?) and Clubs (I assume) do not. There is a slight resemblance of the cross shape to the clover-leaf, but not enough to make the case. I see none to the German acorn, unless the cross shape is to represent a tree.

And thanks Huck, for the information on Le Hire and how he figured in the symbolism of the cards. Still on the Web today you can find it said that Le Hire invented French suits. It seems to me that he died too early (1443) for that to be likely.

Since I have given Dummett's theory about the origin of French suits (that they developed from the German) I might as well pursue competing theories as to the origin and symbolism of the suit signs. As it happens, they might relate to the earliest names given by Lacroix for associating with the French court cards.

First there is the question of the origin of Italian suits. Lacroix takes a critical swipe at the "savants" (e.g. de Gebelin and de Mellet) who maintain that they denoted "the merchants, who have the money; the priests, who hold the chalice or cup; the peasantry, who handle the staff; and the nobles, who wear the sword". He replies (p. 171):
The signs or suits of the numeral cards were fixed upon in the East, and Spain as well as Italy merely adopted them without taking much trouble to penetrate into their allegorical meaning.
He seems to be right, at least when I look at comparisons on the web between Mamluk and Italian cards. I would wonder how, given that he had no actual examples of old Muslim cards in front of him (except modern ones), and given the wide variety of suit signs, he could come to that conclusion, but perhaps that was enough.

But might not these four groups have existed in Muslim society as well? In fact, Lacroix has a theory. The suits are all military in nature: Discussing the various theories he ends up with (p. 169f):
Bullet was still nearer the mark when he recognized offensive arms in "clubs" and "spades" and "defensive" arms in "hearts" and "diamonds." The first were the sword and the lance; the second, the target and the shield.
Well, in the absence of evidence one creates theories. His is that chess and card games evolved in a similar military environment. In 1835 he had applied that theory as well to the triumphs (Ross's translation at http://pre-gebelin.blogspot.com/2009/02 ... croix.html):
The atouts or allegorical cards, which Court de Gébelin tried to explain with the help of the Egyptian theogony, in making them go back to the epoch of the Pharaohs, are merely rather clear emblems of war itself: one sees the virtues necessary for the head of the army, the gods and goddesses which he should invoke, the chariot of triumph, death, the voyage of the soul in the celestial spheres, its judgment and its entry into the next life. As for the kings, the knights, and the knaves or squires, these are those who give themselves to the battle, in the presence of these depicted teachings that the game offers to all, a tutti, as the Italians say to designate the allegorical cards in tarocchi.
This isn't bad, although he has left out a few triumphs. It seems to suggest that perhaps triumphs were in Muslim packs first. That idea of course has since been ruled out.

Lacroix then has his theory about how the French suit signs were created (p. 164). Although he does not entirely exclude the theory that they were invented by Etienne Vignoles (1390-1443), called Le Hire, his theory is that they were created by Etienne Chevalier (1410-1474), secretary and treasurer to kings Charles VII and Louis XI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89tienne_Chevalier). Hearts are named after Jacques Coeur (1395-1456), whose commercial relations with the East brought him the accusation of having "sent arms to the Saracens" and so might have been an importer of Asiatic cards. "Clubs" imitate the heraldic flower of Agnes Sorel (1422-1450), Charles VII's first mistress (whom Coeur was unjustly accused of poisoning); finally, diamonds, "diamonds or arrow-heads", and spades, or swords, "do honour to the two brothers Jean (1390-1463) and Gaspart ( Bureau, grand-masters of artillery in France". Well, it's as good a theory as any.

Added an hour later: checking the French version of the English "diamonds or arrowheads" in the above, I see that it has "carreaux ou fers de flèche" (http://books.google.com/books?id=YFOpbQ ... au&f=false, p. 242). While "fer de fleche" does indeed mean "arrowhead", "carreaux" normally means "tiles" as well as "arrow" or maybe "crossbow", I'm not sure), Also, I should have added the card that illustrates his point, which shows not an arrow but a kind of axe:
Image

So perhaps he means the iron tip of that kind of weapon. If so, his case is a little stronger than I originally thought, but still a stretch, in that a diamond shape is actually two of these triangles. But perhaps the triangular point was one half of a diamond, the other half affixed to the pole in three points.

