Jan van Blois 1362 (incl. Pratesi article) ; theme -1377

Added January 2017: The thread was renamed from "Jan van Blois, 1341-1380 (playing card note c. 1365)" to "Jan van Blois 1362 (incl. Pratesi article) ; theme -1377" with the intention to collect threads, where the topics are earlier than the year 1377 (early playing card documents); not included are themes, which don't relate to a very early origin of playing cards.
I intend to collect these threads via link at the thread "Collection Playing Cards before 1377 ; theme -1377"


Start of the original article:
mikeh wrote:Here is another unconfirmed report of playing cards before 1377: Lex Rijnen, ‘Makers of playing-cards in the Netherlands’, Journal of the Playing-Card Society, Vol. IV, no. 2, 1975, pp.34-7 (as cited in Dummett GofT p. 12), on p. 34, which I take from http://askalexander.org/display/22513/T ... =Amsterdam):
Although card-playing was known in the Northern Netherlands as early as the 14th century (in the accounts
of Jan van Blois, dated c. l365, who owned several manors north of Amsterdam, playing-cards are mentioned) fundamental details about the makers of these hand-made cards and also those of the first wood-cut cards are, up to now, unknown.
Dummett could not confirm this reference, but perhaps things are better now.
Jan van Blois, who had playing cards in c. 1365 ...
Jan II van Blois (?, ca. 1342 - Schoonhoven, 19/05/1381) was graaf van Blois en Dunois (1371-1381), heer van Schoonhoven, Gouda, Beaumont, Chimay, Waarde o.a (1356-1381) en stadhouder van Holland en Zeeland (1359-1360/1362-1363), in afwezigheid van Albrecht van Beieren.

... is likely this man
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_II_d ... 3%A2tillon

The interesting information has Dutch wikipedia. Jan van Blois was in c. 1365 a young man (c. 23 years old), but had had already some function for Albrecht von Bayern ...

The 3rd son Louis of Bavaria, earlier Emperor (1314-1346/47), Albrecht (1436-1404) got possessions in the Netherlands from his mother, Empress Margaret (died 1356).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_ ... of_Hainaut

A real and trusted playing card document from his Netherland court exists from 1378 ...
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=761&p=10875&hilit= ... urg#p10875
17 May 1378: "xvij dagen in meye quarten", payments of duke Albrecht I of Niederbayern-Straubing as "count of Hennegau"
23 May 1378: "xxiij dagen in meye" "quarten", payments of duke Albrecht I of Niederbayern-Straubing as "count of Hennegau"
And Albrecht is also connected in the playing card document "Ratisbonne 1378" (= Regensburg) by family connections, though Regensburg didn't belong to his personal territory.
23 Jul 1378: Regensburg "Und spilen mit der quart verpietent mein herren" (prohibition)

Albrecht's "Straubing" isn't included (1372-1392)

Partition 1392, Regensburg belongs clearly to Bayern-München
Older Partition:

3. Juni 1353
Regensburger Vertrag
Teilung Niederbayerns und der niederländischen Grafschaften nach vierjähriger gemeinschaftlicher Herrschaft
Bayern-Landshut unter Stephan II.
Straubing-Holland unter Wilhelm I. und Albrecht I.
All from https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayerische_Landesteilung

The following map is modified on the base of the map at ...


The document of c. 1365 makes sense, if one compares it with the already accepted documents. Nuremberg (according Huebsch a city, which very early produced playing cards) had good relations to the Emperor court of Louis of Bavaria, if Prague got cards from Nuremberg, then the emperor would have gotten also cards. And naturally also the sons of Louis. Nuremberg got a revolution, when Charles IV declared himself as emperor in 1346, with Louis the Bavarian still living (1347). a counter-rebellion in 1348 had only a short endurance. Albrecht first had his position in Straubing, with the elder brother Wilhelm reigning in the Netherlandish territory. Wilhelm got a mental sickness in 1357, and Albrecht increased his attention on the Northern territories, where he successfully reigned about 50 years. The later strong role of the region as a sea-power is counted as his merit. As Albrecht showed some orientation to France, emperor Charles IV was soon interested to establish friendly relations to him (so I've read, perhaps one should know more about details).
Generally Charles IV was interested in the development of trade and didn't engage much to win territory by open war.

