Re: Date of Invention

#21
Marcei wrote:Hi Debra, Steve, Ross et al.,

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.)
Mine is the 'fancy' one, with full colour reproductions of the cards pasted on to the hand made paper, as well as Calvino's story there is also an "essay by Sergio Samek Ludovici that discusses the Tarots and the history of the Visconti-Sforza Packs"...

http://www.mcleanbooks.com/details.php? ... mage%3DYes
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

#22
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: All I know about the book is that it had the best reproductions of the PMB deck yet - perhaps superceded now by the facsimiles, while Dummett (The Visconti-Sfoza Tarot Cards) and Bandera are equally good, and affordable!
Don't know the Bandera, but I have Dummet's, Ricci's still has the edge I think...
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

#24
This is the book published for an exhibition at the Brera museum in Milan in 1999, text by Sandrina Bandera -
http://www.tarotpassages.com/artcat-so.htm

http://www.libroco.it/cgi-bin/dettaglio ... 17/web=map

All three of the Visconti and Visconti-Sforza packs are discussed, and the images are full size and very clear. However, not all the cards from the "Cary Yale" (which Italians prefer to call the Visconti di Modrone) nor the Visconti-Sforza (or Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo) are shown - presumably because they are fully shown in so many other places, as well as available as facsimilies.

The unique (but far from only) value of the book is that it is the only place where the Visconti "Brambilla" pack is shown in full. This pack is in the Brera, but it is not on display (any longer). Only two trumps survive (the Emperor and Fortune), but the court cards and pips are of course interesting and informative in their own right.

Cristina Olsen's little book The Art of Tarot (Abbeville, 1995) also gives a good representative sample, including the trumps, in color, but in miniature, of the Brambilla pack, on pages 22-41.
Image

Re: Date of Invention

#25
SteveM wrote: Mine is the 'fancy' one, with full colour reproductions of the cards pasted on to the hand made paper, as well as Calvino's story there is also an "essay by Sergio Samek Ludovici that discusses the Tarots and the history of the Visconti-Sforza Packs"...

http://www.mcleanbooks.com/details.php? ... mage%3DYes
I am considering selling it, if a reasonable offer was to be made:

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.ph ... ost1897116
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

#27
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 1976 English edition, but it is back in England, so won't be able to check until the end of the month.
I can't find anything else about this, but here is someone who explicitly relied on Douglas, Susan Goldman Eller, in "Tarot for Personal and Spiritual Growth":
No one knows the true origins of Tarot. The following account is an
abbreviated version of its history. A detailed account of the Tarot’s origin
and history can be found in the book “The Tarot: The Origins, Meanings
and uses of the Cards” by Alfred Douglas. I have also taken from two
other sources. “Tarot For Yourself”, by Mary K. Greer, and “Jewels of the
Wise” by the Holy Order of Mans.
Scholars agree that playing cards date back to eleventh century China and
Korea. The design of the cards seem to be based on paper money.
However, there is no direct correlation between these cards and the Tarot.
The earliest evidence we have of Tarot cards is of the Visconti-Sforza
deck created approximately in 1415 for a marriage between the Italian
Visconti and Sforza families. The major trumps were well developed in
this deck.

It is believed that the oldest cards still in existence are French. Seventeen
of these cards can be found in the Biblioteque Nationale at Paris. Sixteen
of them are the major trumps of the Tarot. The belief is that these hand-
painted cards were part of the pack that was made for Charles VI of France
in 1312.
http://www.healingfromwithin.com/E-Book ... ourse_.pdf

There was no Visconti-Sforza marriage in 1415. "The major trumps were well developed in this deck." is an uninformative and essentially meaningless statement; she is obviously summarizing either Douglas, Greer, or the "Holy Order of Mans," without understanding what was said (unless the original is equally nonsensical).

King Charles the VI of France reigned 1380-1422 (he was born in 1368).

Caveat lector - people who don't care about history make careless mistakes with dates. Goldman Eller made nonsense of history here, and if she is quoting Douglas and did not make typos, then his account of the history is unreliable.

I note that Douglas himself says on AT in 2007 that he is publishing a new edition: "I have made minor corrections and amendments to the text, but it remains substantially as it was."
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=18015

Ross
Image

Re: Date of Invention

#28
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Sorry I can't make an offer on this undoubtedly lovely book.

But Steve, can you tell us what Samek Ludovici (or whoever) says about the date 1415?