This theory has diamonds as a weapon, like Batons, rather than as representing wealth, like Coins (or happiness, both of which came to Sorel until she died). Jean Bureau's first appointment was as "governor of the French archers", and even after cannon were his main weapon, he used archers to protect them from capture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Bureau/) But it's a stretch to make arrowheads into diamonds [added: unless their metal was diamond shaped]. (Incidentally, it seems to have been the Bureau brothers' advances in the use of cannons, developed to counter the English longbows, that ultimately resulted in such terrible destruction later in Italy.)

The other theory he mentions, that of Menestrier (who identified the "Charles VI" as made by Gringonneur) is that the "carreaux" (literally tiles, corresponding to diamonds) are named for the floor-tiles of the citizens (i.e. the bourgeois), clubs for the laborers, "piques" (lances), for the military ("epees") and hearts for the clergy's choirs ("choeur"). In this theory, the "tiles" are at least the right shape.

Another theory, as I recall (but I can't find on the Internet currently), is that the suit of Trefles (clover) comes from a design inside the coins on some Italian cards, and the diamond-shaped Carreaux (tiles) or comes from the shape made by the intersections of batons on some Italian cards, which resembled tiles. Piques and Coeurs (the latter by then symbolizing love) would then presumably be the French equivalents of Swords (this last rather obvious from the French pique and Spanish espada = spade) and Cups, but their designs would have been taken from the German suit-signs for Leaves (which suggests a spade) and Hearts (both for love). This theory is consistent with Lacroix's view that Carreaux originally derived from a weapon.

Oddly enough, this theory is also consistent with de Gebelin's, de Mellet's, and Etteilla's identification of the French suit of Carreaux with tarot's Batons, and the French suit of Trefles with Coins. If, as de Gebelin's and de Mellet's wording suggests, they are merely describing existing cartomantic practice rather than inventing a theory, this practice is evidence for the derivation as described, and vice versa. Here is de Mellet (http://www.tarotpedia.com/wiki/Recherch ... les_Tarots):
Nos Diseurs de bonne-fortune ne sachant pas lire les Hiéroglyphes, en ont soustrait tous les Tableaux & change jusqu'aux noms de coupe, de bâton, de denier & d'épée, dont ils ne connoissoient ni l'etynologie, ni l'expression; ils ont substitué ceux de coeur, de carreau, de trefle & de pique.

(Our tellers of good-fortune not knowing how to read hieroglyphics, withdrew all the images and changed the names of cups, batons, denier & swords, while understanding neither the etymology nor the expression; substituting hearts, diamonds, clubs & spades. ...)
This theory is also consistent with the early words on the court cards as described by Lacroix. The King of Trefles is called Sans Souci, without worries; this makes more sense as Coins than as Batons. However this lack of worries is illusory, as the title of the Queen of Trefles, Tromperie, suggests. Since in fact Jacques Coeur was very rich until falsely accused of poisoning Agnes Sorel, when the King dispossessed him of everything (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Coeur), the theory is consistent with Lacroix's observations of the names on the cards (although not with his theory of whom they represented). It also makes sense that the King of Carreaux would be a Saracen warrior (batons as a weapon), and the Queen of Carreaux would be Joan of Arc. Money doesn't fit as well.

However there are also many associations of the suit of Carreaux with wealth, no doubt because of the diamond shape, and the English term "diamond". Also, in some games the red cards are ranked one way and the black cards the other way. But piquet, the most popular French card game, does not work that way, according to Wikipedia. So the original inspiration, on this theory, would have been largely forgotten, except in some cartomantic interpretations.

Note: an hour later, I added another comment to my discussion above of Lacroix's "arrowhead".

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

#152
mikeh wrote:And thanks Huck, for the information on Le Hire and how he figured in the symbolism of the cards. Still on the Web today you can find it said that Le Hire invented French suits. It seems to me that he died too early (1443) for that to be likely.

Since I have given Dummett's theory about the origin of French suits (that they developed from the German) I might as well pursue competing theories as to the origin and symbolism of the suit signs. As it happens, they might relate to the earliest names given by Lacroix for associating with the French court cards.

First there is the question of the origin of Italian suits. Lacroix takes a critical swipe at the "savants" (e.g. de Gebelin and de Mellet) who maintain that they denoted "the merchants, who have the money; the priests, who hold the chalice or cup; the peasantry, who handle the staff; and the nobles, who wear the sword". He replies (p. 171):
The signs or suits of the numeral cards were fixed upon in the East, and Spain as well as Italy merely adopted them without taking much trouble to penetrate into their allegorical meaning.
I don't know, how I personally would argue on the base of existing card documents, that France took their suits from Germany.

http://www.trionfi.com/0/c/karn/wheel2.html

Numbers are with security older than specific designs for suits.