Re: Jan van Blois, 1341-1380 (playing card note c. 1365)


https://books.google.de/books?id=YpVafq ... ht&f=false
Ridderschap in Holland: portret van een adellijke elite in de late middeleeuwen
A. Janse
Uitgeverij Verloren, 2001 - Civilization, Medieval - 514 pages


same source, p. 95


1. De Tocht Van Jan Van Blois Met Hertog Aelbrecht Naar Gelre, Nov. 1362 (1899)
2. De Tocht van Jan van Blois om Gelre 1371-1372: Naar het Oorspronkelijke Handschrift Uitgegeven [Comte de Blois Jean] (1898)
both by Pieter Nicolaas Van Doorninck (Author)

"Tocht" means "Journey". It seems, that Jan van Blois left two journey descriptions by his own hand, at one of the journey he was together with Albrecht I. "Gelre" means "Guelders" ...

Re: Jan van Blois, 1341-1380 (playing card note c. 1365)

A few details about emperor Louis the Bavarian (reigned 1314-1346). He was opposed and had a lot of opponents, at the begin there was Friedrich the Fair of Habsburg, who also claimed the King's title for some time. The question was resolved as late as 1325. The opposition of the church endured most of his life, and Louis had been excommunicated. At the end of his life Charles IV was chosen by the opposition as new Roman king, Louis died one year later.

German wiki mentions the following cities, where Louis spend the most time:
Ludwig verbrachte in seinen 33 Herrschaftsjahren 2000 Tage in München, 138 Aufenthalte dort sind nachweisbar, doch wurden nur 19 Prozent der Urkunden der Reichskanzlei in München ausgestellt. Königliche Hoftage oder Reichsversammlungen fanden in München nicht statt. Bei aller Bedeutung, die München für den Wittelsbacher hatte, kann von einer Residenzstadt oder gar einem Zentrum des Reiches in der Zeit Ludwigs des Bayern keine Rede sein. Außer in München hielt sich Ludwig besonders oft in den Reichsstädten Nürnberg und Frankfurt auf. Dies spiegelt sich in seinen Urkunden wider: Geurkundet hat Ludwig nach München (992) am meisten in Nürnberg (738) und Frankfurt am Main (699).
Louis spend 2000 days (roughly 6 years) of 33 years in Munich, 138 visits are recorded, 19% of his "Urkunden" were edited there. "Königliche Hofhaltung" or "Reichsversammlungen" didn't take place there, so one can't speak of a residence city or a capital. Beside Munich (992 Urkunden) Louis had been most often in Nuremberg (738) and in Frankfurt am Main (699).

So Nuremberg had been an often frequented place for Louis. If one accepts the statement of Hübsch, that playing cards were produced in Nuremberg for Prague in c. 1340, then one has not much choice to conclude, that (very likely) also the court of Louis had access to them.

I found the following interesting statements:

Les Eschéz d'Amours: A Critical Edition of the Poem and its Latin Glosses
Gregory Heyworth, Daniel E. O'sullivan, Frank Coulson
BRILL, 25 Jul 2013 - History - 696 pages
https://books.google.de/books?id=xfGZAA ... 37&f=false





This was a very sharp cut against "all games beside archery", and, as we know, Edward was successful with it, cause the English army won a lot of battles against France cause its superior archers. Also we have this puzzling feature, that playing card documents are very rare in England till 1463 (when the 100-years was gone for 10 years).