Ross
I can't find any reference to the date 1415: Ludovic gives as a terminus post quem the date 1428, based upon the Visonti and Savoy crests in the love card, which he associates with the marriage of Filippo's marriage to Maria di Savoia in 1428: "Added to this evidence is the gold coin struck by Filipo Maria, shown in the numbered cards of the first series (coins) and the second series (in both numbered and figured cards)*. This aureo, published by Argelati, appears to be traced or printed in the gilded, incised background of the card." The third series he dates 'no earlier than 1441 or later than 1447', based upon the marriage of Sforza to Bianca in 1441 and the death of the Duke in 1447. He mentions Decembrio's reference to Martiano in his biography of the Duke but doesn't mention any dates in reference to that.

SteveM
The three series defined by Ludovic are
1st the Modroni
2nd the Brambilla
3rd the Colleoni (in the Bergamo / Morgan collection)
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

#29
SteveM wrote:
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Sorry I can't make an offer on this undoubtedly lovely book.

But Steve, can you tell us what Samek Ludovici (or whoever) says about the date 1415?

Ross
I can't find any reference to the date 1415: Ludovic gives as a terminus post quem the date 1428, based upon the Visonti and Savoy crests in the love card, which he associates with the marriage of Filippo's marriage to Maria di Savoia in 1428: "Added to this evidence is the gold coin struck by Filipo Maria, shown in the numbered cards of the first series (coins) and the second series (in both numbered and figured cards)*. This aureo, published by Argelati, appears to be traced or printed in the gilded, incised background of the card." The third series he dates 'no earlier than 1441 or later than 1447', based upon the marriage of Sforza to Bianca in 1441 and the death of the Duke in 1447. He mentions Decembrio's reference to Martiano in his biography of the Duke but doesn't mention any dates in reference to that.

SteveM
The three series defined by Ludovic are
1st the Modroni
2nd the Brambilla
3rd the Colleoni (in the Bergamo / Morgan collection)
Excellent Steve, thanks!

So what are the scenarios for the error? Let's see -

A typographical error in the original Italian edition - perhaps corrected in an errata slip at the back, or not.
Or - simply a typo in Douglas' original book.
From your account, it looks as if the error was silently corrected in the English edition, published *after* Douglas' book.
If the "Visconti Sforza" wedding reference in Goldman Eller is related to Douglas, then I think the easiest explanation is that "1441" somehow became "1415", by a transposition of one number, and a change of the other from 4 to 5.

Quite a mistake! It's a shame it got any currency at all, and I hope it is one of the things that Douglas corrects in his new edition, since his book is popular.

A similar typo must have happened with the date for Charles VI - there was a popular belief that the so-called "Charles VI" cards were the cards mentioned in a lost record of 1392. Evidently somebody put the number "1" in place of "9"; perhaps Goldman Eller, or her source.

Can someone give the whole passage from Douglas relating to the early history, since I don't have this book and it is not available to view on google books or amazon?

Ross
Image

Re: Date of Invention

#30
On pages 21 / 22 he gives a timeline, against 1415 he writes:

1415 "Tarot cards are painted for the Duke of Milan."


On page 20 Douglas writes:
"The twenty-two allegorical trump cards may not have formed part of the original pack. The earliest undisputed reference to playing cards which we have, a detailed description of cards and card games made by a German monk living in a Swiss monastery in 1377, makes no mention of these striking designs.
"However, the major trumps were certainly in existence in 1415, when a beautiful hand-painted Tarot pack was created for the young Duke of Milan, Filippo Maria Visconti. (n.6)


n.6 on p.223 says:

"See Tarocchi by Franco Maria Ricci, Parma, 1969. The Visconti Tarot Cards are exquisitely reproduced in this authoritive work by Professor Ricci."


I am not sure here whether he is saying Ricci is the source for his dating, or only that the Visconti cards are reproduced in Ricci. The only cards remotely close to that date I can think of are those referenced by Martiano of Greek Gods? Perhaps Douglas has confused a reference to these (the Martiano - which are in various places described as the earliest tarot cards) to the those reproduced in Ricci? But I think the dating for the Martiano is usually later, 1418-1425 (?), and Ricci is very clear in the English translation dating the first series to c.1428 and third to c.1441/1447.

Douglas on p.22 also writes ~
"There is a strong possibility that the twenty-two Tarot trumps evolved independently of the four suits. They are not mentioned by Brother Johannes of Brefeld in 1377, and although the existence of the Visconti Tarot in 1415 proves that they were known at that time, the speech made by the Franciscan Friar in Northern Italy somewhere between 1450 and 1470 clearly differentiates between them and the remaining cards."


I think the speech by a Franciscan Friar he is refering to is probably the Steele Sermon, though the dating he gives is again probably too early?
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

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