A point signifies a "1"
A line signifies a connection between "2" points
A triangle signifies a "3"
A square has "4" corners

A "carreaux" has 4 points
A "trefle" has 3 points
A "pique", if interpreted as the weapon pique, would present a line (2 points)
A "coeur", if interpreted as unity, would present 1 point

otherwise ...

a "coin" looks like a zero (0) ... coin is seen as a representative of carreaux
a "cup" signifies unity (1)
a "baton" has two ends (2)
a "sword" has 3 ends, where the hands hold it (3)

It's rather natural to relate the 4 suits to the numbers 1-4 or to 0-3

**********

If you have no cards, which you can buy, but if you have paper, you could easily produce your cards yourself. Square, triangle and line are symbols, which are easy to paint, and such a deck could be done very quickly. Difficult is the "point", as you don't see it well.

**********

There are various games, which use ranked suits (a hierarchy). Numbers indicate a natural hierarchy. In Germany Kreuz = trefle (3) is mostly highest, second is Pique (2), third is Hearts (1) and last is Carreaux (0 or 4).

Bridge uses Pique (2) as highest suit, Heart is second (1), Carreaux is third (0 or 4), Trefle is last (3)

Both versions are ranked according the "Wheel". It seem, that more or less all West-European card games follow the "Wheel".

*********

The Wheel of Fortune in Tarot mostly got the number 10. 1+2+3+4 = 10, that's the old wisdom of the Tetraktys.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

#153
Thanks for the information, Huck. But I have some problems.

Huck wrote
don't know, how I personally would argue on the base of existing card documents, that France took their suits from Germany.
What "existing card documents"? Do you mean late 20th century opinion, as expressed in Dummett, Kaplan, etc. The problem is that they have no supporting documents for their claims, nothing but very strained arguments somehow saying that German acorns morphed into clover and bells into rhombuses. Kaplan vol 1, which you cite in your essay ( p. 10 in my copy of the book), doesn't actually present any arguments that I can find, and he does not even draw the carreaux (tiles) in the way that they appeared on the early cards, with straight lines (he has curved lines).

As for number symbolism, it is all arbitrary unless based on actual texts of the time. In fact 1 was associated with the point, as you say, and 2 with the line, but 3 was with plane figures and 4 with solid figures, e.g. the numbers after 1 in the three series below (from Heninger, Sweet Harmonies, p. 72f, originally from Joannes Martinus, Arithmetica, Paris 1526):
Image

Image

Also, the pique sign is not a line (nor were pikes, as weapons: they had complicated ends, to do damage); nor is the heart a circle; and a trefle has 4 points, if you count the stem. So you lose me. The only thing I can understand is that a carreau does have 4 points. But then you say:
a "coin" looks like a zero (0) ... coin is seen as a representative of carreaux
The second part looks like it just comes from Kaplan.,Or is a carreau now a deformed circle, i.e. 0? I am lost again.

I realize that German cards were prevalent in France. I agree that coeurs come from herzen, and probably piques from gruene, as far as the shape. But before German cards, France had Italian cards. They must be taken into account, too, as well as French national pride, which wants to be unique as well as traditional. So we have coppe turning into coeurs; that makes sense, as the cards of love (whether of God, people, or dogs). And spade, swords, would be piques. Bastoni can also be weapons, as well as other things, such as scepters; trefles aren't either one. Denari are money; carreaux (tiles) aren't. So there is a problem. England got cards rather late, mostly from France and the Netherlands, with input from Spain; so what they called the suits doesn't count for a lot--it was an interpretation, after the fact. (Contract Bridge is also not very early.) In Lacroix I see actual evidence from actual cards of the time, as well as actual people and events from the time that are easily turned into allegory. These surely count for something.

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

#154
There are also a few other things I saw in Lacroix that might be clues to real information. In this post I will list 5 of them. I have one more, but I will present it later.

(1) He says of the "Charles VI" pack ([p. 158):
The Abbé de Longuerue states that he saw the pack with all its cards complete; but only seventeen have been preserved to our day.
Ross writes about Longuerue at http://www.trionfi.com/0/e/r70/15.html
1754. Longuerue, Abbé Louis du Four de _Longueruana, ou Recueil de pensées, de discours et de conversations de feu M. Louis du Four de Longuerue_ (Berlin 1754) - in these memoires, published posthumously (Longuerue died in 1733), he indirectly connects the cards he saw during a visit to the home of Roger de Gaignières, with the passage in Menestrier that he had read. Depaulis thinks this may be the origin of the legend connecting the cards with Gringonneur.
Could these be the cards that Lacroix is referring to? If so, it is not even clear that they are the same pack.