I mention this, cause Louis in 1338 (one year later) on the height of his influence had a meeting with Edward III and agreed on a complex alliance. German wiki to Louis the Bavarian knows it, English wiki forgets about it in the biography of Edward III.
Zur Wahrung der Reichsinteressen versuchte Ludwig benachbarte Souveräne an sich zu binden. Im Juli und August 1337 wurden zwischen dem Reich und England Allianzvereinbarungen geschlossen. Daraus ging 1338 ein Bündnis hervor. Im September 1338 fand ein Hoftag in Koblenz statt, der vielfach als Höhepunkt von Ludwigs Herrschaft angesehen wird. Fast alle Kurfürsten und zahlreiche Große waren anwesend. Außerdem war König Eduard III. von England gekommen. Persönliche Treffen zwischen König und Kaiser waren im Mittelalter eher ungewöhnlich. In einer ranggeordneten Gesellschaft bevorzugte man bei Herrschertreffen Grenzorte, um die Gleichrangigkeit deutlich zu machen. Diesmal nahm der englische König den Weg ins Reich zum Kaiser auf sich. Am 5. September ernannte Ludwig in Koblenz Eduard III. zum Reichsvikar für „Gallien“ und Deutschland. Eduard durfte damit als Stellvertreter des Kaisers agieren. Er sollte 400.000 Gulden an Ludwig zahlen und dafür sollte der Kaiser 2000 gepanzerte Reiter bereitstellen. Die Kriegsallianz kam jedoch nicht zustande; Eduard zahlte nicht und Ludwig stellte kein Heer bereit.

A lot of people met in Koblenz at the Rhine, between them Louis and Edward personally (1338, September 5). They agreed on an alliance, but both sides didn't fulfill their part and Louis made finally an alliance with France in 1441.

I searched for chess references around Louis the Bavarian. For the moment I found only the reference, that an earlier Wittelsbacher (Otto VIII von Wittelsbach) murdered in 1208 the emperor Philipp von Schwaben. A theatre legend tells, that Otto killed Philipp, when he was occupied in a chess game. Louis the Bavarian also belonged to the Wittelsbacher family.

Perhaps that's more a sign, that the family hadn't so much interest in the game.

Re: Jan van Blois, 1341-1380 (playing card note c. 1365)

Spelen in de Middeleeuwen: over schaken, dammen, dobbelen en kaarten
W. S. van Egmond, Marco Mostert
Uitgeverij Verloren, 2001 - Board games - 208 pages
https://books.google.de/books?id=8cD-gF ... navlinks_s

I can't detect a note to Jan van Blois with playing cards in 1365 in this book.


Voila, there it is ..

Het maatschappelijk leven onzer vaderen in de zeventiende eeuw
by Gilles Dionysius Jacobus Schotel
Published 1869
Publisher A.C. Kruseman
https://archive.org/stream/hetmaatschap ... 2/mode/2up

... at page 107 it becomes interesting, but the article "Kaartspel" starts at page 97. The first part 97-106 focusses on an "international report" about playing card research in 1869 and it naturally contains also a lot of details, which aren't believed nowadays. At 107 we have ...


Van Wijn (another author) is mentioned and this might be this text ...

Historische en letterkundige avondstonden: ter ophelderinge van eenige zeden der Nederlanderen; byzonderlyk in derzelver daaglyksch en huislyk leeven; en van den stand der Nederduitsche dichtkunde, sedert de vroegste tyden, tot aan het begin der zestiende eeuwe. Doormengd met eene opgaave van, hier te lande gevondene, maar nog niet beschreevene, Romeinsche overblyfzelen: enz. Uit oorspronglyke stukken en de beste schryvers, met bygevoigde afbeeldingen, te saamengesteld
Hendrik van Wijn
J. Allart, 1800 - Dutch philology - 568 pages
short text, p. 104-107

Van Wijn has found the earliest playing cards in 1390 according Schotel.

Schotel has found a "1362 en vroeger" (1362 and earlier) in the context of Jan van Blois (not c. 1365, as Lex Rijnen gave; in the "rekeningen", likely account books).
I'm not a learned Dutch speaker, I just read it (naturally with mistakes) cause there are stronger similarities to German. The text in the passage is not totally clear to me, I better ask an expert.
Albrecht I of Bavaria is mentioned again.

After page 107 appear other notes, likely from Dutch sources. The text goes till p. 113.


