Re: Date of Invention

#11
Marcei wrote:Hi Everyone,

I just happened to be perusing a book in my collection, Playing Cards in the Victoria & Albert Museum by Jean Hamilton. On page 22, in the description of some Italian cards, the following sentence caught my eye: “Minichiate, a game derived from tarot, was first heard of in 1415; it has a pack of 96 or 97 cards.” The book is published by HMSO Books, ©Crown copyright 1988, First published 1988, ISBN 0 11 290461 0

Because this is the catalogue of such a well respected museum, I would think that there must be some evidence to substantiate this statement: 1. documentation that Minchiate was heard of in 1415, and 2. that minchiate was, indeed, derived from the tarot.

Forgive me if this is an error in print that has been discussed before on this forum.
I think the best explanation is that "1415" is a typo. 1415 isn't a date that figures in playing card history at all, so to put Minchiate there, and to recognize it is derived from Tarot, makes no sense. In other words, they know the history (which is spelled out in a sentence), but the date is completely unrelated to anything (not important enough to give a source which would be revolutionary if it existed).

Without a quote or a reference for the date, and given all the sources I can cite that say otherwise, I'd say it is a typo (normally 1543 is cited, and 1988 is too early for Franco Pratesi's discovery of the 1466 mention).

Despite the credibility of the museum and the undoubted competence of the curators, editorial or typesetting errors are common, especially in dating.

If you want to look into it, outside of trusting other historians, you could look for who wrote that catalogue or that particular text and try to find them and write them asking for an explanation.

Generally such odd references will be found to be errors.
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Re: Date of Invention

#12
robert wrote:It's almost certain the the Minchiate was derived from tarot. The difference between the decks is that the additional cards were all added... as a singular unit... into the pre-existing tarot deck. It's clear that the maker of the Minchiate thought that the tarot had accidently forgotten the fourth cardinal virtue of Prudence, and so chose to insert her, along with the other cards, into the deck at that point.

Unless you wanted to prove that the Minchiate was first, and then the group was removed as a group to create the tarot, chances are very strong that the Minchiate is an updated attempt to "rectify" the mistake of leaving out Prudence, and adding in the elements and signs.

The date must be wrong... but maybe someone here knows why they would have printed it? I don't know anyone that believes the Minchiate is that old.
I'm so sure the date is wrong I'd say I KNOW the date is wrong, but I don't agree with your idea about the intent behind the construction of the Minchiate. I have no reason to think that the creator "thought that the tarot had accidentally forgotten" all those cards - rather, I think it was Florentine pride which tried to make a "super-Tarot" (if they hadn't invented it in the first place) which accounts for the extra trumps.

BUT, you are right of course, the fact that all the new cards are placed in a SINGLE "lump" between the Fire and Star cards implies that the normal order was the prior order, and Minchiate was a secondary development, since you would expect Prudence to be with the other Virtues and maybe the Theological Virtues as well.
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Re: Date of Invention

#13
Thanks, Robert. No, I always did think the Minchiate came later, so if that date is backed up with documentation, and I can't imagine that they would print it otherwise, the tarot date leaps much further back into the pages of history, and a huge grin will creep across my face!

Thanks, Ross, for taking time to respond. It could, of course, be a mistake but 2 digits wrong? I can dream can't I?

Re: Date of Invention

#14
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: I'm so sure the date is wrong I'd say I KNOW the date is wrong, but I don't agree with your idea about the intent behind the construction of the Minchiate. I have no reason to think that the creator "thought that the tarot had accidentally forgotten" all those cards - rather, I think it was Florentine pride which tried to make a "super-Tarot" (if they hadn't invented it in the first place) which accounts for the extra trumps.

BUT, you are right of course, the fact that all the new cards are placed in a SINGLE "lump" between the Fire and Star cards implies that the normal order was the prior order, and Minchiate was a secondary development, since you would expect Prudence to be with the other Virtues and maybe the Theological Virtues as well.
Sorry Ross, I wasn't clear. I didn't mean that the creator of the Michiate thought the elements and signs "should" be there, I was only speaking of Prudence. I do think that the creator of Minchiate thought that Prudence had been left out, and intended to rectify it when adding in additional cards.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Date of Invention

#15
I'm reading Alfred Douglas's 1972 book The Tarot: The Origins, Meaning and Uses of the Cards and coincidentally last night saw in his timeline:

1415 Tarot cards are painted for the Duke of Milan

Douglas footnotes Tarocchi by Franco Maria Ricci, Parma, 1969, of which he says, "The Visconti Tarot cards are exquisitely reproduced in this authoritative work by Professor Ricci."