(2) He says of the tarot pack (p. 158):
No original specimen has been preserved of the tarots (tarocchi, tarrochini) or Italian cards of this epoch; but we possess a pack engraved about 1460, which is known to be an exact copy of them.
What pack could this be?

(3) He has a picture of what he says is a 15th century Fool card, perhaps from the deck in 1460. What pack is that from?
Image


(4) On p.174 he shows an example of a card from a German instructional deck, designed by a professor of philosophy and published at Krakow. It had 16 suits, one for each of 16 treatises, and a total of 52 cards, each giving an enigmatic riddle.
Image

This pack is of interest because it is an example of cards used for instruction, a prevalent theory now about the purpose of the tarot sequence. Are there other German instructional decks?

(5) Most interestingly, I think, he has an engraving in another of his books, Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance Period, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10940/10 ... 0940-h.htm, fig. 427, which he says is copied from a picture that was done around 1470 of Charlotte of Savoy, who was then Queen of France. The caption says, "Costume of Charlotte of Savoy, second Wife of Louis XI.--From a Picture of the Period formerly in the Castle of Bourbon-l'Archambault, M. de Quedeville's Collection, in Paris. The Arms of Louis XI. and Charlotte are painted behind the picture."
Image

There is an obvious similarity to the Goldschmidt tarot card showing a queen kneeling in prayer or meditation. I discussed it at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1019&p=15158&hilit=kneeler#p15158, but without resolution. Notice also the French fleur de lys in the bishop's hat.
Image

This subject, a stylish woman at a kneeler, is one I have not seen in art of that time. A similar maid also appears on another card, that of a lady with a small castle (http://a-tarot.eu/p/goldschmidt/queen-castle.jpg; the castle on the card doesn't look like the one that Lacroix mentions, but perhaps she didn't live there, or it's generic, or it's somebody else: (http://www.chateaux-france.com/chateau- ... chambault/). Whether the card came first or the painting, there seems to me a connection, suggesting that in the court of Charlotte (who was neglected by her husband) and her son there was an appreciation of the tarot. Savoy, of course, was on the border of Italy and had long-stnding relations with Milan. I would think that whoever did the second piece, card or painting, would likely have seen the first, or a tracing of it, because the facial resemblance is quite close.

Charlotte had married the then-Dauphin of France, the future Louis XI, in 1451; she was thus the Dauphine until 1461 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_of_Savoy).This is relevant because one of the Goldschmidt cards has the stylized dolphin that was the Dauphin's emblem. But the card is not likely of her in that early period, because by 1461 she was only 19; the card is of a mature woman. She died in 1483. Her son, the future Charles VIII, was Dauphin from his birth in 1470 until he became king in 1483 (he later fought, coincidentally, at the Taro River). However I see no heraldic devices in the card. It is not likely a coincidence that the year of the painting is the same as the year of Charles' birth. So I would think that the cards were probably a present to Charles while he was still Dauphin, i.e. between 1470 and 1483. Perhaps they were a baptismal gift, i.e. around 1470, or a first communion gift, i.e. around 1477. It could even have been given to Charles in commemoration of her c. 1483, since she had been a Dauphine and Charles a Dauphin.

In his chapter on playing cards in Arts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, p. 165, Lacroix has an entry for a pack of cards for the Dauphin of France, 1454, i.w. the future Louis XI. The 1454 cards clearly wouldn't have been the Goldschmidt, as the price recorded is too low, only 5 sous of Tours. But it shows that either the Dauphin, i.e. the future Louis XI, or his wife, Charlotte of Savoy, was interested in cards at that early date.

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

#155
mikeh wrote:What "existing card documents"?
http://trionfi.com/0/p/25/
German 15th century decks are very variable with their suits. Knowledge about French suited decks starts very late. How will you say, what's earlier (with evidence)?
The Latin suits look earlier and have some evidence.

...
As for number symbolism, it is all arbitrary unless based on actual texts of the time. In fact 1 was associated with the point, as you say, and 2 with the line, but 3 was with plane figures and 4 with solid figures,
A point is not really usable for pained suits, it's too small. A triangle would be logical for 3 points. A square or rhombus one can use for 4. ...