A very similar text has appeared in the year 1859 by the same author "Dr. G.D.I. Schotel" 10 years before:
https://books.google.de/books?id=lXhRAA ... &q&f=false

The special passage appears in this earlier text in a different manner (1362 is not mentioned):

page 330

Page 331

Footnote page 330

Footnote page 331


Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek
http://gtb.inl.nl/iWDB/search?actie=art ... W&id=44737

Woordsoort: znw(o.)
Varianten: quartenspel, quaertspel, quartspil, quartspul
Modern lemma: kwaartspel
(quarten-, quaert-, -spil, -spul), znw. o. Kaartspel, het spel of spelen met speelkaarten. Vgl. quarte en quarten, en zie Hor. Belg. 6, 174. Zoo nog heden wvla. kwaartespel (De Bo 591). Daarnaast komt ook caertspel, caertspelen voor (zie Stallaert 2, 122 op quaet) en quaetspel (dat wel als quaertspel zal moeten worden opgevat; vgl. twee voorbeelden bij Stallaert t. a. p. en Ann. Em. 7, 196 en 200 (a. 1577; zie de plaatsen bij quaetspel). Teuth. cartspyl, qwartspil, ludus quartarum seu cartarum. — Vooral in de bet. spel kaarten, speelkaarten. Nu en dan is het niet zeker, welke der beide beteekenissen is bedoeld.
↪Kaartspel, het spel of spelen met speelkaarten.
I can't judge, if it is possible, that the reference might relate to the chess version with 4 players

Re: Jan van Blois, 1341-1380 (playing card note c. 1365)

Here is the short text of van Wijn, who had its consequences, somehow it looks like a birth of Netherlandish playing card research

It seems, that he had a focus on documents "after 1390"
VAN WIJN (1800), p. 104-107





Fallersleben, a German poet of some fame ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_He ... llersleben
... had also interest in games and in Netherlandish culture. He was inspired by Van Wijn and spread the news, that playing cards had reached the Netherland region in 1390.

Altniederländische schaubühne: Abele spelen ende sotternien
August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben
Aderholz, 1838 - Dutch drama - 263 pages
https://books.google.de/books?id=UgsVAA ... el&f=false
Van Wijn had the idea, that the terminus "verseilen" a card game for 2 persons means. Fallersleben reports this. Fallersleben explains the words "op een cleet" as a "Tuchdecke", (possibly) a textile, which is laid on a table to protect the played cards, which are said to be expensive. Schopel quoted the word "quaerd-cleed", which might mean the same.




Yellow part: Fallersleben speaks of a document in Leiningen in 1299, which possibly meant playing cards for children (a doubtful speculation, I think).


Re: Jan van Blois, 1341-1380 (playing card note c. 1365)

Lex Rijnen
... noted the year number c. 1365 in relation to playing cards in a short article in the IPCS-Journal. The article gives no further information.
Makers of Playing Cards in the Netherlands
by Lex Rijnen

Although card-playing was known in the Northern Netherlands as early as the 14th century (in the accounts of Jan van Blois, dated c1365, who owned several manors north of Amsterdam, playing cards are mentioned) fundamental details about the makers of these hand-made cards and also those of the first wood-cut cards are, up to now, unknown.

... known as author of 4 books
Deze afdeling geeft een overzicht van alle speelkaartenmakers, waarvan bekend is dat zij in de tijd voor 1900 kaartspellen hebben vervaardigd. Ook opgenomen in deze lijst zijn drukkers en uitgevers. De lijst is samengesteld door Lex Rijnen, sinds rond 1970 al een verzamelaar van speelkaarten, met een grote expertise op dit gebied. Hij heeft ook de hieronder staande introductie geschreven, die in het kort de ontwikkeling van de speelkaart in ons deel van de wereld beschrijft. Het gepresenteerde beeldmateriaal in deze afdeling is afkomstig uit de collecties van diverse verzamelaars en musea.

It seems, that he is still living, from various smaller entries in the web. Perhaps one should ask him, why this c1365
wasn't accepted by card playing research as a valid entry.

Re: Jan van Blois, 1341-1380 (playing card note c. 1365)

De Navorscher: Een middel tot gedachtenwisseling en letterkundig verkeer tuschen allen, die iets weten, iets te vragen hebben of iets kunnen oplossen, Volume 3
P. Leendertz, Jacobus Anspach, Jan Frederik van Someren
1853 - Dutch periodicals

... p. 71-76 has an article about playing card history (1853). It mentions the author Schotel (known to us from 1859 and 1869) with a work from 1844, also the author De Wijn (both at page 75).


For better reading (Schotel) ...


I searched for this Almanach, I found Nr. 1 and Nr. 3, but not Nr. 2.

