Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#1
Today I wrote ...
viewtopic.php?f=11&p=16437#p16437
Franco Pratesi has published in the IPCS-issue 44/1 an article ...

1499-1506: Firenze - Nuove informazioni sulle carte fiorentine

The topic are 2 documents found by Lorenzo Böninger, likely the author of a work "Die Deutsche Einwanderung Nach Florenz Im Spätmittelalter" (2006). One is from 1499, the second is from December 1506.

Franco gives the location as ...
ASFI, Inventario N 35
ASFI, Mercanzia, 11585
c.117v and c. 119r
(if I understand that correctly)

Böninger found two inventories, one reporting the possessions [added: in a case of garnishment] of a cardmaker "Sinibaldo (= Giovanbattista) di Francesco Monaldi chartaro" (in this only "3 paio di forme a da fare charte" are of interest, confirming the idea, that this might be a playing card producer) and a second case of garnishment with much more details, in which the word "germini" appears twice and additional to that a "1 paio di tr(i)onfi alla franc(i)osa non finiti", which I interpret as an "unfinished French Trionfi deck", this likely owned by the same man now called "Giovanbattista di Francesco Monaldi" (an alternative would be, that Sinibaldo and Giovanbattista were brothers).

Franco's article is in Italian language, so I've my trouble to understand all details of his explanations. It's clear, that this is the oldest "Germini" note now, after the finding of "Germini" a few years ago in 1517 and 1519.
http://trionfi.com/germini-1517-1519

A second revolutionary condition can be associated with the "unfinished French Trionfi deck", which would confirm that there were French Trionfi decks in 1506 and curiously it seems, that a Florentine cardmaker attempted to reproduce these.

The both notes are given by Franco as follows:

Document 1499:
Image


Document 1506:
Image
It are two cases of garnishment. The reason for the garnishment isn't known. It's (only) a possibility, that it relates to an action against a prohibition, possibly a prohibition against playing card use. The time 1499 is short after May 1498. when Savonarola was burnt. Savonarola had burnt cards between other luxury goods 1497/98 and this might have driven Florentine cardmakers into a crisis. And with Savonarola's death Savonarolism had been still a strong power in the city. So the return to normal "state with playing cards" in end of 1499 might be even called early.

I remember a Florentine case with a holy picture, gambling and a following public scandal and later veneration of the place around 1499/1500, something, which appeared at various places mostly in connection to playing card prohibition. I don't find this earlier note.

This is for the first document. The second document is more exciting.
What comes to my mind:

There is a story in various younger sources, that Michelangelo invented Minchiate (or Germini), when being in Siena. Do you know this? I attempted once to verify it, and came to the conclusion, that, if it would be true, there was some opportunity in the early 1500s (he had a larger commission then in Siena, which he didn't really finish; as far I remember ... this commission caused some longer trouble; Piccolomini altar, Michelangelo's production is noted for 1501-1504, but the case went on for long years, Siena expected Michelangelo to fulfill his commission).

If the relevant artist had a "French Tronfi" in work in December 1506, he should have known an example of France. Easily he might have identified Avignon = France. From Avignon we've the confirmation of a "Taraux" production in December 1505, which the Florentine cardmaker might have identified as "Trionfi".
I personally see, that Pope Julius in his earlier life as cardinal was long time (30 years or so) the chief of Avignon and he saw there (and allowed it and likely prospered from it) the advance of card production in Avignon. Julius was limited to France in the 1490s, cause he feared for his life in Italy cause of personal trouble with pope Alexander. Julius worked for the French attacks on Italian states.
In 1503 Julius became pope. He was a foe to Alfonso, the probable heir in Ferrara 1504. Julius suggested the younger brother Ferrante as follower of Ercole. Alfonso became duke in January 1505 and produced Tarochi decks in June 1505 and December 1505. Julius still was a foe of Alfonso and likely prepared already to attack Bologna (which he actually did in 1506). The production of Taraux in Avignon might have been a counter attack on Alfonso's production (Julius should have been still mighty enough in Avignon to cause that; just a sort of counter propaganda). The situation at the end of 1505 was so, that cardinal Ippolito (another Este brother, on the side of Alfonso) caused an attack on Giulio (another Este brother). Giulio's eyes were hurt, he became nearly blind by this.

In Sommer 1506 Ferrante attempted a rebellion, which in short time was crashed by Alfonso. Ferrante and another brother Giulio were sentenced to death, later changed to life-long prison (right under the kitchen in Ferrara castle).
A short time later Julius attacked and captured Bologna. Michelangelo got a commission for a triumphal pope statue in the course of development (later followed the Sixtin chapel decoration. This caused, that Michelangelo hadn't time for the Siena production.

I've told this story variously here, so I keep it short.

This I captured from elsewhere ...
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=420&p=5257&hilit=r ... 1506#p5258
"Bernardo Rucellai and the Orti Oricellari: A Study on the Origin of Modern Political Thought
Felix Gilbert
Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Vol. 12, (1949), pp. 101-131
Published by: The Warburg Institute
http://www.jstor.org/stable/750259

The article is of interest regarding Bernardo Rucellai, Florentine banker, who - probably - participated as friend of Lorenzo Medici's youth and later brother-in-law at Lorenzo Medici's escapades, to which belonged - Trionfi.com hypothesis - the production of a Trionfi deck called "Charles VI" in 1463. The special focus of the article is at the later time, after Lorenzo's death in 1492.

The Rucellai garden, located at an edge of the city of Florence near the river, became a meeting for Florentian intellectuals ... it generally is regarded as a prolongation of the platonic academy of Florence and with that it might be the most probable place, where the game of Minchiate found to a form.

Bernardo Rucellai took opposition to the Savonarolian movement in 1495, after a Naples journey.
He opposed also the following Soderini reign, spending much time outside of Florence (1506-1511).
He worked for a reinstallment of the Medici.
When the Medici came back after 1412, he was not satisfied with the new young rulers.

1506 he spend the summer in Avignon, the place, where 1505 the first production of French Tarots is recorded.
After this he went to Milan, Bologna, Venice. "
Bernardo Rucellai had been in Avignon 1506 ... that's possibly an interesting information in the given context.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#3
It seems to me that Franco's article is worth discussing in detail. On the one hand, it summarizes a great deal of recent research. On the other hand, on the particular issue of the Inventorio entries and their significance, it is a model for us to follow. It deserves more discussion, and in a language more generally accessible than Italian. So I have been working on a translation. I know Franco also writes in English, and perhaps he has a version in that language. If not, I hope he will not laugh too hard at my very non-professional effort. I just want to discuss his ideas. I will go section by section, Italian plus my English. However in this post I will do the first two sections, as there is not much to discuss in the first one.
Introduzione
Gli storici che si sono interessati ai primi tempi della diffusione in Italia delle carte da gioco, e dei tarocchi in particolare, hanno rivolto grande attenzione ai tarocchi dei Visconti e a simili oggetti di grande pregio, estendendo lo studio dalla corte milanese a quella estense di Ferrara, dalla quale proveniva la prima documentazione nota per i trionfi, del 1442. Alla base della conoscenza al riguardo ci sono ancora alcune opere fondamentali come, soprattutto, il libro di Dummett (e Sylvia Mann) (1) che più di ogni altro è servito da valido punto di partenza per le ricerche successive. Un utile aggiornamento si può trovare in un libro scritto recentemente dallo storico oggi più competente in materia (2): in un centinaio di pagine commenta tutti gli elementi essenziali. Per Firenze, si può segnalare anche una recente raccolta di studi vari (3). Sempre con particolare riguardo all'ambiente fiorentino, in questa nota si comunicano nuovi dati è si inquadrano in quanto à stato recentemente acquisito. Va subito notato al riguardo che in questo caso le carte da gioco sono intese come uno strumento per giochi di ampia diffusione a livello cittadino - come in effetti erano - e che quindi poco o nulla hanno a che vedere con le tanto studiate corti degli Este e dei Visconti-Sforza.

Trionfi
Per i trionfi, il progresso recente più importante si è avuto con la segnalazione da parte di Thierry Depaulis della presenza di un documento al riguardo già
_______________________
1. M. Dummett, The Game of Tarot. London 1980.
2. Th. Depaulis, Le Tarot révélé. La Tour-de-Peilz 2013.
3. F. Pratesi, Playing-Card Trade in 15th-Century Florence. North Walsham 2012. (IPCS Papers 7).
61

nel 1440 (4) (per la precisione, i Giornali di Giusto Giusti che contengono quel riferimento erano stati gia trascritti nel 1991 nella tesi di Lucia Ricciardi) (5). I due anni così "guadagnati" rispetto alla precedente attestazione ferrarese sono quasi trascurabili, ma molto significative risulta lo spostamento dalla corte ducale
di Ferrara a un ignoto cartaio fiorentino che nel 1440 produceva mazzi di trionfi, belli e costosi sì, ma che di speciale avevano praticamente solo lo stemma del destinatario, il condottiero Sigismondo Malatesta, gia noto agli storici delle carte da gioco per alcune sue richieste successive, proprio di mazzi di trionfi di produzione lombarda (6). Possiamo allora parlare dei trionfi nella Firenze dell'epoca come di un gioco noto e praticato localmente, tanto che nel 1450 rientrò nel piccolo numero di giochi di carte permessi dalle leggi comunali, il
che dimostra che gia possedeva quel carattere tradizionale richiesto per ogni autorizzazione del genere.

In future sarà possibile anticipare ancora le testimonianze fiorentine (ed eventualmente da altre citta), ma non è plausibile che l'introduzione dei trionfi sia avvenuta molti anni prima; perciò, ancora piu che ricostruire quanto avvenne poco prima del 1440, sembra necessario definire meglio quanto avvenne dopo, con la comparsa di più varianti di quei mazzi di carte e dei giochi relativi, con anche notevoli differenze fra le varie città e regioni italiane. Gli stessi trionfi si distinsero presto in piccoli e grandi, e accanto a questi comparvero altri nomi di mazzi uguali o simili, a cominciare da quelle di tarocchi che poi si è imposto universalmente. A Firenze inoltre si incontrano i germini e le minchiate, con ulteriori difficoltà per una ricostruzione esatta; può valere la pena di ricapitolare l'essenziale di quanto è state trovato o proposto negli ultimi anni al riguardo.
My translation. Words in brackets are my inclusion of the Italian, for clarity.
Historians who are interested in the early days of the distribution in Italy of playing cards, and tarot in particular, have paid great attention to the Tarot of Visconti and similar objects of great value, extending the study from the court in Milan to the Este of Ferrara, from which came the first known documentation for triumphs, of 1442. At the foundation of knowledge in this regard there are still some fundamental works as, above all, the book of Dummett (and Sylvia Mann) (1), more than any other, serves as valid point of departure for subsequent research. A useful update can be found in a book written recently by the historian now most competent in the matter (2): in a hundred pages he says all the essentials. For Florence, there can also be reported a recent collection of different studies (3). Again with particular regard to the Florentine environment, in this note we shall provide new data which must be seen as being only recently acquired. It should be noted immediately in this regard that in this case the playing cards are intended as an instrument for games widely distributed at the civic level - as indeed they were - and thus little or nothing to do with the much-studied courts of the Este and Visconti-Sforza.