Also, the pique sign is not a line (nor were pikes, as weapons: they had complicated ends, to do damage); nor is the heart a circle; and a trefle has 4 points, if you count the stem. So you lose me.
The pike is just a further development of a spear or a long baton.
Another interpretation would be, that the German "Green" or French "Pique" developed from two halves like German and French "Hearts". The direction is just skipped (Hearts points to below, Pique and Green points to above) and Pique and Green got an added line below. And in France Pique was black (fighting, weapons) and Hearts was red (loving, peaceful). "Opposition" needs the 2 different sides, "Unity" is 1 per definition.
The only thing I can understand is that a carreau does have 4 points. But then you say:
a "coin" looks like a zero (0) ... coin is seen as a representative of carreaux
The second part looks like it just comes from Kaplan.,Or is a carreau now a deformed circle, i.e. 0? I am lost again.
If you look at a 4x13 deck, one might feel the wish to give each sort of court card a suit. But there are in this deck only 3 courts and there are 4 suits. Naturally one of the 4 suits gets "0" and the whole gets a number system 0-1-2-3.

If you look at a 4x14-deck, one can satisfy the wish, and the natural number system would be 1-2-3-4.

I realize that German cards were prevalent in France. I agree that coeurs come from herzen, and probably piques from gruene, as far as the shape. But before German cards, France had Italian cards. They must be square or romus makes 4 points. taken into account, too, as well as French national pride, which wants to be unique as well as traditional. So we have coppe turning into coeurs; that makes sense, as the cards of love (whether of God, people, or dogs). And spade, swords, would be piques. Bastoni can also be weapons, as well as other things, such as scepters; trefles aren't either one. Denari are money; carreaux (tiles) aren't. So there is a problem. England got cards rather late, mostly from France and the Netherlands, with input from Spain; so what they called the suits doesn't count for a lot--it was an interpretation, after the fact. (Contract Bridge is also not very early.) In Lacroix I see actual evidence from actual cards of the time, as well as actual people and events from the time that are easily turned into allegory. These surely count for something.
And spade, swords, would be piques.

The early military in Italy used the expression "Lancia", for a unit consisting of a "Capo di Lancia", a "Spada" and a page. The Capo di Lancia seems to have been the chief of such a mini-troop.
The system changed, cause the weapons changed. The cavallery suffered from the longer spears of Swiss soldiers. The Pikenier typus developed. The word "Pikenier" developed from French "piquer", which was also used for "trumping" in card games [English "to stab", German "stechen", which is also used for trumping in card games]. Compare also the name "Piquet" as the name of a card game.

The social role of the Pikenier and a Capo di Lancia was likely rather different. "Von der Pike auf lernen" in German means "to learn from the lowest position".

"Pique" doesn't come from Ialian "spada". That Pique comes from "spada", is and was just a theory.
In German card slang Pique is addressed also as "Schüppe" (cause the suit looks like a Schüppe) and a Schüppe is similar to the tool "Spaten". And a "Spaten", so my German-English word book, translates to English "Spade".

There are old German expressions like Schüppenbauer, Schüppenkönig and Schüppenzehn, all relating to playing cards of the suit Pique mentioned in the Grimm dictionary (used for etymology of words).
spaten ist ein gemeinwestgermanisches, jedoch dem ältern hd. fremdes wort: ags. spædu, spadu, -e, f., spada, m., fossorium, vanga. Bosworth-Toller 898a, mittel- und neuengl. spade, vgl. Skeat 576b f.; altfries. spada, m. Richthofen 1040b, neufries. (nordfr. saterl.) spade, wang. spâ(r)der, s. ebenda und ten Doornkaat Koolman 3, 259b; alts. spado, sarculum, s. Wadstein 222b (spadon, sarculo, rastris. Prud. gl. 177 f.), mnd. spade, m. fossorium. Schiller-Lübben 4, 298b (nicht häufig), dazu: ane sin orlof mut man wol graven also diep, also en man mit eneme spaden (var.: grabeschith) upgeschieten mach die erde. Sachsensp. 3, 66 (Scherz-Oberlin 1525); den graven unde den berch sal man evenen mit spaden. 68, § 1;

he (Adam) stunt mit eineme spâden unde wrochte,
sô môde dat he nicht mêr mochte.
he lênde sik uppe den spâden unde roste. van d. holte des hill. cruzes 47—49.

etc.

http://woerterbuchnetz.de/DWB/?sigle=DW ... id=GS33006

English "Sword" = German "Schwert"

English took a strange way, when they called "Trèfle" (= trefoil or clover) with the name "clubs", they just didn't recognize the form or they found from "clover" to "clubs".
Similar the Germans, which called it "Kreuz" (= cross) just cause of optical reasons; the name "Treff" (seldom) directly derived from "Trèfle" is also used as a German adaptation, but any meaning in connection to other use in German by "Treff" (meeting point) or "treffen" (= to meet somebody) isn't given.