As author of the article signs "ELSEVIER", according the author's list "Jhr. W.C.J. RAMMELMAN ELSEVIER". Schotel himself is also noted as an author in this work.


I searched for this Almanach, I found Nr. 1 and Nr. 3, but not Nr. 2.

Re: Jan van Blois, 1341-1380 (playing card note c. 1365)

Life description of Schotel


Another life desription
http://www.regionaalarchiefdordrecht.nl ... s-schotel/

Lots of publications by Schotel at worldcat ...
http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=au%3AS ... umber_link

I detected an early (1833) short book about chess (mostly historical notes) and at page 10-12 (of 16) he speaks about playing cards and card-playing, partly about details, which appear in his later (already mentioned) publications:

Iets over het schaakspel
Vaderlandsche Letteroefeningen, 1833 - Chess - 16 pages

The same (or at least similar) text appears also in ...
Bijdragen tot boeken- en menschenkennis, Volume 3
J. van Houtrijve Jr., 1833 (p. 85 ff.)




I could identify the text of the Harlem document in 1374 at ...

Harlemias, of eerste stichting der Stad Haarlem (1754)
https://books.google.de/books?id=1WRAAA ... &q&f=false



It's not clear to me, what Quaecbort or Quaecbert (board game ?) and Makelerdi or Makelredie shall mean, somehow opposed to "goede luden" (good games, I think). Dobbelscoelen should be dice-schools, places, where you can play with dice.

Re: Jan van Blois, 1341-1380 (playing card note c. 1365)

Schotel - as demonstrated - wrote rather much. I've till now noted 4 texts of him related to card playing, one from 1833 (about chess mainly), one from 1844 (the Almanach, which I didn't found), one from 1859 and a relative similar text in 1868 (this is the most interesting, cause it contains the year number "1362" in context of card playing and "Jan van Blois)". Possibly one may conclude, that Schotel detected these documents between 1859 and 1868, not earlier.

In a text of 1831 "Jan van Blois" was already topic for Schotel ...
https://books.google.de/books?id=PI06AA ... 22&f=false
... and in a longer passage Schotel reports amusements of the young Jan van Blois (hunting, dancing, theaters etc.), also in the relevant time period. I don't detect cards, I just give the reference to indicate, that Schotel gathered material to this man in c. 35 years, and this before he published his "1362". In Schotel's biography it is indicated, that he had access to archive material (he's called an archivar, though likely he wasn't it all the time).

A biography work (Schotel is noted as co-author, the publication year is 1862) ...
https://books.google.de/books?id=cdEMTO ... 22&f=false
... uses the word "Spilzucht" in the context of Jan van Blois, which indicates, that Jan was a game-addicted gambler (at least in the opinion of the author of the biography).


In the work ...
De abdy van Rijnsburg
Gilles Dionysius Jacobus Schotel
gebr. Muller, 1851 - 357 pages
https://books.google.de/books?id=NaxUAA ... 22&f=false
(the following quote is from p. 107)

... Schotel presents again a longer passage with notes about amusements of Jan von Blois. It's clear from the character of the notes, that Schotel takes information from the Rekeningen texts, that are the account books, where spend money is noted together with the related events.
The quote notes, that in 1362 Jan of Blois took a journey to Prussia and was back in the abbey of Rijnsburg ...
... at 30th of July 1363


From the Schotel text of 1868 ...


... we get the info, that Schotel saw a word, which he related to playing cards, in the rekeningen texts. He gives the sure date "1362" and adds "en froeger" ( = "and earlier"). Somehow these earlier notes must leave a doubt about the true date, or contain another problem.
Somehow the idea develops from the context, that Jan van Blois might have gotten a more intensive addiction to playing cards in 1362, and this might have happened in Prussia, where Jan van Blois became a knight of the German knight order. [... in another report I see the note, that Jan van Blois again went to Prussia in 1367-68 to fight against Lithuania].