Triumphs [trionfi]
For the triumphs, the most important recent progress has occurred in the alert by Thierry Depaulis of the presence of a document in this regard already
1. M. Dummett, The Game of Tarot. London 1980.
2. Th. Depaulis, Le Tarot révélé. La Tour-de-Peilz 2013.
3. F. Pratesi, Playing-Cards Trade in 15th-Century Florence. North Walsham 2012. (IPCS Papers 7).
61

in 1440 (4) (to be precise, the journal of Giusto Giusti containing that reference had already been transcribed in 1991 in the thesis of Lucia Ricciardi) (5). The two years "gained" from the previous Ferrarese attestation are almost negligible, but very significant is the shift from the ducal court of Ferrara to an unknown Florentine card maker who in 1440 produced decks of triumphs, beautiful and expensive, yes, but had the special crest of the recipient, the military leader Sigismondo Malatesta, already known to historians of playing cards for some successive requests, precisely for packs of triumphs of Lombard production (6). We can then speak of triumphs in Florence of that time as a game known and practiced locally, so much so that in 1450 passed into the small number of card games allowed by municipal laws, which shows that it already possessed the traditional character required for every such authorization.

In the future it is possible also to anticipate Florentine testimonies (and possibly from other cities), but it is implausible that the introduction of triumphs occurred many years before; therefore, even more than to reconstruct what happened just before 1440, it seems necessary to define better what happened later, with the appearance of several variants of those packs of cards and related games, also with significant differences between the various Italian cities and regions. These same triumphs distinguished themselves early into small and large, and there appeared alongside them other names of the same or similar packs, starting with the tarot which was then set universally. In Florence germini and minchiate are also met, with further difficulties for a precise reconstruction; it may be worthwhile to recapitulate the essentials of what has been found or proposed in recent years in this regard.
I am happy to see that he does not insist that the deck alluded to by Giusti was the absolutely first tarot deck. Also, the article makes it clear that the general conception of the game and its cards considerably predates the PMB.

The only issue I see is that when he says, "it is implausible that the introduction of triumphs occurred many years before", i.e. before 1440. Does he mean "introduction" anywhere, or just into Florence? I assume the latter, but it is not absolutely clear. If the former, I disagree about the implausibility of their being invented elsewhere, with limited distribution, and introduced to Florence either at the conclave of 1438-9 or by some condottiere, such as Francesco Sforza. (This is an old discussion, but there are a few newer wrinkles, mostly from Dummett's post-1980 writings that were not brought in before.) One piece of evidence is the "Game of the Gods" done for Filippo Visconti before 1425 (the death of its designer Marziano). Its description is too much like a proposed reconstruction of the Cary-Yale, of 16 triumphs in an allegorical game of virtues and Petrarchan triumphs, to be ignored. If this connection is a matter of speculation, so is the reverse, that there is no connection. I would guess this is why Dummett in his 1993 book proposed 1428-1430 Milan as the origin of the tarot, in the court of Milan (for the text, see my post at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1019&p=15152&hilit=1428#p15152). He also seems in that general direction in his 2004 article recently drawn attention to by Huck (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1073). Court distribution is a matter of the whim of the ruler, not market forces, and hence could be very slow (or very fast). The 1440 note says nothing to suggest the implausibility of such a route. In fact it points in the direction of transmission by condottiere, as Francesco Sforza was also in the recent employ of Florence at that time, after having previously served Milan.

Another piece of evidence is the 17th century painting in Bologna, attributing the game (although with the name a later variant was known by), to Prince Fibbia, making it c. 1420, a date that in his 2004 article Dummett was not shy about entertaining. Again, this is not proof, just evidence from a time closer to the event. Also, there was the belief, attested to in the wording of the late 15th century biography of Bernardino, that Bologna had triumphs in his time. In his actual sermons, there is reference to Queen cards, which are weak evidence of triumph decks, which may have stimulated card makers to produce regular decks with Queens there. I hold no particular brief for Milan or Bologna; I just don't want to see them dismissed as implausible (and perhaps that was not Franco's intent). Lack of extant documents can be attributed to the destruction of the Visconti castle (Milan) in 1447 and the Bentivoglio palace (Bologna) in c. 1507. Comparable destruction did not happen in Florence. The playing field for documents is not level.

I will continue going through the article later, posting translations of the sections as I go, unless there are objections.

Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#4
I see that I left off the footnotes from my previous post. They are below, at the bottom of p. 62, just above the number "62". Now I will do the next three sections, on Tarocchi, Germini, and Minchiate. First I give the Italian, then my translation.
Tarocchi
I tarocchi sono diventati il mazzo di carte più importante di tutti in questo contesto,
soprattutto per il grande use che da tempo ne viene fatto per usi divinatori. Di solito si considera come mazzo tipico dei tarocchi quelle detto di Marsiglia, con le 22 carte "superiori" associate alle 56 comuni (in realtà non troppo comuni a causa delle quattro carte figurate in ogni seme, invece delle solite tre). Nessuno sa con certezza se questo mazzo di tarocchi "standard" corrispondeva già ai primi mazzi di trionfi nominafi nei documenti. La questione è seria perchè sono coinvolte in misura diversa varie regioni italiane, comprese quelle in cui si adottarono tarocchi con numero di carte diverse da 78. Nel presente contesto incentrato sull'ambiente fiorentino, la questione si incontra di rado perchè col nome di tarocchi si indicavano, eventualmente, solo le carte maggiori In un numero considerevole di documenti studiati sulle carte
____________
4. forum.tarothistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=773
5. L. Ricciardi, Feste e giochi cavallereschi nella Firenze laurenziana attraverso le memorie di Ser Giusto Giovanni Giusti d'Anghiari. Facolta di Magistero, Universita di Firenze, 1990/91.
6.trionfi.com/giusto-giusti
62

da gioco a Firenze, i mazzi di tarocchi chiamati con quel nome sono stati incontrati solo in un'occasione, all'inizio del Seicento (7). In seguito è ancora possibile trovare a Firenze il nome di tarocchi associate a un mazzo di carte, ma si tratta allora delle minchiate. Anche per Firenze sussiste qualche dubbio, come per altre citta, sulla reale composizione dei primi trionfi; comunque, nello specifico case fiorentino, ci sono altri mazzi e giochi da prendere in considerazione, e da collocare nello sviluppo storico di tutta la famiglia dei trionfi.

Germini
Le testimonianze di ambiente fiorentino di epoca successiva spiegano che il termine ormai obsolete di "germini" era usato prima localmente al posto del termine "minchiate", divenuto piu comune. Non e certo che i due nomi si riferissero sempre al medesimo mazzo o gioco, e al riguardo sono state avairzate piu ipotesi. Quello pero che si puo ritenere sicuro e che se fra germini e minchiate ci fu una differenza, non pote trattarsi altro che di una differenza minima, tanto da poterla trascurare, almeno in prima approssimazione. (Un'idea stimolante sarebbe che in un case si indicasse il mazzo di 96 carte senza il matte e nell'altro quelle di 97 con la nuova carta, ma non se ne trovano conferme.) Le prime attestazioni del termine germini erano note per gli anni di poco precedenti la meta del Cinquecento, ma recentemente sono state segnalate alcune anticipazioni, come quella del 1529 in cui vengono assimilati ai trionfi grandi e in seguito quella del 1517, trovata da Lothar Teikemeier, la piu antica oggi nota, con i germini nelle mani di Lorenzo dei Medici, nipote del Magnifico^. Successivamente, l'uso del termine germini ando diminuendo, sostituito in Toscana da quello di minchiate, ma se ne possono ancora trovare attestazioni addirittura a meta Settecento e nientemeno che in documenti ufficiali del cartaio fiorentino Antonio Giovanni Mollinelli.

Minchiate
Per le minchiate la situazione e assai piu complessa. La prima attestazione nota è del 1466 in una lettera di Luigi Pulci diretta a Lorenzo il Magnifico. Tutte le ricerche per rileggere la citazione sul foglio originale sono risultate vane, ma è stato verificato che lettere scritte in tempi vicini dalla stessa mano sono perfettamente leggibili, il che aumenta la plausibilità di quella citazione (11). Nei primi studi al riguardo, sembrava impossibile che quella parola si usasse in quell'anno, più di mezzo secolo prima di qualsiasi altra attestazione. Tuttavia, in successive ricerche furono scoperte citazioni di giochi indicati come minchiate in anni di poco posteriori, sia fra le leggi del comune (12), sia in una
_______________
7. trionfi.com/evx-germini-tarocchi-minchiate
8. F. Pratesi, The Playing-Card, Vol. 40, No. 3 (2012) pp. 179-197.
9. trionfi.com/germini-1517-1519.
10. trionfi.com / evx-minchiate-export-tuscany
11. F. Pratesi, The Playing-Card, Vol. 16, No. 3 (1988) pp. 12-15.
12. F. Pratesi, The Flaying-Card, Vol. 19, No. 1 (1990) pp. 7-17.
63

condanna per blasfemia (13). Da una parte queste informazioni addizionali sono sufficienti per sostenere la plausibilita della citazione dalla lettera di Luigi Pulci, oggi introvabile, ma dall'altra non sono sufficienti a eliminare tutti i dubbi sull'identità di questo gioco della seconda metà del Quattrocento con quello documentato solo nel secolo successivo già inoltrato. Diversi storici dei giochi di carte, anche fra i piu competenti, suggeriscono che si trattò di due giochi e mazzi diversi; ovviamente, I'identificazione con un medesimo gioco risulterà tanto più convincente, quanto più documenti intermedi si riuscira a scoprire.
__________________
13. F. Pratesi, L'As de Trefle, N. 52 (1993) pp. 9-10.
And my translation. I have occasionally inserted the Italian in brackets for clarity. We are on p. 62:

Tarot [tarocchi]
The tarot has become the most important deck of cards of all in this context, above all for the general use that since that time it has been put to use for divination. What is usually considered a typical deck are those tarot cards called “Marseille,” with 22 “major” cards associated with 56 common (actually not too common because of the four picture cards in each suit, instead of the usual three). No one knows for sure whether this "standard" tarot deck already corresponded to the first packs of triumphs named in documents. The issue is important, because in varying degrees various Italian regions are involved, including those which adopted a tarot deck with a number of cards other than 78. In the present context. focused in the environment of Florence, the question is met with infrequently, because by the name of “tarocchi” are indicated, possibly, only the major cards of the triumphs [trionfi]. In a considerable number of documents studied on playing
_________________
4. forum.tarothistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=773
5. L. Ricciardi, Feste e giochi cavallereschi nella Firenze laurenziana attraverso le memorie di Ser Giusto Giovanni Giusti d'Anghiari. Facolta di Magistero, Universita di Firenze, 1990/91.
6. trionfi.com/giusto-giusti
62

cards in Florence, the tarot [tarocchi] decks called by that name are encountered only on one occasion, at the beginning of the seventeenth century (7). Later it is still possible to find in Florence the name of tarot [tarocchi] associated with a deck of cards, but then it is the cards of minchiate. Even for Florence there exists some doubt. as for other cities, about the actual composition of the first triumphs [trionfi]; However, in the specific case of Florence, there are other decks and games to be considered, and to be placed within the historical development of the whole family of triumphs [trionfi].