As "Clubs" appeared optically in Spanish Latin suits, the idea, that the name "Spades" came from Spanish suits, is understandable. But England took French suit signs, not Spanish.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

#156
German 15th century decks are very variable with their suits. Knowledge about French suited decks starts very late. How will you say, what's earlier (with evidence)?
The Latin suits look earlier and have some evidence.
Yes, of course. By "evidence" I meant, not evidence of what was earlier, but evidence for how French suits originated. Italian suits were in France first, then German ones, and then French ones. But the question is, what inspired the shapes the French suit-signs took? There is also the question, what did they mean? That is where the words come in, not only etymologically related but related in meaning to previous suit signs.

You had some interesting etymological evidence, although I don't know where it leads. As you say, here are various theories, i.e. piques are upside down herzen, to form an opposition; or piques come from German spaten. Or piques come from Italian spade. Or Italian Batons. Or German Leaves. These are hypotheses to compare with evidence, not to be confused with evidence itself. And these theories are not all mutually exclusive.

Likewise for carreaux. They come from Italian Coins; they come from German Bells; they come from Italian Batons. Any others?

Likewise for trefles. They come from Italian Batons; they come from Italian Coins; they come from German Acorns. Any others?

And finally coeurs. They come from German Herzen; they come from Italian Coppe. Any others? This is a good example where both might be true.

Speaking of evidence, here are some early cards from the database that Ross showed us how to use. I think these are all Lyons, I think.
Image

The earliest is one using Italian suits. There is a wildman Knight of Batons, similar to the Ferrarese/Venetian wildman Page of Batons in Kaplan vol. 2 p. 281 and the wildman King of Hearts and Queen of Hearts on the one that Ross posted earlier for me. What I find interesting is the suit-sign for Coins at the bottom left, with a cross in the middle. The question is whether that sort of thing is what the trefle developed out of. Compare it with the trefle in the group that Ross posted.
Image

The piques look like spaten, i.e.spades, rather than upside down herzen, and not much like leaves. Were there any German suits like that early on? I read somewhere that infantry troops had bayonets that doubled as spades, to dig trenches with. The 16th century is when trench warfare begins, as a defense against artillery.

Next is a group with just coeurs and carreaux. I wonder if the carreau's shape is to mimic the angles on the axe that the foot soldier is holding, just as the heart seems to mimic the affection of the man with the dog.
Image

Next is one of the groups that Lacroix talks about, with "Tromperie", "Apollin", etc., along the sides of the cards. The piques still look like spaten.

Huck wrote
If you look at a 4x13 deck, one might feel the wish to give each sort of court card a suit. But there are in this deck only 3 courts and there are 4 suits. Naturally one of the 4 suits gets "0" and the whole gets a number system 0-1-2-3.

If you look at a 4x14-deck, one can satisfy the wish, and the natural number system would be 1-2-3-4.
I don't see why if there are only 3 courts, the suits should be numbered 0-1-2-3 rather than 1-2-3-4, I feel no such wish. I see no reason why they both have to somehow end up as 3. And even if they are numbered 0-1-2-3, I don't see why carreaux would have to be 0. If I had to pick a number the suit-sign looked like, I'd say 4 rather than 0. But why should there be numbers at all? There was no priority of suits in French games at that time that I am aware of. Piquet didn't have it. Tarot didn't have it.

I draw no conclusions. Perhaps we agree on that.

