Glad to see Depaulis came to the same conclusion based on the exact same evidence: 2 suits Visconti plus 2 suits for Sforza = alliance. There is one alliance/"union" that occurred for the time period 1441-1447 and that was represented by the Bianca wedding and Treaty of Cavriana less than a month later (11/20/41).mikeh wrote: ↑15 Jul 2019, 13:08Thierry Depaulis, Le Tarot Révélé, 2013, p. 21:(This atypical tarot could be a kind of test shot, especially as the presence on two suits - batons (here, in fact, arrows) and swords - of emblems of the Sforza (the fountain and the quince, mela cotogna) , while the other two - coins and cups - bear emblems of the Visconti, seems to be explained by the union of the two families that the card of the Lover could represent. Only one possible date, 1441, when Francesco Sforza married, in Cremona, Bianca Maria Visconti, the only child, natural but legitimated, of Duke Filippo Maria (9). This would be the oldest tarot deck preserved.
9. On the other hand, there is no explanation for the presence of the Savoy arms alternating with the Visconti worm on the dais. An allusion to the (disastrous) marriage of Filippo Maria Visconti with Marie of Savoy in 1428 seems improbable, especially since Bianca Maria was the daughter of a mistress of the Duke.
He is endorsing what Kaplan had already said in 1978, except in the footnote, which seems to me not to negate the sentence it is a note to, but rather to present a problem that still needs explanation. There are various proposals. The problem with Pavia is that Francesco was not Count of Pavia at the time. Putting that flag there, however, might have been meant as a (deliberately misleading) suggestion by Filippo that Francesco was the heir-apparent, since Count of Pavia was a title (then vacant) given to the person in that position.
Bingo (although I'd characterize it as more of an "empty promise"). And I can't heap enough contempt on the Savoy theory: 1. there would be no Sforza devices in a 1428 Savoy-Visconti deck; 2. there would be Bona's fleur-di-lys device in the later GM Sforza wedding (and the latter's torch device) - there isn't.
Let's review the salient facts:
* Pavia acted in the same way as Windsor castle did for the British Crown: Buckingham was the in-city palace in London, but they also have a more rural palace away from the city, Windsor, that was also a royal seat (the castle at Pavia even had attached hunting grounds and the primary ducal library, where the likes of Petrarch studied). Similarly, the Count of Pavia is comparable to the "Prince of Wales" succession position.
* Until 1412 Filippo is Count of Pavia, a de factor crown prince role.
* Pavia is one of the first targets for Sforza in 1447 and has the Ambrosian Republic recognize his claims to it. It was a symbolic stepping stone to Milan itself (and Sforza acted as disingenuously with that Republic as Visconti did with him [or indeed the Republic dealt with Sforza]).
* Finally, however Visconti disingenuously dangled Milan before Sforza, there is no doubt as to how Sforza understood Pavia as a stepping stone to Milan itself:
The Porta Ticinese is the southern gate out of Milan that leads directly to Pavia....so even on Sforza's second, ceremonial ingresso into Milan, the elevation of himself from Pavia to Milan proper is performed in a ritual space linking the two places.On Sunday 22nd March [1450; 25th is also given in other sources], all was ready, and Francesco rode to the Porta Ticinese, accompanied by his wife, his brother Alessandro and his six-year-old son Galeazzo Maria….Francesco’s first act as Duke was to create the eldest son Count of Pavia….” (C. Ady, A History of Milan Under the Sforza, 1907: 65)
Without the implication of succession - and in Milan that meant a current or future claim on Pavia (for Bianca/Sforza's male issue, hence the Love card's Pavia pennant on the tent with a matrimonial bed waiting for them inside) - Sforza does not marry Bianca.
The symbolism of succession couldn't be clearer throughout the CY deck, and the differentiation between it and the PMB deck bears that out. Sforza acted accordingly, making a bee-line for Pavia in 1447, and when ultimately successful in gaining the duchy issued a new deck with appropriate changes to the Chariot and Lovers trumps, from the initial 1441 CY wedding/condotte deck to the c. 1450/51 Ducal investiture deck:
As of 22 March 1450, Sforza's investiture date as Duke of Milan, Bianca and Francesco have two children, symbolized by two putti holding Milan idealized New Jerusalem in the PMB "World", typical of types in the Visconti Hours (and the first putti pointing at himself represents the heir Galeazzo Maria, that middle name taken from his grandfather and fellow former Count of Pavia, Filippo Maria) :