Germini
The testimonies from the Florentine environment of succeeding epochs explain that the obsolete term "germini" was first used locally instead of the term "minchiate", whch become more common. It is not certain that the two names were always references to the same deck or game, and in this regard several hypotheses have been put forward. However, what can be safely said is that if there was a difference between germini and minchiate, it could not be anything but a minimal difference, so that it can be neglected, at least at a first approximation. (A stimulating idea is in a case where the deck of 96 cards is indicated, without the fool. and in another case one of 97, with the new card; but it is not confirmed.) The first attestations of the term germini were noted in the years slightly after the middle of the sixteenth century; but recently some before then have been reported, such as one in 1529 in which the major triumphs are involved (8) and subsequently that of 1517, found by Lothar Teikemeier, the oldest known today, with germini cards in the hands of Lorenzo de Medici, nephew of the Magnificent (9). Subsequently, the use of the term germini decreased, replaced in Tuscany by that of minchiate, but it can still be found attested even in the mid-eighteenth century and in none other than the official documents of the Florentine card maker Antonio Giovanni Mollinelli (10).

Minchiate
For minchiate the situation is much more complex. The first attestation noted is 1466 in a letter from Luigi Pulci directed to Lorenzo the Magnificent. All research to re-read the quote on the original sheet has been in vain, but it was verified that the letters written by the same hand in nearby times are perfectly legible, which increases the plausibility of that quote (11). In the early studies about it, it seemed impossible that that word would be used in that year, more than half a century before any additional proof. However, there were discovered, in subsequent research, citations of games referred to as minchiate in years a little later, both among the laws of the municipality (12) and in a
_______________
7. trionfi.com/evx-germini-tarocchi-minchiate
8. F. Pratesi, The Playing-Card, Vol. 40, No. 3 (2012) pp. 179-197.
9. trionfi.com/germini-1517-1519
10. trionfi.com / evx-minchiate-export-tuscany
11. F. Pratesi, The Playing-Card, Vol. 16, No. 3 (1988) pp. 12-15.
12. F. Pratesi, The Flaying-Card, Vol. 19, No. 1 (1990) pp. 7-17.
63

conviction for blasphemy (13). On the one hand this additional information is sufficient to support the plausibility of the quotation from the extremely rare letter of Luigi Pulci, but on the other it is not sufficient to eliminate all doubts about the identification of this game of the second half of the fifteenth century with that documented only well into the next century. Several historians of card games, even among the most competent, suggest that it was two different games and decks; obviously the identification with the same game will be all the more convincing the more intermediate documents are successfully discovered.
______________________
13. F. Pratesi, L'As de Trefle, N. 52 (1993) pp. 9-10.
If you look at the link in footnote 9, about Lothar's discovery, it will take you to a forum discussion here on THF, starting at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=780. which has scans off the Internet of the source document and a rough English translation by Andrea Vitali. Franco's essay crediting Lothar is dated a few days later. It was an important find, one I missed even noticing, I have to admit. The thread died very quickly.

Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#5
Note: this post was edited on Dec. 4, 2015, with further explanation added Dec. 9, saying what "fondo", "Squittini" and "Tratti" were in this context.

I continue with Franco's article. We are on p. 64:
Il Tribunale della Mercanzia
La storia di Firenze è nota a molte persone che hanno qualche interesse per le opere d'arte; ma un'importanza almeno pari a quel contribute si deve attribuire alle Arti cittadine: alla produzione manifatturiera di notevole pregio, al commercio delle merci, e persino alle attività bancarie e finanziarie in genere. Per regolare le innumerevoli controversie che quelle attività comportavano c'erano i vari tribunali cittadini con le loro sezioni civile e penale, e per di più ogni Arte aveva i propri tribunali per risolvere le controversie che coinvolgevano i membri della corporazione. Al di sopra dei singoli tribunali delle Arti c'era in posizione dominante il Tribunale della Mercanzia, che era stato costituito soprattutto a difesa degli interessi degli imprenditori fiorentini nei confronti dei mercati esteri. In pratica la Mercanzia era istituzionalmente chiamata a risolvere le crisi commerciali a livello interstatale, a cominciare dalle rappresaglie contro gli imprenditori fiorentini che si trovavano all'estero o che da li venivano perseguiti.

A capo dell'istituzione c'era l'Ufficiale della Mercanzia, inizialmente un notaio poi un giusperito che proveniva sempre da altre città; era coadiuvato nelle sue decisioni dal Consiglio, formato invece da rappresentanti fiorentini delle cinque arti maggiori. Facevano parte dell'organico della Mercanzia almeno un altro notaio forestiero come coadiutore, un camarlingo, sei sbirri forestieri stipendiati direttamente dall'ufficiale e in un secondo tempo anche stimatori che decidevano il valore dei pegni. I dettagli delle funzioni di questa importante magistratura cambiarono più volte nel corso del tempo e in particolare rientrarono nelle sue competenze anche le cause sui fallimenti; spesso spettò alla Mercanzia il compito di dirimere le più varie controversie commerciali sorte fra gli imprenditori fiorentini (14).

La sede di questo importante tribunale era dal 1359 il Palazzo della Mercanzia (Fig. 1, pagina seguente), noto a molti turisti di oggi come Museo Gucci, fondato nel 2011. Anche fra i fiorentini non sono molti quelli che conoscono le attività che in passato si svolsero in quel palazzo, situato nel lato orientale della Piazza della Signoria, dietro la statua bronzea di Cosimo I a cavallo. In quel luogo si estendeva in epoca romana il grande teatro cittadino; all'epoca in esame
______________________
13. F. Pratesi, L'As de Trefle, N. 52 (1993) pp. 9-10.
14. R. Davidsohn, Storia di Firenze. I primordi della civiltà fiorentina, Parte prima.
Firenze 1973. pp. 513-534.
64

Figura 1 - Palazzo della Mercanzia, facciata su Piazza della Signoria.

il palazzo aveva sulla piazza un portico riccamente decorato, al pari delle sale interne, che fu poi demolito durante uno dei ripetuti rifacimenti successivi.

I libri della Mercanzia
Nell'Archivio di Stato di Firenze è conservato il fondo Mercanzia, comprendente ben 14168 unità con date estreme 1306-1770; per la sua consultazione è ancora in uso un vecchio inventario in due volumi, dedicate esclusivamente a questo fondo (15). La numerazione delle unità archivistiche obbedisce a un criterio di ripartizione in sezioni successive in cui i volumi sono raggruppati per somiglianza di materia. Le sezioni iniziali sono: Statuti, Matricole, Squittini, Tratte, Delibere dell'Ufficiale forestiero, Dette dell'Ufficiale e dei Sei di Mercanzia, seguite dalle più ampie sezioni di Atti in cause ordinarie e Atti in cause straordinarie e esecutive con le quali si arriva praticamente a metà dell'Inventario. Segue un'altra trentina di brevi sezioni, distinte per argomento. La sezione che interessa questo studio è quella dei Pegni e Gravamenti. E una sezione che come le altre contiene al suo interno le unità in ordine cronologico, cominciando tuttavia per tempi relativamente recenti: la sua prima unità archivistica, dove si trovano gli inventari presentati e discussi in questo lavoro, copre gli anni 1485-1506; si può dire che, salvo qualche eccezione all'inizio, la intera serie comincia solo dal Cinquecento.
And my translation:
The Court of the Merchandise [Tribunale della Mercanzia]
The history of Florence is known to many people who have some interest in works of art; but an importance at least equal to the contribution must be attributed to the civic Arts: to manufacturing production of noteworthy value, to trade in goods, and also to banking and financial activities in general. To adjust the innumerable disputes that those activities involved, there were various city courts with their civil and criminal sections, and moreover each art had its own courts to resolve disputes involving members of the guild. Above the courts of the individual Arts was, in a dominant position, the Court of Merchandise, which was set up especially to defend the interests of Florentine businessmen in relation to foreign markets. In practice, the Merchandise was institutionally called to solve the commercial crises on the state level, starting with reprisals against Florentine businessmen who located abroad or who came from pursuing business there.

At the head of the institution was the Officer of the Merchandise, initially a notary then a jurist who came increasingly from other cities; He was assisted in his deliberations by the Council, made up of representatives of the five major Florentine arts. Making up the workforce of the Merchandise was at least one other foreign notary as coadjutor, a treasurer, six foreign police directly salaried by the Officer and in a later time also estimators who decided the value of pledges [pawned items]. The details of the functions of this important judiciary changed repeatedly over time and in particular returned within its competence also the causes of failures; To the Merchandise often fell the task of settling the most various commercial disputes arising between Florentine businessmen (14).

The site of this important court was by 1359 the Palace of the Merchandise (Fig. 1, next page), known to many tourists today as the Gucci Museum, founded in 2011. Even among Florentines there are not many who know the activities that in the past took place in that building, located at the eastern side of the Piazza della Signoria, behind the bronze statue of Cosimo I on horseback. In that place stretched in Roman times the big civic theater; at the time in question
______________________
13. F. Pratesi, L'As de Trefle, No. 52 (1993) pp. 9-10.
14. R. Davidsohn, Storia di Firenze. I primordi della civiltà fiorentina, Parte prima. ( History of Florence. The origins of the Florentine civilization, Part One.) Florence 1973. pp. 513-534.
64

Figure 1 - Palace of Merchandise, the facade on the Piazza della Signoria.

the building on the square had a richly decorated portico, like the inner rooms, which was later demolished during one of the repeated reconstructions that followed.