From these adventure possibly developed, that a follower of Jan Blois, Guido van Blois, allowed a Kommende of the German knights in Schoonhoven (near Gouda, clearly a place for the Blois-family) in the year 1395. The Kommende existed till 1578.
http://www.wikiwand.com/de/Liste_der_Ko ... hen_Ordens
... likely connected to this building:

Bartholomäus church with "Weeshuis" at a map of 1649
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Cate ... choonhoven

If one considers the notes of Hübsch as based on true and correct interpreted documents, than an involvement of the German knights in the early development becomes plausible. Two insecure reports of the German knight order (possibly later forgeries) attest the presence of playing cards in 1308/1309 and then in the time of Werner von Orseln (1324-30) in a prohibition at the German knight order states. The German knights had participated in the late crusaders wars, when Mamluk playing cards already existed (according the theories about early playing cards) and when the Mongols (who probably transported playing cards from East to West.

The Templer (also present at this time in the Levante) were attacked in 1307 and attacks on the German knights followed. The Templars were attacked cause of "strange habits" of the order (card playing is not attested), but the natural trend should have been, that the knight orders had their secrets and had reason to have them.

The ideas, which Schotel had developed about the early cards from his documents, are a little bit strange, but describe possibly the general state of the game at the given time.

They are very expensive, "elf schellingen", which should be "11 shillings", but I've no idea, how much this was at the given time and place.
Cause they were very expensive, it was played on a sort of worthwhile textile ("quaercleed") to protect them. Or it is played at an "yvoren tafelkijn", which I interpret as something (table-like ?) made from yvory. And when not in use, the cards were packed in a small sack and hanged on a wall (again to protect them).

Well, this kind of card playing was observed at the court of Jan van Blois, who is described as a very rich young man, other persons migh have wizth less luxury. Generally - from the overall context - the impression is given, that the very early card playing was limited to a very small number of persons and knights and nobility might have been the natural participants of such "a rare game".

I found an archive (Nationaal Archief, Den Haag 1982) with the inventory of the counts of Bois 1304-1397
http://www.gahetna.nl/collectie/archief ... 10.ead.pdf
Inside this jungle I found these notes most promising, perhaps here Schotel found his notes (at p. 39-40):



Re: Jan van Blois, 1341-1380 (playing card note c. 1365)

The journey of Jan van Blois to Prussia 1362-63 found some attention in the following work

Jaarboek voor Middeleeuwse Geschiedenis
J.A. Mol
Chapter: "Augustijnken in Pruisen" by Geert Warner
https://books.google.de/books?id=QInGS0 ... &q&f=false



Jan van Blois travelled in December 1362 and reached Königsberg (nowadays Kaliningrad) in January 22, 1363. The first 3 months were spend with amusements: welcome-festivities, good meals, festivities, boat-journeys and short-time trips are mentioned. At April 12 the military activities against Lithuania started. Jan van Blois can't have been involved very long in the fights (maybe 2 months), as he was back already in Rijnsburg at July 30.
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Litauerkr ... hen_Ordens
Ungefähr zwanzig größere „Heidenzüge“ unternahm der Deutsche Orden in den Jahren von 1362 bis 1370 gegen Litauen.[17] Im Februar 1370 kam es zu einer Entscheidungsschlacht.[18] Kęstutis und sein Bruder Algirdas versammelten Aufgebote aus Litauen, tributpflichtige Russen und Tataren an den Grenzen des Ordenstaates unweit Königsbergs. Der preußische Ordenszweig unter Hochmeister und Ordensmarschall trat den plündernd heranziehenden Angreifern mit seiner gesamten Streitmacht in der Schlacht bei Rudau entgegen. Unter schweren Verlusten gelang es dem Ordensheer, das zahlenmäßig weit überlegene Heer der Litauer zu besiegen und zurückzudrängen.[19] Als Folge trat in den Grenzgebieten vorerst Ruhe ein.
German wiki notes about 20 larger military operations for the years 1362-1370, which mostly aimed to destroy and to take material profit. A larger battle happened in February 1370, which with own heavy losses was favourable for the German knights.

Of special importance in the article are the activities of Augustijnken, a sort of Netherlandish Petrarca, who worked as sprookspreker (somehow meaning an orator) and poet for 10 years at the courts of Jan van Blois (till 1368).

German wiki has an article "Preußenfahrt", which shows, that many in 14th century knights took the opportunity to fight in Lithuania. The article has a list of these knights, Jan van Blois is noted between them.


The journey description (together with Albrecht I.) took place in November 1362, so short before the journey to Konigsberg.


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