Re: Nicolas Rolichon

Would naturally be fabulous, if it would be from Nicholas Rolichon, 1575-1635. But logic demands, that there was somebody else between 1635-1660. Or possibly one after 1674.

François, 1570-1573
Nicholas, 1575-1635
Jean, 1660-1674
Philibert, 1663

The German text of 1829 uses 21 figures and one prolog of Rolichon ... that's Tarot structure. The description says:
Starklof, (Karl Christian Ludwig). Rouge et Noir oder die Geschichte von den vier Königen. Aus den Papieren des Staatskanzlers Rolichon. 248 S., 1 Bl. Mit einer mehrfach gefalt., kolor. lithogr. Tafel. 18 x 11 cm. Illustr. OBroschur (etwas gebräunt; Rücken brüchig). Mainz, F. Kupferberg, 1829.
Goed. X. 298, 11. Hayn-Gotendorf VII, 423. Erste Ausgabe. "Sehr amüsant, mit ziemlich freien Liebeshändeln ... humoristische Vorrede über die Erfindung der Kartenspiele" (H.-G.). Der Autor (1789-1850) war ein für seine Heimatstadt rege tätiger Oldenburger Hofrat, der wegen seines Romans "Armin Galoor", welcher spöttische Bemerkungen über den blinden Kronprinzen Georg von Hannover enthielt, seiner Ämter enthoben wurde. Goedeke, psychologisch stets treffsicher und einfühlsam, erklärt den Freitod des Autors mit dessen vergeblichen Versuchen, wieder angestellt zu werden. Der Umschlag ist zweifarbig bedruckt mit den vier Zeichen des Kartenspiels.
The prolog (in which Rolichon speaks) is commented by a reader with "Sehr amüsant, mit ziemlich freien Liebeshändeln ... humoristische Vorrede über die Erfindung der Kartenspiele" (translation: "very amusing, with rather free love affaires ... humoristic prolog about the invention of the card games").

Why does a German in Oldenburg give a 17th century French card designer this function in 1829? He uses French card names as "Dramatis Personae", the French Napoleanic phase had been short before, and possibly
Starklof had memories, when the kingdom of Westphalia was reigned by Jerome Bonaparte and had some contacts to French nobility in this period (he had studies in Göttingen).
Im J. 1832 wurde in Oldenburg unter Starklofs Mitwirkung das großherzogliche Theater gegründet; er übernahm die Leitung desselben und zog sich aus dieser Stellung erst im Frühjahr 1842 zurück, nachdem er, wie er selbst sagt, „Intendant, Direktor, Regisseur, Theatersekretär, Garderobevorstand und noch manches andere gewesen war“.
He engaged in theater between 1832-1842, which explains probably partly the work of 1829.
In den Jahren 1826 und 1827 bekleidete er kurze Zeit die Stelle eines Amtmanns zu Oberstein im Fürstenthum Birkenfeld, trat dann aber auf sein dringendes Ansuchen wiederum in seine Stellung beim Kabinett in Oldenburg ein.
Birkenfeld is in Birkenfeld, Saarland near France, where he was in 1826-27 in public function, probably this explains his interests in French cards (the region is known for some German/French mix). From Birkenfeld to Lyon (place of Richelon) it's 600 km. When he returned to Oldenburg, he probably brought some French customs to the high north of Germany, so probably also playing cards, possibly welcomed as a novelty at the Oldenburg court (grand duchy since short time then). So he made a theater play around these strange French cards.
But Rochilon playing cards might have been rather old then, about 150 years. Why he connects Rochilon to the invention? Why he uses a Tarot structure in combination with the French court card names? ... ian_Ludwig ... Biography ... TEXT=Armin

Re: Nicolas Rolichon


Thanks a lot Ross for the Larousse dictionnaire link !

Huck, thanks for pointing the hyatus in this list of cardmakers.

I find it extremely odd that the deck was undetected by researchers except Lhôte after being documented in 1919 and then again in 1994 - Lhôte points out that this datation would make it the oldest known Tarot de Marseille.

I can see several hypothesis we shall try to sort or eliminate :
- less seductive hypothesis : an error from the Larousse dictionary ? Doubtful since the style certainly shows an early Tarot de Marseille design, the back of the card is similar to other XVIIth decks ( if the reproduction is accurate )
- second less seductive hypothesis : I always keep in mind the late XIXth century Lequart case of a Tarot falsely dated from 1748 - based on the cardmaker Arnoult creation date in 1748 but not related to Tarots. This may be a similar case of a Tarot designed in the early XVIIIth that was lately attributed to the founder of the Rolichon dynasty ?
- possibility of a missing Nicholas Rolichon during the 1635-1660 gap or at the same time as Jean 1660-1674 ?
- very unlikely : a work of Nicolas Rolichon 1575-1635 which would make the deck not only the oldest example of Tarot de Marseille deck but also an extremely old example of Tarot ?