The books of the Merchandise
In the State Archives of Florence is preserved the archive section of the Merchandise, including 14168 units with an extreme range of dates from 1306 to 1770; for its consultation an old inventory in two volumes is still used, dedicated exclusively to this section (15). The numbering of the archival units obeys a criterion of distribution into the following sections, where the volumes are grouped by similarity of material. The initial sections are: Statutes, Matriculations, Squittini [Franco says "election sessions", i.e. gatherings where representatives were chosen], Tratti [Franco says "extractions of candidates", meaning occasions on which names of eligible citizens were drawn by lot to be considered for particular offices], Resolutions of foreign Officers, Speeches of the Officer and the Six of the Merchandise, followed by larger sections of Acts in ordinary cases and Acts in extraordinary and executive cases, at which you arrive somewhere in the middle of the Inventory. Following are another thirty brief sections, divided by topic. The section that concerns this study is that of Pledges and Demands of Payment. It is a section which. like the others, contains within it units in chronological order, beginning, however, relatively recently: its first archival unit, where inventories are presented and discussed in this work, covers the years 1485-1506; it can be said that, with some exceptions in the beginning, the series as a whole begins only in the sixteenth century.
"The Six", I infer, are the Officer and the representatives of the five Arts [which Franco confirms]. My translation has a few places where I left the the Italian words in [added Dec. 4]: because the meaning remains unclear to me], but [added Dec. 4] with Franco's suggested translations in brackets.

Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#6
This post was edited Dec. 4 and 9, 2015 to conform the translation of the second inventory better to what Franco says in the discussion that follows and further explanations made privately to me.

Now we come to the inventories of interest. My translation follows Franco's Italian original:
Gli inventari, trovati da Lorenz Böninger
Studiando il libro indicate sopra, Lorenz Böninger ha individuate fra gli altri due inventari che si presentano collegati fra loro, se non altro per l'attività co-
___________
15. ASFI, Inventario N 35.
16. ASFI, Mercanzia, 11585.
65

mune di produzione di carte da gioco. II primo inventario si trova alla c. 117v e, salvo errori, si può leggere come segue.
Sinubaldo<Giovanbattista> di Francesco Monaldi chartaro fu gravato questo di 18 di novembre 1499 [...]
3 paia di forme da fare charte
1 lima
1 paio di cesoie
1 paiuolo p.
1 fastelo di fogli non dipinti et parechi dipinti
[...].

II secondo inventario oggetto di questo studio si trova alla c. 190r, la terzultima
di tutto il libro, e si può leggere come segue.
Giovanbattista di Francesco Monaldi fu gravato questo di vi dezembre 1506 [...]
36 paia di germini e tr(i)onfi
1 paio di tr(i)onfi alla franc(i)osa non finiti
117 paia di charte
2 mazi di fogli bianchi
40 chanoni dipinti
11 libri tra grandi e piccoli
1 paio di manicha nera
1 beretta nera
1 chonellino bianco di suantone da fanciullo
I faldi?
1 maza finita
1 paio di vanghonle? sanza<manicho>maza
10 pezi di pronte di pionbo
26 forme tra grandi e piccole da germini
più chartoni
5 chasette tra grandi e pichole, e 1 chiave
[...]
I due inventari sono preceduti e seguiti da brevi frasi di difficile lettura in cui si specifica prima per istanza di chi si effettua il gravamento e dopo si indicano gli esiti dell'operazione. Queste parti saranno oggetto di un proseguimento della ricerca, quando sarà deciso di definire meglio la vita e I'attività lavorativa di questo cartaio fiorentino.

Il cartaio Monaldi
Un'informazione che potrà rivelarsi utile riguarda lo stesso cartaio coinvolto. Dei cartai fiorentini, o naibai come di solito erano chiamati, se ne conoscono almeno una dozzina, anche della generazione precedente. Per alcuni di loro sono già state raccolte le notizie di tipo biografico e anche finanziario ricavabili soprattutto dai Catasti fiorentini, a cominciare dal primo del 1427. Un gruppo limitato di naibai e presente anche in un voluminoso studio sui pittori fiorentini
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The Playing-Card Volume 44, Number 1
(17); fra loro non risulta Sinibaldo o Giovanbattista Monaldi. Il nome di Giovanbattista la seconda volta è presente da solo, ma viene cancellato e sostituito da Sinibaldo nel primo documento. Appare probabile che fossero due fratelli, ma è anche possibile che fosse la stessa persona che aveva un precise nome di battesimo, ma che veniva familiarmente chiamato con un nome diverse, come spesso accadeva all'epoca e poi anche fine ai nostri giorni. Per quanto riguarda invece il nome Francesco del padre, pare che nelle famiglie Monaldi fosse piuttosto comune, tanto che nel primo Catasto del 1427 risultano già due capifamiglia chiamati Francesco, sulle quattro famiglie Monaldi allora presenti a Firenze.

Che siamo in presenza di un cartaio viene indicate esplicitamente nel documento e confermato dal materiale pignorato. Potrebbe sembrare che si tratti di pochi oggetti, certamente non paragonabili con quelli elencati nel note inventario di Francesco Rosselli del 1528 (18). Tuttavia i due casi non sono confrontabili, gia in partenza; quella era una grande bottega, questo appare come un laboratorio artigiano che poteva essere contenuto in una normale stanza di abitazione, come accadeva pochi anni prima per i cartai Filippo di Marco e Benedetto Spigliati (19); in quel case le sette forme oggetto di contesa dovevano essere mantenute nella casa di Benedetto, e Filippo doveva recarsi proprio li ogni volta che avesse voluto utilizzare quel blocchi di legno. Comunque, se il nostro cartaio lo incontriamo in questo libro, e nella sezione dei Pegni e gravamenti, la sua situazione economica doveva essere proprio ridotta male. Probabilmente si potra trovare ulteriori notizie su di lui e sui suoi debiti, tali da portarlo ai pignoramenti registrati in questa documentazione. Per il momento ci possiamo accontentare di quanto e presente nella sua bottega, oggetti che ci forniscono informazioni importanti al di la delle attese.

Voci degli inventari
Conviene esaminare i singoli elementi prima di ridiscuterli nel contesto della storia dei giochi. Nel primo caso gli elementi sono pochi e di interesse limitato; utensili e materiale di lavorazione, di cui hanno una certa importanza solo le 3 paia di forme, o blocchi di legno utilizzati per la produzione delle carte, che saranno discussi in seguito.

Molto più illuminante è la lista di oggetti del 1506.136 mazzi di germini e trionfi si presentano subito come una voce interessante, alia quale sarà dedicata una sezione specifica. Un mazzo di "trionfi alla franciosa" è forse I'elemento più sorprendente di tutto I'elenco, perchèc a Firenze le carte da gioco "alla francese" erano notoriamente una parte della produzione locale... nel Settecento! Trovare una moda di origine francese in questo contesto non era affatto prevedibile.
______________
17. W. Jacobsen, Die Maler von Florenz zu Beginn der Renaissance. Munchen-Berlin 2001. p. 54.
18. A.M. Hind, Early Italian Engraving. Part 1, Vol. 1, London 1938. pp. 10,11, 305-308.
19. Rif. 3, pp. 21-25.
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The Playing-Card Volume 44, Number 1
I 117 mazzi di carte corrispondono a una quantity importante. Era stato trovato che i cartai fiorentini spesso vendevano le carte prodotte a dei merciai o anche a setaioli minori che le rivendevano nelle loro botteghe (20). Si poteva supporre che questa prassi comportasse che nella casa del cartaio rimanessero solo pochi esemplari; il fatto che qui superino i. centinaio fa pensare a una notevole vendita diretta, da produttore a consumatore.

I due mazzi di fogli bianchi sono significativi soprattutto per I'uso del termine mazzo nel senso di fascio: perciò quando si trova scritto negli inventari dell'epoca "un mazo di charte" non si deve commettere I'errore di leggerlo, anacronisticamente, come "un paio di naibi" di allora.

I 40 cannoni dipinti sembrano appartenere a una produzione accessoria del cartaio. Questi cannoni potrebbero essere stati dei tipi di rocchetti sui quali si avvolgeva il filo, di seta in particolare, e che poi costituivano I'unità più comunemente utilizzata per i pagamenti delle lavorazioni; di solito erano fatti di canna, in accordo con il nome.

Il libri fra grandi e piccoli non sono facili da identificare; sembra verosimile che di uso personale ci fossero solo i libri tenuti obbligatoriamente per la registrazione dei conti, con i soliti elenchi di debitori e creditori aggiornati via via; probabilmente altri libri erano oggetto di lavorazione, da decorare con illustrazioni, se non proprio con fini miniature, poco compatibili con la qualita ordinaria delle carte.

Troviamo quindi elencati pochissimi indumenti, delle maniche, una berretta, un gormellino da fanciullo, (faldi?) forse falde. Seguono oggetti di particolare interesse che sembrano arnesi del mestiere: una mazza, un utensile con il nome "vang..." impossibile da leggere con sicurezza, ma che se complete doveva essere dotato di manico e di mazza, e quindi una specie di mazzuolo o di martello. Si trovano poi dei pezzi di piombo, con "pronte" da leggersi come impronte, utilizzati nella lavorazione a guisa di punzoni o di stampini. Per quanto riguarda questi ultumi, se ne possono immaginare diverse applicazioni, ma la tecnica utilizzata non era certo un'innovazione, considerando che oggetti verosimilmente molto simili erano già utilizzati al tempo di Francesco Datini, più di un secolo prima, ancora prima che per le carte da gioco (21). Quindi troviamo una voce che è per noi di grande interesse, le 26 forme, che saranno discusse in seguito. Infine, cartoni e cassette varie.
_______________
20. Ref. 3, passim.
21. F. Pratesi, The Playing-Card, Vol. 26, No. 2 (1997) pp. 38-45.
And my translation. For convenience, I have included the original Italian for the inventory lists as well as a translation, as far as I could make out. I followed Franco's suggestons, even when applying them does not yield a clear meaning in English. It is difficult.
The inventories, found by Lorenz Böninger
By studying the book mentioned above, Lorenz Böninger has identified among others two inventories that are linked together, if only for the common production of
___________
15. ASFI, Inventario N 35.
16. ASFI, Mercanzia, 11585.
65

playing cards. The first inventory is located at c. 117v and, except for errors, can be read as follows.
Sinubaldo<Giovanbattista> di Francesco Monaldi chartaro fu gravato questo di 18 di novembre 1499 [...]
3 paia di forme da fare charte
1 lima
1 paio di cesoie
1 paiuolo p.
1 fastelo di fogli non dipinti et parechi dipinti

