I am simply going through Hargrave's book to see if anything of interest has been missed by recent researchers. I am not sure where to put this post. It probably belongs in the general "origin of playing cards into Europe' thread, but I will put it here since it is active.
Here is something else, pp. 39-40:
Going back to the fourteenth century is a manuscript "Le Roman de Renard le Contrefait," which seems to have been written between 1328 and 1341, in which the following line occurs:
'Jouent aux des, aux Cartes aux tables.'
Again in the 'Chronicle de Petit Jean de Saintre,' who was a page at the court of Charles V, the governor of the pages rebukes them for playing at cards; and in a poem by one Guillaume de Guilleville, written in 1350, the line 'Jeux de tables et de cartes' is found; while the earliest known print of persons playing at cards is a miniature in 'Le Roman du Roi Meliadus de Leonnoys," by Helie de Borron, which was probably written some time in the latter half of the fourteenth century. A king and three attendants play, while three others look on, and the cards themselves bear the old suit marks of batons and coins. So that the antiquity of French playing cards is well established.
Paul Lacroix, 1835, "L'Origine des cartes a jouer", p. 5, at https://books.google.com/books?id=NxtbA ... it&f=false
, gives "Renard" a date of 1328. More interesting, he gives the stanza where it appears:
Si comme fols et folles sont
Qui, pour gagner, au bordel vont,
Jouent aux dés, aux cartes, aux tables,
Qui sont a Dieu ne sont délectable.
If "cartes" is a later interpolation, whatever was there originally has to have the right number of beats in the line. ,
The earliest redaction appears to be "middle of the fourteenth century" (http://www.persee.fr/doc/scrip_0036-977 ... _21_1_3288
). Merlin (https://books.google.com/books?id=XQ0IA ... es&f=false
) says that the earliest manuscript of "Renard" is a century before 1450 with the line as
Jouent a jeux de dez, ou de tables.
That would seem to end that. But it is a very weak line, bad rhythm and very unimaginative, as "jeux" is just a variation on "jouent". The other is certainly livelier. Has anyone confirmed Merlin?
A google search for Guillaume de Guilleville comes up with the lines "Jeux de tables et d'échiquier, De boules et mereilliers". That scans, unlike "de cartes".
Wikipedia, both French and English, give "Petit Jean de Saintre" as a novel written c. 1456. Even Lacroix caught that, saying the author wasn't born until 1398.
In Wikimedia Commons, the "print" of "latter half of the fourteenth century" shows up as "Originally published/produced in Italy [Naples]; circa 1352."
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... _12228.jpg
The artwork looks a century later to me (if only the use of single point perspective), but I am no expert. The source is the British Library, I would have guessed a very old source, just like the British Museum entries. We know from Moakley how seldom libraries update their information. However I see that the bibliography at least, in the catalog entry, goes to 2012: http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminated ... tart=12228
. They date the manuscript to c. 1352 because the arms of the king of Naples at that time are in several of the miniatures. They show the entire page the miniature is taken from (at the bottom of the web page, last one); it certainly doesn't look like it was added later than the rest. Also, the table in the first miniature, of the king playing chess, while cruder (no perspective at all for the chess board) has the same type of perspective, the modern kind. So I am puzzled. But I suppose they could have waited 40 or 50 years or more before doing the miniatures. It was standard to do the text first and leave space for the miniatures. The king didn't reign very long, so the job didn't get done, is my guess. Also, it would seem that there is no reference to cards in the text, or we would have known about it.
Lacroix's monograph is of interest in itself; he debunks de Gebelin, also the idea that the "Charles VI" was done for Charles VI, and points out that "Petit Jean de Saintre" is a novel written by someone not born before 1398. He cites without comment the idea expressed in a 1472 book, Le Jeu d'Or
, published in Augsburg, that playing cards were invented in Germany "vers 1300". (Merlin notes that the author gives no source.) I see there that the "Nicolao Pépin" theory existed even in 1835. As for tarot
, Lacroix says that it was invented in Lombardy and that the word comes from "Taro" there, deriving it from the tare
(defect) of the Fool, or "phtora", corruption, or else the division of the gold backgrounds into compartments by téréin=trouer
(piercing). He also derives cards and tarot from chess, in his own way. These are in the first 8 pages.
A related issue is where woodblocks first appeared, which are necessary for cards because playing wears them out, unless you are rich. Lacroix says Germany. Hargrave ( p. 91) notes the similarity of woodblock printing to the printing of money in "Chambulu", described by Marco Polo:
..the principal officer of the great Cham smears with cinnabar the seal consigned to him and imprints it upon the money so that the figure of the seal, coloured in cinnabar, remains impressed upon it.'
She also says that in 15th century Nurnberg (p. 89)
A Kartenmacher (card-maker) is frequently on the same page with a Kartenmaler (card-painter) showing that tere was a distinction between the two branches of the art, though, like the barbers and surgeons of those days, both belonged to the same guild. The names of many women occur in the town books of Nurnberg as card-painters, between 1423 and 1477.
And on p. 91, "German authorities" say the first wood engravers were Kartenmachers, so that when the monks saw cards, they got the idea of having prints of saints from that.