Robert, the reversed Death is indeed a remarkable detail (then again - although very unlikely - it might be an error in the dictionary reproduction) since this shared detail with asserted XVIIth Noblet fuels the idea of an early Tarot de Marseille design. That and the back of the cards similar to Noblet, Vieville, anonymous.

Thank you very much,

PS: to make them more easily readable I copied the scans from the Larousse 5 pages tarot article here :

Re: Nicolas Rolichon

Oh man, there are so many little interesting details. I'm on a break between work and class tonight, so won't be able to compare these images to the Dodal and Payens until later, but I must say, this might be one of the most enjoyable decks to compare that I've encountered in years. I see lots of similarities to the Dodal and to the Payens, and differences as well.

Coming into this, I've assumed that the Dodal is the older rather than the Payens, but this has so many Payen similarities, while exhibiting the reversed Death, I'm tempted to rearrange dating, which would be very damaging to some of my pet theories.

Yup... this is going to be fun.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Nicolas Rolichon

Very nice discovery.
Bertrand wrote:.......Jean-Marie Lhôte says that the only source for this deck is this reproduction from the Dictionnaire Larousse mensuel.......
A lot of things got lost during the World Wars.
Especially in Germany and France.
It may very well be gone, but for this little drawing.

Re: Nicolas Rolichon

Cartes à jouer des XVe et XVIe siècles / Claude Dalbanne. – 1952
In: Bulletin des musées lyonnais, 1.1952, p. 33-40

Bolache, Amy [Stecher von Spielkarten]
Genevoy, Claude [Stecher von Spielkarten]
Rolichon, Nicolas [Stecher von Spielkarten]
Turin, Gonin [Stecher von Spielkarten]
Vise, Jaques [Stecher von Spielkarten]

Claude Dalbanne seems to have been around 1950 a director of Le musée historique de Lyon, probably he wrote about cards, that this museum was in possession of, and about artists from Lyon.
Musee Historique de Lyon is located in one of the most prestigious Renaissance buildings in old Lyon. Constructed at the start of the 16th century by the son of a spice seller, it was turned into the museum in 1921. The history of Lyon from the middle ages to the 19th century is presented through archaeological relics, sculptures, paintings, lithographs, cards and maps. Spread out over 3 floors, you won't be disappointed in this history lesson that brings the past alive. Entrance is EUR3.80.
1, place du Petit-Collège
Lyon, France 69005
Tel +33 4 78 42 03 61 ... _Lyon.html

Well, it's probably the 16th century Nicholas Rolichon noted.

Re: Nicolas Rolichon

I spent a little time last night (well, just a little, I was terribly tired) comparing the NR to the Dodal and Payen. My impression now is that it is most closely related to the Dodal, and was probably created after it. This may change.

I've put the trumps as individual cards in this folder for comparison:

One of the most interesting details I noticed was the breast on Temperance, how odd. Any explanations?

The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Nicolas Rolichon

I wrote Thierry Depaulis about Rolichon's Tarot, and he told me that when Jean-Marie Lhôte discovered it in the pages of the Larousse Mensuel about 20 years ago, he wrote to TD to ask him about it.

The original is nowhere to be found, and it is unclear if the Larousse Mensuel artwork is based on a photograph or is some other kind of line-art, or is pulled from a plate (unlikely). If it were a real photograph, the cards should be colored.

Although they both knew D'Allemagne's dates for Nicolas Rolichon, neither Depaulis nor Lhôte could accept a circa 1600 date for the Tarot (or before 1635), and were inclined to date it to the late 17th century. They believe it is possible there was an unknown "Nicolas Rolichon" of the late 17th century. Nevertheless, it remains a rare early Lyon Tarot.

Without the original cards, or a photograph of them, it is impossible to be more precise.

Re: Nicolas Rolichon

Well, the details are well drawn. I think a lot can be gathered from them. When compared to the Dodal, this deck seems to lose details in many areas, and doesn't really offer much clarification for other areas. But the details are specific enough to gain some insight from them. When looking at the World card for instance, you'll notice that the lion has round ears, like on the Dodal, and that this differs from the Payens.



Here's the Payen:

You'll also notice that more of the ox's body is in the card, as on the Payen, but the halo is more squared, as in the Dodal.

You'll also notice that on the NR, the bottom of the mandorla extends downward, as on the Payen, but not like the Dodal. This is odd.

Most importantly, I've just noticed that.. judging by the forehead of the figure on the Payen card, the figure in the centre is not Jesus Christ after all, but Harry Potter. :ymparty:
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

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