(Sinubaldo <Giovanbattista> Francesco Monaldi card maker was disencumbered of this November 18, 1499 [...]
3 pairs [paia] of templates [forme] for making cards
1 file
1 pair of shears
1 cauldron p.
1 bundle/bunch [fastelo] of sheets, unpainted and much painted.
[...].)
The second inventory of objects of this study is at c. 190r, the third to last of the whole book, and can be read as follows.
Giovanbattista di Francesco Monaldi fu gravato questo di vi dezembre 1506 [...]
36 paia di germini e tr(i)onfi
1 paio di tr(i)onfi alla franc(i)osa non finiti
117 paia di charte
2 mazi di fogli bianchi
40 chanoni dipinti
11 libri tra grandi e piccoli
1 paio di manicha nera
1 beretta nera
1 chonellino bianco di suantone da fanciullo
I faldi?
1 maza finita
1 paio di vanghonle? sanza<manicho>maza
10 pezi di pronte di pionbo
26 forme tra grandi e piccole da germini
più chartoni
5 chasette tra grandi e pichole, e 1 chiave

(Giovanbattista Francesco Monaldi was disencumbered of this on 6 December of 1506 [...]
36 packs [paia] of germini and tr(i)umphs [tr(i)onfi]
1 pack [piao] of Frenc(h) tr(i)umphs [tr(i)onfi franc(i)osa, meaning "in the French style" but made locally] not finished
117 packs [paia] of cards
2 bunches [mazzi] of white sheets [fogli]
40 painted altar cards [chanoni]
11 books between large and small
1 pair [paio] of black sleeves [manicha]
1 black cap
1 skirt [chonellino], child's white suantone [some type of textile]
1 Faldi? [Franco suggests falde, meaning "brims", as in the brim of a hat]
1 finished bunch [maza]
1 pair [paio] of vanghonle [a tool: "kicker"?--] without <manicho>maza [mallet handles?]
10 pezi [pieces] of lead stamps [pronti=impronte]
26 templates [forme] between large and small of germini
more cartons [chartoni]
5 boxes [chasette] between large and small, and 1 key)
Both inventories are preceded and followed by short sentences, difficult to read, which specify, in the first instance, those who make the demand of payment, and after, showing the results of the operation. These parts will be subject to future research, to define define better the life and work activity of this Florentine dealer

The card maker Monaldi
A piece of information that could be useful concerns the same card maker involved. Of the Florentine cardmakers [cartai], or “Naibai”, as they were usually called, at least a dozen are known, also of the previous generation. For some of them there has already been collected biographical and also financial information, obtainable especially from the Florentine Catasti [income registers for tax purposes], beginning with the the first, of 1427. A group limited to Naibai is present also in a voluminous study on Florentine painters
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The Playing-Card Volume 44, Number 1
(17); among them is not Sinibaldo or Giovanbattista Monaldi. The name of Giovanbattista is present the second time alone, but is deleted and replaced by Sinibaldo in the first document. It seems likely that they were two brothers, but it is also possible that it was the same person who had a specific name, but that was familiarly called by a different name, as often happened at that time and then also end today. As for the name of his father Francesco, it seems that in Monaldi families it was quite common, so much so that in the first Castito of 1427 there are already two householders called Francesco, in the four Monaldi families then present in Florence.

That we are in the presence of a card maker is explicitly indicated in the document and confirmed by the material confiscated. It might seem that this is just a few objects, certainly not comparable with those listed in the noted inventory of Francesco Rosselli of 1528 (18). However, the two cases are not comparable. Already to start with, that was a big shop, this looks like a workshop that could be contained in a normal room of a house, as happened a few years earlier for card makers Filippo di Marco and Benedetto Spigliati (19); in that case the seven forms under contention had to be kept in the home of Benedetto, and Filippo had to go precisely there every time he wanted to use the wooden blocks. However, if we meet our card maker in this book, and in the section of Pledges and demands of payment, his economic situation had to be badly reduced. Probably one can find more information about him and his debts, such as to lead to foreclosures recorded in this documentation. For the moment we can make do with what is present in his shop, objects that provide us important information beyond expectations.

Items of the inventory
It is useful to examine specific items before discussing them in the context of the history of the games. In the first case the elements are few and of limited interest: tools and material of work, of which only the 3 packs of forms, or blocks of wood used for the production of cards, have a certain importance. which will be discussed later.

Much more illuminating is the list of objects of 1506. 136 decks of germini and triumphs appear immediately as an interesting item, to which a specific section will be dedicated. A pack of triumphs in the French style, "trionfi alla Franciosa", is perhaps the most surprising element in all the classified entries, because in Florence playing cards “in the French style” were notoriously a part of local production ... in the eighteenth century! To find a fashion of French origin in this context was not at all predictable.
___________________
17. W. Jacobsen, Die Maler von Florenz zu Beginn der Renaissance. Munchen-Berlin 2001. p. 54.
18. A.M. Hind, Early Italian Engraving. Part 1, Vol. 1, London 1938. pp. 10,11, 305-308.
19. Ref. 3, pp. 21-25.
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The Playing-Card Volume 44, Number 1
The 117 “mazzi di carte” [bunches of cards] correspond to an important quantity. It was found that the Florentine card makers often sold the produced cards to haberdashers or even to minor silk dealers, who sold them in their shops (20). One might assume that this practice entailed that there remained only a few examples in the house of the dealer; the fact that here they exceed one hundred suggests significant direct sales, from manufacturer to consumer.

The two “mazzi di fogli bianchi” [bunches of white sheets] are especially significant for the use of the term in the sense of “fascio” [bunch/bundle]: so when "un mazo di charte" [a bunch of cards/papers] is written in the inventories of the time, one should not commit the error of reading it, anachronistically, as "un paio di naibi" [a pack of cards].

The 40 painted cannoni seem to belong to an accessory production of the card maker. These cannoni may have been of the types of spools on which thread was wrapped, silk in particular, and which then constituted the unit most commonly used for work payments; they were usually made of cane, in accordance with the name. [Translator's note: Franco now informs me that "chanoni" are altar cards; this error was pointed out to him by Thierry Depaulis.]

The “libri fra grandi e piccoli” [books between large and small] are not easy to identify; it seems likely that the books were only for personal use, kept for the mandatory registration of accounts, with the usual lists of debtors and creditors gradually updated; probably other books were objects of production, to be decorated with illustrations, if not with truly fine miniatures, not very compatible with the ordinary quality of the cards.

Then we find listed a few clothes: sleeves, a hat, a skirt for a child, (Faldi?) Perhaps “falde” [brims]. There follow items of particular interest that seem tools of the trade: a mallet [mazza], a tool with the name “vang...” ["kicker ..."], impossible to read with certainty, but if it was completed by a handle [manico] and bat/mallet [mazzo], then a kind of mallet [mazzuolo] or hammer [martello]. Moreover, there are pieces of lead, "pronti" to be understood as stamps, used in the production in the manner of punches or stencils. Regarding these last, one can imagine a variety of applications; but the technique used was not an innovation, considering that objects likely very similar had already been used at the time of Francesco Datini, more than a century earlier, even before playing cards (21). Then we find an item that is of great interest to us, the 26 templates [forme], which will be discussed later. Finally, various cartons and boxes.
____________________________
20. Ref. 3, passim.
21. F. Pratesi, The Playing-Card, Vol. 26, No. 2 (1997) pp. 38-45.
Added later: I had some questions about these explanations, but I deleted them, since Franco knows much more about Renaissance Italian than I do, and I think I understand better now.

The most interesting parts of these inventories, of course, have to do with the decks in the French style, the decks of germini, and the templates (forme) in relation to the sheets of paper (foglie). Franco will proceed to discuss these in more detail, each in its own section. And with that the article will end.

Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#7
So now to the end of Franco's article (still The Playing-Card Volume 44, Number 1):
Trionfi alla francese
Può essere utile segnalare che per la Francia il gioco di tarot è documentato inAvignone nel 1506 e che il maggiore conoscitore di questa storia suggerisce che fosse noto a Lione - importante centro di produzione anche per le carte da gioco - all'inizio del secolo.
La plus ancienne mention connue du tarot en français date de décembre 1505. Elle se lit dans un acte notarié d'Avignon, [...]. Les cartiers d'Avignon étaient en relation étroite avec Lyon, d'ou venaient leur savoir-faire et leurs modèles. II est donc permis de penser que le mot s'entendait à Lyon aussi et que le jeu y était connu autour de 1500 (23).
Nessuno tuttavia poteva immaginare che allora esistesse gia una maniera tipicamente francese di disegnare e produrre i trionfi, e ancora meno che a Firenze si fosse adottata anche quella insieme al;a maniera della tradizione locale. Con un po' di fantasia, si sarebbe piuttosto potuto immaginare I'inverso, e cioe che a Lione stessero producendo trionfi alla maniera... fiorentina; ma l'immaginazione può sbagliare, mentre questo documento parla chiaro, sia pure cogliendoci, al solito, piuttosto impreparati a causa delle molte lacune ancora esistenti nella documentazione finora portata alia luce.

Germini e minchiate
E sembrato utile aggiungere questa sezione intitolata "germini e minchiate", sia pure in assenza del secondo termine nei documenti in studio. 11 motivo per cui le minchiate non si possono escludere dalla discussione è proprio la data del secondo documento: il 1506 b un anno che anticipa di altri undici la prima attestazione nota del termine germini applicato alle tipiche carte fiorentine.
_______________
22. Rif. 8, p. 191.
23. Rif. 2, p. 36.
68

Questa è già una notizia nuova, originale, utile; allo stesso tempo, però, questa testimonianza si inserisce in quella zona intermedia che è ancora priva di informazioni sul gioco delle minchiate. Se dopo poche attestazioni del terzo quarto del Quattrocento si salta al secondo o al terzo quarto del Cinquecento, possono essere giustificati gli esperti che suggeriscono che si tratti di due mazzi diversi nei due casi; ma se i due insiemi separati di notizie finiscono con il ricongiungersi grazie al ritrovamento di nuovi documenti, quell'interpretazione diventera sempre meno plausibile. Ancora la lacuna temporale non risulta pienamente coperta, ma si intravede quel risultato; avendo pazienza, si troveranno altre attestazioni e ci si convincerà non solo che germini e minchiate erano la stessa cosa (salvo eventuali minime differenze, poco significative) ma anche che le minchiate fiorentine furono introdotte subito dopo i trionfi "normali".

Forme da fare charte
Trovare alla fine del Quattrocento che un cartaio usava forme di legno per produrre le carte da gioco non si puo considerare una scoperta, perche le prime testimonianze di questo genere risalgono gia agli anni Venti del secolo a Palermo e poco dopo nella stessa Firenze. Un riferimento piu vicino e quello che coinvolge Filippo di Marco e Benedetto Spigliati (24). I blocchi di legno in uso in quel caso erano sette e non era facile immaginare un mazzo di carte che richiedesse un cosi alto numero di blocchi; l'ipotesi piu semplice era che questi blocchi fossero utilizzati, in piu gruppi, per diversi tipi carte. Il numero di quattro blocchi di legno che troviamo alla fine di quel documento suggeriva d'altra parte che quattro forme corrispondessero al numero minimo che consentiva a un cartaio di stampare le carte. Il termine stampare non va inteso qui come nei tipici processi di stampa realizzata con I'uso di un apposito torchio: su queste forme inchiostrate si appoggiava il foglio bianco ed eventualmente si passava sopra il foglio con un rullo.