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

#157
mikeh wrote:
(3) He [Lacroix] has a picture of what he says is a 15th century Fool card, perhaps from the deck in 1460. What pack is that from?
Image
Mike,
I'm pretty sure Ross has stated elsewhere that is a 17th or 18th century deck from Bologna; hopefully he confirms that here. Color versions are floating around the 'net:
21-the-foolAndrea Vitali abiut the Bag.jpg
Fool from Bologna deck
21-the-foolAndrea Vitali abiut the Bag.jpg (19.46 KiB) Viewed 6852 times


I'm very interested in this card, and its dating, as I believe it reveals what the PMB prototype is holding - a trumpet, not a "club" (which would have been gnarled at some point and possibly curved). To wit, the PMB Fool is dressed as a common rural peasant as we find littered throughout the Tacuinum Sanitatis illuminations made for the Visconti, which were obviously consulted in the making of the PMB as the bottom "cliff" border has been appropriated by the latter. Here is a "cheese-making" scene with a peasant and a staff - curved and gnarled (just like Giotto's "foolishness" - also an obvious influence for the PMB Fool card):
Preparing and serving cheese; Tacuinum Sanitatis, 14th century. fool and cheese.jpg
Tacuinum Sanitatis - cheese making
Preparing and serving cheese; Tacuinum Sanitatis, 14th century. fool and cheese.jpg (135.64 KiB) Viewed 6852 times
Giotto fool  - club detail.jpg
Giotto detail
Giotto fool - club detail.jpg (115.69 KiB) Viewed 6850 times
So we have a fairly exact match of the PMB's fool with the Tacuinum Sanitatis peasant dress, the crown of feathers from Giotto's "Foolishness" and yet the straight "club" held by the PMB fool does not match the gnarled/curved characteristsics found in the clubs of either Giotto or the Tacuinum Sanitatis. But it does match the straight then flaring shape of the trumpet held by the Bologna Fool - and if Ross is right that the Bologna deck maintains the closest approximation to the original deck then that is very telling (even the feathers have been kept although I will admit the Bologna's musical instrument appears to have holes so not sure if that is a trumpet - but at all events, NOT a club). Equally telling are contemporary paintings of trumpeters with the exact same attitude of the PMB Fool with trumpet carried with the flaring end towards the sky, braced against the carrier's shoulder:
Detail of Berry May - Trumpet.jpg
Berry Hours - May
Detail of Berry May - Trumpet.jpg (65.54 KiB) Viewed 6852 times
Fool comparable - CY Judgement detail.jpg
CY angel in the Judgement card
Fool comparable - CY Judgement detail.jpg (13.04 KiB) Viewed 6852 times
fool comparable, trumpeter detail, Mantegna triumph of caesar.png
Trumpeter in Mantegna's triumph series
fool comparable, trumpeter detail, Mantegna triumph of caesar.png (68.92 KiB) Viewed 6852 times
Finally, "different artist" hardly explains this non-match away....
PMB Strength club detail.jpg
PMB Strength club detail.jpg (26.64 KiB) Viewed 6848 times
Image

And this detail of wood - showing striations not present in the Fool's "club" - is from the same PMB artist:
PMB Hanged Man - wood detail.jpg
PMB Hanged Man - wood detail.jpg (19.8 KiB) Viewed 6847 times
Phaeded

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

#158
hi Mike.

The suits come from the number system ... as everthing else. And then there's phantasy, and that can go in different direction.
Dice games are also usually number games.

Numbers are "international". People with different languages can play easily games togetherv ... mostly cause of numbers and structural rules in the games.

Look at the points of Tarot:

1 for the fante
2 for the cavallo
3 for the queen
4 for the king

The 5-4-3-2 system is only used to integrate a trick counting.

The simple numbers are used. In German games (not Tarot) you have usually king = 4, Queen or Ober = 3, Bube (Fante = 2), Cavallo is missing. That's also from the "old school" and has the same roots as Tarot.

Naturally with the growing number of games in the development, rules multiplied and special games were invented, which broke with the traditions.

But why should it have been different with the begin of the suits? The practical situation at the begin likely was, tat a lot of people desired cards, when they developed, but had no money to buy them. So they made the cards themselves. As not everybody was a great artist or had time for it, the symbols might have had rudimentary number structure. That's the easiest way to do it.
Huck wrote
If you look at a 4x13 deck, one might feel the wish to give each sort of court card a suit. But there are in this deck only 3 courts and there are 4 suits. Naturally one of the 4 suits gets "0" and the whole gets a number system 0-1-2-3.

