Wow, what a jumble! I hope he's figured it all out by now.
With the term "young Duke of Milan", he must be referring to the Marziano pack. I'm not sure where the date comes from then, if not Samek Ludovici. I seem to remember people trying to date it that early, but in reality there is no way to date it with any greater precision than between 1412, when Filippo Maria became Duke (at age 19), the same year Marziano came to work for him, and early 1425, by which time Marziano was dead.SteveM wrote: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)
A further complication, which Douglas could not have known about, arises when the artist of the pack is considered. Marziano wrote the text before 1425. Decembrio's account only mentions Marziano in connection with the pack, and implies that he painted it too, for the famous sum of 1500 ducats. But the only other evidence of the pack that we have is the letter of Jacopo Antonio Marcello, from 1449, who says that Michelino da Besozzo painted it. This artist had a long career, active from 1388 to around 1450. Marziano is not known to have been a painter, so if Michelino really is the only one who painted the pack based on Marziano's text, he could have done it after Marziano died, and anytime before Filippo Maria's death in 1447.
I think it most reasonable to date the painting of the pack close to the time of the writing of the text though.
I think he is referring to the Samek Ludovici text as his source, so I would guess that that date is in the Italian somewhere.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.
The dating of 1428 (at the eariest) for the Modrone/Cary-Yale is not accepted anymore, principally because Bonifacio Bembo would have been only a child then. There is also no reason to believe it had to be made for a marriage, whether this one or any other. The current consensus, based on Bembo's stylistic development, is 1443-1445 (around the time of his "Lancelot of the Lake").
There is no firm consensus on the date of the sermon itself, although the paper it is written on dates to around 1500 (this information came from Ronald decker - as did the suggestion it was a Francsican). 1450 is not impossibly early, but since it appears to be based on another sermon, written by James of the Marches (again undated, but before around 1460), the best dating puts it after 1460.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?