Qui troviamo due nuove informazioni, piuttosto diverse. La prima del 1499 registra tre paia di forme. In questo caso, piu che il 3 conta il paio, cioè il fatto che le forme sono conteggiate a coppie; non è possibile evitare I'associazione mentale con il relativo mazzo di naibi che ugualmente veniva sempre indicate come "un paio" (25). Sempre ragionando in termini di coppie di forme, i mazzi Rosenwald conservati mostrano (sia pure non in maniera esplicita ne diretta, ma come suggerimento di possibilita in casi simili) che un mazzo di minchiate di 96 carte si sarebbe potuto produrre con due coppie di forme di legno (26). Dovendo produrre invece 97 carte si incontra subito il problema che 97 è un numero primo e quindi diventa impossibile usare un numero "ragionevole" di forme di uguale tipo. Certo, niente vieta che si usassero insieme forme di dimensioni diverse, con il solo limite delle dimensioni del foglio di carta che
_____________
24. Rif. 17, p. 552.
25. trionfi.com/paro-paio-para
26. trionfi.com/rosenwald-tarocchi-sheet
70

veniva utilizzato insieme. Le stesse carte potevano essere prodotte in misure differenti, richiedendo piu coppie di forme.

Nei secondo documento troviamo pero un dato impressionante e inatteso, che non puo essere citato senza discussione: il numero di ben 26 forme da germini. Si era gia incontrato il numero di 97 carte, assai "scomodo" per utilizzare forme simili. Ma anche 26, scomponibile solo in 2x13, e un numero "scomodo". Insomma, capire perche questo cartaio aveva a disposizione 26 forme di legno non e immediato e si deve pensare a piu tipi di carte prodotte. Un caso che viene subito alla mente e che fossero state necessarie forme diverse per trionfi piccoli e grandi, ma qui si parla si di trionfi ma non di piccoli e grandi; a meno che, come probabile, i germini fossero proprio quei mazzi che in alternativa venivano chiamati trionfi grandi nei territorio fiorentino. Certamente, la stessa necessita di produrre anche i trionfi alla francese avra portato un suo contributo all'aumento delle forme da utiliizzare. Si puo anche pensare a ipotesi diverse come la presenza contemporanea di duplicati delle forme, possibilmente a vario grado di usura, oppure a forme per la produzione addirittura di oggetti differenti come quei santini che diversi cartai producevano insieme ai naibi anche in passato.

Conclusione
Sono state ottenute alcune informazioni utili per la storia delle carte da gioco a Firenze nei passaggio fra i secoli XV e XVl. Fra le notizie di maggior rilievo si puo segnalare la produzione dei mazzi di germini nei 1506, prima di quanto finora noto, con forme grandi e piccole, e I'ancora piu inattesa produzione di trionfi alia francese, in un'epoca in cui dalla Francia cominciano appena a provenire le prime vaghe notizie al riguardo. Ulteriori ricerche sono necessarie per definire meglio l'attività artigianale del cartaio implicato nei pignoramenti descritti, per il quale non si hanno finora informazioni sufficienti.
And my translation:
Triumphs [trionfi] in the French style [alla francese]
It may be useful to point out that for France the game of tarot is documented for Avignon in 1506; and greater knowledge of this story suggests that it was known in Lyons – an important production center for playing cards - at the beginning of the century.
The oldest known French mention of tarot dates to December 1505. It is written in a notarial act of Avignon, [...]. The Avignon card makers were in close relationship with Lyons, from where their expertise and their models came. It is therefore permitted to think that the word was understood in Lyons also and that the game was known there around 1500 (23).
But no one could have imagined then that there was already a typically French style of designing and producing triumphs, and still less that it was also adopted in Florence, together with the style of the local tradition. With a little fantasy, one would rather have imagined the inverse, that Lyons was producing triumphs in the Florentine style ...; but imagination can make a mistake, while this document speaks clearly, albeit catching us, as usual, rather unprepared because of the many remaining gaps in the documentation so far brought to light.

Germini and minchiate
It seemed useful to add this section entitled "germini and minchiate", even in the absence of the second term in the documents in the studio. The reason why minchiate cannot be ruled out of the discussion is precisely the date of the second document: 1506 is a year that anticipates by eleven years the first known evidence of the term germini applied to typical Florentine cards.
_______________
22. Ref. 8, p. 191.
23. Ref. 2, p. 36.
69

This is already new information, original, useful; at the same time, however, this evidence fits into that intermediate zone that is still without information about the game of minchiate. If after a few statements from the third quarter of the fifteenth century we skip to the second or third quarter of the sixteenth century, what the experts suggest can be justified, that these are two different decks in the two cases; but if the two separate sets of information end up reunited thanks to the discovery of new documents, that interpretation will become less and less plausible. The gap in time is not yet fully covered, but you can see the result; with patience, other claims will be found and you will be convinced not only that germini and minchiate were the same thing (save minor differences, not significant) but also that Florentine minchiate was introduced shortly after the "normal". triumphs

Templates [Forme] for making cards
To find, at the end of the fifteenth century, that a card maker was using wooden templates [forme] to produce playing cards cannot be considered a discovery, because the first evidence of this kind already dates back to the twenties of the century in Palermo and shortly after in Florence itself. A reference closer in time is that involving Filippo di Marco and Benedetto Spigliati (24). The wooden blocks in use in that case were seven and it was not easy to imagine a deck of cards that required so high a number of blocks; The simplest hypothesis was that these blocks were used, in most sets, for different cards. The number of four wooden blocks that is at the end of that document, on the other hand, suggested that four templates corresponded to the minimum number that allowed a card maker to print the cards. The term “printing” should not be understood here as in the typical printing processes realized when working with a specialized press: on these templates, inked, they laid the white sheet and if needed passed above the sheet with a roller.

Here are two new pieces of information, rather different. The first, of 1499, records three pairs [paia] of templates. In this case, more that 3 counts as the pair [paio]; I think he means what in English would be “counts as pairs”], due to the fact that the forms are counted in pairs [coppie, i.e. couples)]; and it is not possible to avoid the mental association with the “pack of naibi” [mazzo di naibi] that also was always referred to as “a pair” [un paio] (25). Again reasoning in terms of pairs [coppie] of templatess, the preserved Rosenwald deck shows (albeit not in an explicit or direct manner, but as a suggestion of the possibility in such cases) that a deck of 96 cards of minchiate could have been produced with two pairs of wooden templates (26). Instead of having to produce 97 cards, the problem is immediately met that 97 is a prime number, and thus it becomes impossible to use a "reasonable" number of forms of the same type. Of course, nothing prevents one from using templates of different sizes, with the only limit the size of the sheet of paper that
_____________
24. Ref. 17, p. 552.
25. trionfi.com/paro-paio-para
26. trionfi.com/rosenwald-tarocchi-sheet
70

was used with it. The same cards could be produced in different sizes, requiring more pairs [coppie] of templates.

In the second document, however, we find an impressive and unexpected figure, which cannot be mentioned without discussion: the number of 26 templates of germini, in fact. The number of 97 cards had already been met, a very "uncomfortable" one for using similar templates. But also 26, dismantled only in 2x13, and an "uncomfortable" number. In short, understanding why this card maker had a total of 26 types of wood is not immediate and you have to think of more types of cards produced. One case that comes to mind is that different templates were needed for large and small triumphs; but what we are talking about is not triumphs but large and small; unless, as is likely, the germini were precisely those decks that alternatively were called great triumphs in the Florence area. Certainly, the same need also to produce triumphs “alla francesa” will have made its contribution to increasing the templates to be utilized. We can also think of different hypotheses, such as the simultaneous presence of duplicates of templates, possibly varying degree of wear, or even forms for the production of different objects, such as those santini [holy pictures] that several card makers produced together with cards [naibi] also in the past.

Conclusion
Some useful information has been obtained for the history of playing cards in Florence in the passage between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Among the most important news can be highlighted the production of germini packs in 1506, earlier than so far known, with forms large and small, and yet the most unexpected production, triumphs “alla francesa,” at a time when France is just beginning to get the first vague news about it. More research is needed to better define the artisinial activity of card makers involved in identified foreclosures, for which we do not have sufficient information so far.
I want to raise one objection to Franco's discussion of the triumphs "alla francesca". It seems to me that there are grounds for thinking that the game of triumphs was played in France long before 1500. When Marcello writes his famous letter to Isabelle of Lorraine, he assumes that she already knows the ordinary game of triumphs, because all he explains is the "new" one (http://trionfi.com/jacopo-marcello-letter-1449), unbeknownst to him designed by someone (Marziano) who died in 1425. She would have learned the in Naples, I expect, when she was Queen there. But by 1449 she is long gone from there and has spread the game to her court in Anjou, which is in northwestern France: tarot is not a game for one. Also, there are the "Goldschmidt" cards, which were probably for some French king, at least by 1490 if not, more likely, much before, even 1462. Aside from the style, dress, and falconer theme, the lady at the kneeler resembles a painting done around 1480 in one of the French royal palaces. (We kicked these issues around at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=691, starting up again recently with my July 9, 2015 post on p. 1 of the thread. going to the end on p. 5.) And we know about the Flemish triumph-dealers in Rome (Huck at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=691&p=16398&hilit=Flemish#p16398 and elsewhere) as well as the considerable painterly interaction between Italy and Flanders. Finally, there are the numerous paintings of Bosch that have, I think, so much prominent and unusual imagery in common with the triumphs as to make it unlikely to be coincidence. Many of these were done before the 1490s. He was in Flanders, but if there was interest in tarot in France, cards with similar imagery would have spread there.

It remains valid, however, that there was no explosion in triumph decks in France before at least the first French incursion of 1494. That would have come with the returning troops of Charles VIII, or if not then, with the French take-over of Milan in 1499 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_W ... %80%931504). Otherwise we could expect references in French documents. But lack of explosion does not mean absence, especially from the courts.

I am glad to see that Franco recognizes that templates could come in various sizes. I presume that means not just for different sized cards, but for a smaller number of cards than the 12 of the typical template. That would obviate the need for the Rosenwald to be of 96 cards, but rather the 78 of the triumphs. It would be a shame to have to play without the Fool, because his presence livens up the game so much.