If you look at a 4x14-deck, one can satisfy the wish, and the natural number system would be 1-2-3-4.
I don't see why if there are only 3 courts, the suits should be numbered 0-1-2-3 rather than 1-2-3-4, I feel no such wish. I see no reason why they both have to somehow end up as 3. And even if they are numbered 0-1-2-3, I don't see why carreaux would have to be 0. If I had to pick a number the suit-sign looked like, I'd say 4 rather than 0. But why should there be numbers at all? There was no priority of suits in French games at that time that I am aware of. Piquet didn't have it. Tarot didn't have it.
The suits should be sorted hierarchically, cause some games use this function ...
for instance: Bridge ... it uses the ranking of the suits in its bidding system (and the bidding is very important). Highest is pique, then hearts, then diamonds and clubs finally.

Skat uses the ranking of the suits inside the bidding system and in the play (the ranking decides the highest, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Jack, which all are highest trumps in the game. Doppelkopf uses it only in the play. And there are likely a lot of other games (especially trick taking games), which use the ranking. We simplest way to organize the ranking is "by numbers" (we know this from Tarot, which uses numbers to set up its trump hierarchy).

The early deck designers even defined male and female suits with differences in the hierarchy of the number cards (1 till 10 or 10 till 1). That's in the actual game technique a not necessary complication, it's superfluous and complicates only.

The suit ranking is not important in a game like Tarot, which has a predefined trump suit.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

#159
Image


Once I wrote about a Fool with drum and a wind instrument ...
...
More interesting are some details of the Fool card:

The Fool card of the woodblock version with some photoshop improvement ...

Image


.. shows a figure with a wind instrument and a drum. Additionally it has at its back something, which can't be identified with security from this picture alone.
The mentioned XVIII century WWPCM deck repeats the wind instrument, but the drum and the details at the back of the figure are nearly lost.

Image


Later Tarocco Siciliano versions have decided, that the earlier drum should be a ball and the details at the backside are more or less gone:

Image


However, a sheet found by the playing card researcher Peter Blaas in the Biblioteca Civica in Rovereto far away from Sicily in the North of Italy (considered to be older than 18th century) and reported by John Berry in the IPCS-journal XXI, p. 95 ff. (1993) has a Fool with wind instrument and drum and the insecure backside details are now clearly recognizable as wings.

Image

Presented in context at ...
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=345&p=10975&hilit=fool+drum#p10975

I had some progress with this somewhere ... I don't remember for the moment.

****************

Found it:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=383&p=11067&hilit= ... ool#p10983

... with especially this picture ...

Image


... also this with own commentary ... :-) ...
"I really don't know, if I have anything to do with this ... "

Image


"I've no sack for instance. No wings, only an eagle. I've also another direction. See you."

Hofämterspiel, c. 1455

B-) ... no wings indeed :-) ... oh ... O:-)
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

#160
Huck,
All your post has shown is that early tarot tradition always shows the Fool with a musical instrument(s), not a club. That change in attribute changes the meaning of the card.

Trumpters are always in a noble's livery and an extension of the lord (inclusive of liveried musciians of any type; even the jester ones are richly attired by the court in question). The context for a trumpeter is almost always heralding the lord, associated with his troops, at a wedding of nobles, or in a royal banquet scene where they are either announcing the arrival of the lord of the manor or providing musical entertainment. All of these contexts shows the trumpter as a perogative of the nobility. A peasant (not a court jester) with a trumpet is unthinkable...and indeed the later Bolognese tradition literally redresses that unfathomable precedent. So what was the PMB Fool with trumpet? The historical lesson of the anarchic mob of the Ambrosian Republic, that lynched several nobles durings its reign of terror in the last year of its existence. The classes of men are shown in the PMB - but the lowest ones, peasants and petty merchants, only in the two lowest cards - the Fool and the "Juggler".

But why did the Bolognese tradition switch to other musical instruments? To me the answer is simply related to the artistic limitation of the aspects of a card - quattrocento trumpets were extremely long (look again at the contemporary examples I gave above) and thus difficult to depict on a card.It would have been practically impossible to show the trumpet being played, as the Bolognese fools are shown playing their shorter instruments, due to the lack of room. In the PMB the trumpet is held fairly low down at waist level and there still is not enough room to depict it all as the flaring end extends up into the frame:
PMB Fool trumpet detail.jpg
PMB Fool trumpet detail.jpg (26.4 KiB) Viewed 6846 times
Now compare the c. 1416 Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry month of May detail again, the trumpet is held closer to the shoulder and extends several feet above the head of the trumpeter (leading his lord) - impossibly too tall for a tarot card (hence the Bolognese change, but in keeping to the fact that he is a musician):
Detail of Berry May - Trumpet.jpg
Detail of Berry May - Trumpet.jpg (65.54 KiB) Viewed 6846 times
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