Re: Date of Invention

#16
debra wrote:I'm reading Alfred Douglas's 1972 book The Tarot: The Origins, Meaning and Uses of the Cards and coincidentally last night saw in his timeline:

1415 Tarot cards are painted for the Duke of Milan

Douglas footnotes Tarocchi by Franco Maria Ricci, Parma, 1969, of which he says, "The Visconti Tarot cards are exquisitely reproduced in this authoritative work by Professor Ricci."
This is the text for which Calvino originally wrote the first part of his Castle of Crossed Destinies. The complete title is "Tarocchi. Il mazzo visconteo di Bergamo e New York". I think FMR is referring to the Pierpoint Morgan / Colleoni Visconti-Sforza deck?

Marco

Re: Date of Invention

#17
Hi Debra,
debra wrote:I'm reading Alfred Douglas's 1972 book The Tarot: The Origins, Meaning and Uses of the Cards and coincidentally last night saw in his timeline:

1415 Tarot cards are painted for the Duke of Milan

Douglas footnotes Tarocchi by Franco Maria Ricci, Parma, 1969, of which he says, "The Visconti Tarot cards are exquisitely reproduced in this authoritative work by Professor Ricci."
I don't know of any basis for that statement in Douglas. I'd use him with caution anyway - the text Tarocchi. Il mazzo visconteo di Bergamo e New York, was written by Sergio Samek Ludovici (on the technical and historical aspects of the cards) and Italo Calvino (as Marco just pointed out). Franco Maria Ricci (FMR) editore is the publisher only.

You can see that this book is not going to be on many bookshelves, to see if Douglas or Ludovici made the mistake -
http://www.pianki.com/Tarocchi-Il-mazzo ... -2311.html

I don't believe Ricci was ever styled "Professor" - and in any case, he didn't write it, so Douglas obviously misunderstood.
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco_Maria_Ricci
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Re: Date of Invention

#18
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
You can see that this book is not going to be on many bookshelves, to see if Douglas or Ludovici made the mistake -
http://www.pianki.com/Tarocchi-Il-mazzo ... -2311.html
I have the 1976 English edition, but it is back in England, so won't be able to check until the end of the month.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Date of Invention

#19
SteveM wrote:
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
You can see that this book is not going to be on many bookshelves, to see if Douglas or Ludovici made the mistake -
http://www.pianki.com/Tarocchi-Il-mazzo ... -2311.html
I have the English edition, but it is back in England, so won't be able to check until the end of the month.
Lucky you! I'm jealous.

If the text says "1415" - IF - my guess is that it is giving a hypothetical date for the Marziano/Michelino cards (which aren't Tarots, of course).

I can't wait to hear about it. All I know about the book is that it had the best reproductions of the PMB deck yet - perhaps superceded now by the facsimiles, while Dummett (The Visconti-Sfoza Tarot Cards) and Bandera are equally good, and affordable!

Ross
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Re: Date of Invention

#20
Hi Debra, Steve, Ross et al.,

I also see that Alfred Douglas notation on page 23 of his book as cited by you,Debra.

Steve, I too, have the English edition, The Castle of Crossed Destinies by Italo Calvino but the history of the tarot is only discussed in generalities. This edition has no kind of Introduction and simply jumps right into the story. There is a section in the back called “Notes,” but it does not go into historical specifics, saying merely, “The tarots are ancient cards for games and for fortune-telling, popular especially in France and Italy.” Later, however, as he speaks of the publisher, Franco Maria Ricci of Parma, he states, ... “(the same publisher has now, in 1976, bought out an English-language edition). This volume reproduces in color and in the original dimensions the tarots painted by Bonifacio Bembo for the Dukes of Milan around the middle of the fifteenth century.”

FYI: My edition, © 1977, 1976 by Harcourt Brace & Company, is not the fancy one referenced above, for it only contains small line drawings to reference the cards as opposed to color reproductions.)

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