This essay remains a great pleasure to read, not only for the inventories but for its comments about germni/minchiate in general, which are presented in a way that particularly compels attention to a not generally appreciated way of seeing that game's history.

Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#8
mikeh wrote: I want to raise one objection to Franco's discussion of the triumphs "alla francesca". It seems to me that there are grounds for thinking that the game of triumphs was played in France long before 1500.
I don't see big evidence for that. There is a note, that the Michelino deck and a cheap Trionfi deck reached Isabella de Lorraine. Another note in a French dictionary about Trionfi in a sort of dictionary around 1980. Rene II of Lorraine played Trionfi in the 1490s. That's twice Lorraine and Lorraine isn't France.
Then a general suspicion (but not evidence), that Tournai card production possibly made "Trionfi decks" ... possibly only for export to Italy.
There were a lot curious decks in Germany, still extant. The extant decks from France are less curious, but possibly they had also a greater variety.
In other words: The Trionfi decks look extraordinary to us (especially as we persecute them with intensity), but perhaps they weren't so strange in the eyes of contemporary German, French or Belgian observers.

The Goldschmidt cards have chances to be from c. 1510 and from Northern Italy (as recently suggested). Bosch had his own style and there's no evidence, that his art had much to do with cards.
...
It remains valid, however, that there was no explosion in triumph decks in France before at least the first French incursion of 1494. That would have come with the returning troops of Charles VIII, or if not then, with the French take-over of Milan in 1499 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_W ... %80%931504). Otherwise we could expect references in French documents. But lack of explosion does not mean absence, especially from the courts.
I personally would say, that a French Tarot explosion is observable since 1574 with King Henry III, who had a big interest in Italian fashions, not before.
The soldiers, which arrived in Italy in 1494, became soon a lost army, and not much reached back home to France and from these a lot became sick. Who should have spread the game?
Anyway, no French evidence.

"Around 1500" looks better, cause France was victorious, but should the the French celebrated with a game, which favored a German emperor?
Anyway, no evidence, beside the Taraux note from Avignon in 1505. "Avignon" wasn't France ... I would think, and I have given a lot of arguments, that this was an Italian production (Pope Julius II) ordered in Avignon for an Italian public.
Now we have a curious not finished Florentine production of French Trionfi ...ahem ... from Italy and Florence. What shall we conclude about this? That an Italian producer got the idea, that French customers might be interested in the Italian Trionfi decks, if one exchanges the suit signs to French signs? Or that it otherwise was changed to French playing card customs? For instance no emperor?

For later French dates my French collection ...
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=807&p=11524&hilit= ... 574#p11524
1527 and 1530: Notes of Philibert in Italy
Philibert of Chalon, called prince of Orange
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philibert_de_Chalon
discussed at
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=747&p=10702&hilit=philibert#p10702
Philibert fights for the German emperor in Italy. The notes refer to events in Italy.

1529. Two letters of Agrippa of Nettesheim, which inform, that Agrippa had a dog with the name "Tarot". As this dog might have been in 1529 relative old (he's in two cases the first, which is named of totally 7 dogs), the name of the dog might reach back to Agrippa's time in Italy (late 1510's).
The matter was discussed:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=754&start=10
The discussion was proceeded a longer time (with interruptions by other themes)

1534. Lyon. Tarau (Rabelais (southerner) MA 131) ... Ross
[added: Rabelais had visits to Italy before ... it's not a wonder, that he noted Tarau as a game]

1538. A Spanish artist in Paris is designed as Tarot painter (it's not sure, that he really was one)
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=611&start=10

1553. Paris. Tarault (Estienne; MA 131) ... Ross
"Lo stampatore francese Charles Estiene faceva riferimento nella sua opera Paradoxes all "inventore delle carte italiane con cui si fa un gioco di chiamato 'le Tarault'". ... Marcos
In a 1553 Estienne edition:
http://books.google.de/books?id=WF46AAA ... lt&f=false
In a 1555 Estienne edition:
http://books.google.de/books?id=1hU6AAA ... lt&f=false
The passage was shown (modern) and discussed here:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=754&p=10783&hilit=estienne#p10783
post 9 at the page
The work seems to be (at least in parts) a translation from "Paradossi, cioè sentenzie fuori del comun parere, novellamente venute in luce, la cui edizione princeps, contrariamente all’espressione ‘novellamente venute in luce’, apparve a Lione per i tipi di Giovanni Pullon da Trino nel 1543" by Ortensio Lando, which was discussed recently by Andrea Vitali:
http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=312
.... in Italian language.
Paradossi (Ortensio Lando), version of 1550:
http://books.google.de/books?id=CiA8AAA ... sC&f=false
The relevant chapter is Nr. 5
Interestingly I found the word Tarault in a work of 1554 of Estienne:
http://books.google.de/books?id=wCU6AAAAcAAJ
... at page 357. I can't see any relevance to Tarot.
A further "Tarault" I found in the Robert Estienne (not Charles) dictionary from 1557 "Dictionariolum puerorum":
http://books.google.de/books?id=oRmb7d2 ... &q&f=false
"ung Tariere, ou Tarault, Terebra. Alii Terieri, Alii Terelle". In a 1549 edition: "Tariere"

1557. The deck of Catelin Geofroy in Lyon is dated to 1557 by an inscription on one card.
Tarot de Paris 1559
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=755
... likely inspired by two Italians in Italy, descendents of the Gonzaga and Strozzi family.

The fights between Habsburg Emperors and French kings were finished in 1559. Since then the Tarot-emperor became acceptable. And since it seems plausible, that Tarot got some (not big) French influence, with one forerunner 1457, Catelin Geofroy. With Henry III (1574) it becomes obvious, that a card revolution takes place. From Switzerland we have the first "Troggn" in 1572.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#9
Huck wrote, about my assertion that there are grounds for thinking that people played tarot in France before 1500.
I don't see big evidence for that. There is a note, that the Michelino deck and a cheap Trionfi deck reached Isabella de Lorraine. Another note in a French dictionary about Trionfi in a sort of dictionary around 1980. Rene II of Lorraine played Trionfi in the 1490s. That's twice Lorraine and Lorraine isn't France.
Isabella of Lorraine lived in Anjou. She was married to Duke Rene I of Anjou. She died in Anjou, buried in Angers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella, ... f_Lorraine). Marcello wrote to her when she was in Anjou. Why didn't Marcello describe the regular game of triumphs to Isabella, of which he sent her a deck, but did describe the game to be played with the Michelino deck in detail? I think because he assumed that she already knew the game. She had been Queen of Naples for several years. She would have played the game with her ladies in waiting, such as Agnes Sorel, who became, until her death in 1450, Charles VII's mistress. I would expect that Louis XI, growing up in that company, would have played the game, too.

As for Rene II of Lorraine, Wikipedia says of him (born 1451, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9 ... f_Lorraine)
René spent his youth in the court of his grandfather René I of Anjou between Angers and Provence, succeeding to his father in Vaudémont in 1470 and, three years later, to his uncle as captain of Angers, senechal and governor of Anjou...
Likely Rene II would have learned the game in childhood. If so, it was either in Angers or Provence. Both were ruled by the Duke of Angers, who was French. Remember, I am speaking of the high nobility only, as far as playing the game. And Vaudemont, while technically not part of France, was part of the French-speaking part of Lorraine.

As far as Avignon, they spoke French there, too, and were closely connected with their counterparts in Lyons, according to Depaulis, as Franco quoted him (above):
La plus ancienne mention connue du tarot en français date de décembre 1505. Elle se lit dans un acte notarié d'Avignon, [...]. Les cartiers d'Avignon étaient en relation étroite avec Lyon, d'ou venaient leur savoir-faire et leurs modèles. II est donc permis de penser que le mot s'entendait à Lyon aussi et que le jeu y était connu autour de 1500 (23).
As I translated:
The oldest known French mention of tarot dates to December 1505. It is written in a notarial act of Avignon, [...]. The Avignon card makers were in close relationship with Lyons, from where their expertise and their models came. It is therefore permitted to think that the word was understood in Lyons also and that the game was known there around 1500 (23).
Huck wrote,
The Goldschmidt cards have chances to be from c. 1510 and from Northern Italy (as recently suggested). Bosch had his own style and there's no evidence, that his art had much to do with cards.
Huck, you yourself have argued, in 2011 and still in August 2015 (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=691&start=40#p16432), that the Goldschmidt probably dates from 1461 and was done in Genappe for the future Louis XI of France. Have you changed your mind? In my view they "have chances" to be from any time from 1455 to 1510, although more likely before 1490 (i.e. Charles VIII or possibly Louis XI), and more likely Flemish or French (and Genappe was part of France, although surrounded by Flanders) than anything else. What about the the cap you pointed out on the woman behind the woman with the castle? Is that now Northern Italian?

Huck wrote:
Around 1500" looks better, cause France was victorious, but should the the French celebrated with a game, which favored a German emperor?
Anyway, no evidence, beside the Taraux note from Avignon in 1505. "Avignon" wasn't France ... I would think, and I have given a lot of arguments, that this was an Italian production (Pope Julius II) ordered in Avignon for an Italian public.
Now we have a curious not finished Florentine production of French Trionfi ...ahem ... from Italy and Florence. What shall we conclude about this? That an Italian producer got the idea, that French customers might be interested in the Italian Trionfi decks, if one exchanges the suit signs to French signs? Or that it otherwise was changed to French playing card customs? For instance no emperor?
Franco's Florentine cardmaker is not producing French trionfi, or triumphs for France. They are producing tarot "alla francese", in the French style. These are likely for closer consumption than France or Avignon. After all, Milan was occupied by the French then. And perhaps there were Italians in Florence who liked that style, whatever it was. It is not a matter of changing the suit signs. Tarot in France did not use French suit signs that I know of; they used Latin suit signs. It is more likely that it is the whole deck that was done "alla francese". French decks in the 16th and 17th century had Emperors, why not in the 15th and early 16th, when French kings actually aspired to be elected Emperor (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_V ... an_Emperor, search "his main opponent was French"? This isn't France of 1789. We just don't know what the French-style tarots looked like. The Cary Sheet might well be an example: an Italian deck done in the French or Burgundian style, which (if the Cary Sheet is any indication) itself was derivative from the Milanese style (as indicated, for example, by the Cary Sheet Emperor and Empress, which look like the PMB and not the Rosenwald).

Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#10
mikeh wrote: Isabella of Lorraine lived in Anjou. She was married to Duke Rene I of Anjou. She died in Anjou, buried in Angers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella, ... f_Lorraine). Marcello wrote to her when she was in Anjou. Why didn't Marcello describe the regular game of triumphs to Isabella, of which he sent her a deck, but did describe the game to be played with the Michelino deck in detail? I think because he assumed that she already knew the game. She had been Queen of Naples for several years. She would have played the game with her ladies in waiting, such as Agnes Sorel, who became, until her death in 1450, Charles VII's mistress. I would expect that Louis XI, growing up in that company, would have played the game, too.
Marcello in 1449 send Giovanni Cossa, who possibly knew the rules. It's difficult to describe a complex game (if the rules had been complex), it's easier explained by "oral tradition".
It's not secure, that Trionfi decks had reached Naples before 1442.
I don't know, if it's sure, that Agnes Sorel had been in Naples. German wiki ...
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agn%C3%A8s_Sorel
... gives two different birth years ("about 1410" and "1422"). The first 3 children have the birth years 1434, 1436 and 1439 (which indicate, that she was not in Naples and that she was born "about 1410"). She met the king (father of the children), when being 20 years old.

When you give somebody a present (and it is a game), then there's no guarantee, that he or she really plays with it. And - if the game is played - there's no guarantee, that there develops some continuity. And - even, when continuity is reached for a small community - there's no guarantee, that a fashion develops from it with enough reproduction of the game and other players following the fashion.
It's against probability to assume, that just from this 2 decks send to France a big action started. Less than 1:100 I would estimate, especially if one assumes, that there were not much players of the game in Italy itself in 1450-53 (the time, which Isabella had to play the game).
As for Rene II of Lorraine, Wikipedia says of him (born 1451, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9 ... f_Lorraine)
René spent his youth in the court of his grandfather René I of Anjou between Angers and Provence, succeeding to his father in Vaudémont in 1470 and, three years later, to his uncle as captain of Angers, senechal and governor of Anjou...
Likely Rene II would have learned the game in childhood. If so, it was either in Angers or Provence. Both were ruled by the Duke of Angers, who was French. Remember, I am speaking of the high nobility only, as far as playing the game. And Vaudemont, while technically not part of France, was part of the French-speaking part of Lorraine.
Rene II had been in Italy himself at the begin of the 1480s, as leader in a military Venetian campaign (against Ferrara). It's more plausible, that he learned then about the game.
As far as Avignon, they spoke French there, too, and were closely connected with their counterparts in Lyons, according to Depaulis, as Franco quoted him (above):
La plus ancienne mention connue du tarot en français date de décembre 1505. Elle se lit dans un acte notarié d'Avignon, [...]. Les cartiers d'Avignon étaient en relation étroite avec Lyon, d'ou venaient leur savoir-faire et leurs modèles. II est donc permis de penser que le mot s'entendait à Lyon aussi et que le jeu y était connu autour de 1500 (23).
As I translated:
The oldest known French mention of tarot dates to December 1505. It is written in a notarial act of Avignon, [...]. The Avignon card makers were in close relationship with Lyons, from where their expertise and their models came. It is therefore permitted to think that the word was understood in Lyons also and that the game was known there around 1500 (23).
As already stated at various places ... Alfonso produced decks with the name Tarochi in June 1505. Avignon produced Taraux decks in December 1505. Otherwise we don't know "Tar-xx" words in playing card context. That both words decided to appear for the first time in the same year looks not accidental, but "somehow coordinated".

Alfonso had a political reason to make a new Trionfi deck: he became duke of Ferrara in January 1505. Earlier Signore or Dukes of Ferrara also had (likely) produced Trionfi decks in their early reign (Leonello, Borso, Ercole), just as a part of their personal impresa.

1. The Avignon action followed ... it's not the first, that we know of.

2. If the Avignon was dominant (as dependent on an earlier French "Taraux" before June 1505) we should assume following French notes about Taraux. These are not given, following Italian Tarochi or Tarocchi notes are known. What shall one conclude from this?
Further we've hundreds of Italian notes about Trionfi decks in Italy in 15th century, but only 3 which relate to France. What shall one conclude from his?
This accompanying conditions clearly suggest, that Alfonso's action was first.

3. We've a person, which clearly had a strong relation (about 30 years) to Avignon: Pope Julius (archbishop of Avignon since 1476). When he had been archbishop, Avignon participated successfully in the increasing French playing card business. In the years "after Pope Julius as cardinal" some of the Avignon cardmakers stopped their business.

4. Pope Julius was a declared foe of Alfonso ... he wished, that Alfonso 's younger brother Ferrante should become new duke (already in 1504). Alfonso was married to Lucretia Borgia ... Pope Alexander VI (Borgia) was also the foe of Julius, long before Alfonso became a foe. Julius still feared the return of Cesare Borgia, Lucrezia supported her brother.

5. In 1505 one should still assume, that Julius had some influence in Avignon (although already pope in Rome). He could have arranged the production made in Avignon. The political aim likely was to compete with Alfonso's production.

6. If the "Taraux" production clearly had been a "French production", why doesn't it come from Lyon? It doesn't.

7. Indeed there is a extant deck with Rovere heraldry (at least on cold take it as such): the Leber Tarocchi. Pope Julius was born as "Giuliano della Rovere", the family came from Liguria ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liguria
... close to France.
Huck wrote,
The Goldschmidt cards have chances to be from c. 1510 and from Northern Italy (as recently suggested). Bosch had his own style and there's no evidence, that his art had much to do with cards.
Huck, you yourself have argued, in 2011 and still in August 2015 (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=691&start=40#p16432), that the Goldschmidt probably dates from 1461 and was done in Genappe for the future Louis XI of France. Have you changed your mind? In my view they "have chances" to be from any time from 1455 to 1510, although more likely in the middle of that range, and more likel Flemish or French (and Genappe was part of France, although surrounded by Flanders) than anything else. What about the the cap you pointed out on the woman behind the woman with the castle? Is that now Northern Italian?
Yes I'd changed mind ...

... here ... starting 11 Jul 2015, 03:48 ...
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=691&start=10
... before August 2015 (an opportunity, at which I repeated the earlier arguments, cause you had asked me something).

The coin of the count of Desana looks more like a crowned delphin than the Dauphine coin. That puzzled me.

I proceeded at 14 Jul 2015, 20:54
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=691&start=10#p16392
Now we have for the Goldschmidt cards the old diagnosis "mid 15th century" (Goldschmidt and the Doerner institute), and "mid 15th century" is rather far away from 1512. Nonetheless your above observation, that the dolphin in Goldschmidt cards and the VS-viper in Bartsch and Rosenthal Tarocchi have their similarities, has its merits and somehow this condition demands, that there are not about 50 years or even more between the dates of the productions.

The research about the dolphin gave the result, that the Dauphine dolphin looked similar to the Goldschmidt dolphin, but the dolphin of the Conte de Desana looked more similar (a clear "crowned dolphin").

Here is some info about Lodovico Tizzone, conte of Desana, a title which he got from emperor Maximilian in the year 1510 (which is close enough to 1512) together with the right to mint money.
http://www.repertoriumpomponianum.it/po ... izzone.htm

Naturally these pieces of information refer to the same situation: Massimiliano Sforza and 1512
... and 15 Jul 2015, 13:09
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=691&start=10#p16394

... and 18 Jul 2015, 07:30
That, what really counts, seems to be the "crowned dolphin" ... and this has two possible meanings. One connecting to king Louis XI and his time in Genappe 1456-61, the other to a rather unknown Conte Ludovico II Tizzone near Vercelli in Desana, possibly of some importance in the year 1512.

Well, we cannot rely, that only high noble houses produced Trionfi cards. We have enough documents about various Trionfi card productions ... they can't have had all very important commissioners.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=691&start=20#p16396

... and 29 Jul 2015, 08:20
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=691&start=30#p16407


....
The Florentines are not producing French trionfi, or triumphs for France. They are producing tarot "alla francese", in the French style.


The source says "Trionfi decks", not "Tarot decks", btw. And "alla franciosa" could mean a lot of things, for instance court cards with banderoles a la "Lancelot" or "Jeanne d'Arc", either something, which we already know from other old cards or something, what we never have seen and never would think of.
These are likely for closer consumption than France or Avignon. After all, Milan was occupied by the French then. And perhaps there were Italians in Florence who liked that style, whatever it was. It is not a matter of changing the suit signs. Tarot in France did not use French suit signs that I know of; they used Latin suit signs. It is more likely that it is the whole deck that was done "alla francese".
The earliest extant French Tarot is from 1557. There is no need, that a version of 1506 looked in the same way. There is no guarantee, that it were not just French suits. Somehow you're fixed on the idea, that already a high number of French Trionfi existed before 1506.
But there is no evidence for that. There is a rather vague possibility, that this condition existed, but after all research I personally think, that this isn't really probable.
French decks in the 16th and 17th century had Emperors, why not in the 15th and early 16th, when French kings actually aspired to be elected Emperor (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_V ... an_Emperor, search "his main opponent was French"? This isn't France of 1789. We just don't know what the French-style tarots looked like. The Cary Sheet might well be an example: an Italian deck done in the French or Burgundian style, which (if the Cary Sheet is any indication) itself was derivative from the Milanese style (as indicated, for example, by the Cary Sheet Emperor and Empress, which look like the PMB and not the Rosenwald).
We've the French opinion in c. 1650, that Tarot had its origin in Germany. Where does this error come from? I guess, they looked at the cards, detected the emperor and concluded, that this must have been a German production. Who else should have made such cards? Well, we know, that the cards were made in Italy.

We've the phenomenon, that there isn't a real prove for a strong spread of Tarot in France till 1574, although there had been indeed a lot of French contacts in Italy. Perhaps the emperor card explains the missing French interest.

Well, we also have no Tarot cards in Germany for that time. Possibly we generally overestimate the interest to play with "foreign cards". Or there were hindering laws and rules, which wanted to protect the local playing card markets.

We've for Minchiate exports from Tuscany in 1729-62 the number of c. 62500 decks in roughly 32 years, so roughly 2000 decks in each year. I've no average number of produced Minchiate decks ... but might be something of 50.000 - 70.000 a year (as far I remember). So only a few percent of the full production went outside Tuscany. Of these 62500 most went to Rome (c. 45000) and Siena (c. 7000). So only 10.500 for "outside these regions" ... in 32 years. About 2500 of these went to countries outside of Italy ... in 32 years. About 1500 of these 2500 went to Portugal ... for unknown reasons. Vienna got 283. Cologne 52. Paris 12. London 4, just as examples, what Minchiate export might mean. As already noted, in 32 years.
http://trionfi.com/evx-minchiate-export-tuscany

How probable is it, that such small export numbers lead to a local production elsewhere, outside of Italy? Each producer, who attempts such a production risk, has much chances to make a bad business.

Naturally there should have been more traffic and trade in 18th century than in 15th century and card decks were more established then.
But likely we can learn from these 18th century Minchiate numbers, why Trionfi and Tarot decks didn't march so quickly during 15th and 16th century.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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