Re: Nicolas Rolichon

Sure, it could be Hairy Potthead.

But I think that the lines are well-done too, and trust it is a good example of the Tarot de Marseille I family. Thierry pointed out that "typical are trumps VI, XVIII, XXI, as well as LE FOL (instead of LE MAT in the later model)." By "later model" he means Tarot de Marseille II.

I wonder about the loss of the definition in the Ox head too on the Payen; it seems Dodal and Rolichon preserve the "original" better here (presuming that definition and distinction is more often lost than gained in copying).

We still have Sforza Castle to compare it to - and this really must be a 16th century card (or c. 1600).

Re: Nicolas Rolichon

robert wrote: One of the most interesting details I noticed was the breast on Temperance, how odd. Any explanations?
Amazons are said to have one breast only. Perhaps Temperance was occasionally seen as the virgin aspect of the virtues? The figures uses two cups, but only one "gives" (wine or water or milk, whatever, the other takes). In the usual two natural breasts both "give".
Prudentia seem to give the "female advice", to "unite" with the man. Fortitudo seems to associate the act of love. Both aspects happen "during marriage", temperance appears before wedding.

I would believe, that this is an old idea, not an idea which appeared in the reproduction time.

Re: Nicolas Rolichon

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: The court cards by Jean Rolichon illustrated on pp. 106-107 are fantasy designs for the standard-suited French pack:

Spade (Pique) (p. 106)
Roi: Almanzor
Dame: Zayde
Valet: Muhavia
(they are all black/moorish)

Heart (Coeur):
R: Constantin
D: Fausta
V: Ablavius

Club (Trèfle):
R: Atabalipa
D: Titzala
V: Tepetipac

Diamond (Carreau)
R: Cyrus
D: Mandane
V: Araspe
Well, it are somehow real persons, Inkas for America (trefle), Moors for Africa (Pique), Cyrus for Asia (Carreaux) and Constantine for Europe (hearts).
This "national" organization appears first in the 60 card deck of Johannes von Rheinfelden 1377, then in the suits of the Hofämterspiel 1455 and in the deck of Master PW ca. 1500. So this style is based on a very old tradition, though a modern version.
I remember dark to have seen something similar (also connected to continents) elsewhere in our museum.

Re: Nicolas Rolichon

I'm still interested to understand the theater play of 1829 by Starklof

Starklof uses the usual French court card names for the 12 first figures (with the exception of "Rolichon" for the jack of clubs, which usually is filled with either Judas Makkabeus or Lancelot)


Pique-King: König David von Lilliput
Pique-Queen: Prinzess Pallas, David's daughter
Pique-Valet: Ogier, Krongroßjägermeister (master of the hunters ... probably not a relative ?)

Clubs-King: Nardak Alexander
Clubs-Queen: Nardakin Argine
Clubs-Valet: Staatskanzler Rolichon

Hearts-King: König Charles von Blefuscu
Hearts-Queen: Königin Judic, seine Gemahlin (Charles' wife)
Hearts-Valet: Feldmarschall Lahire (seems to be not a usual relative, a marshal)

Carreaux-King : Prinz Hector, Connetable des Reichs (probably meant as brother-in-law of Charles ?)
Carreux-Queen: Rachel, sister of Charles (probably meant as wife of Hector ?)
Carreaux-Valet: Prinz Cesar (nephew of Charles and probably meant as son of Hector ?)

Lilliput is a country of small men in Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver". "Blefuscu is an island nation located in the South Indian Ocean. Blefuscu is separated from the neighbouring island of Lilliput by an 800 yard wide channel." As playing cards are items with small persons on them, the analogy is understandable.

"Nardak" is a region in North India, which was involved in two wars with the East-Indian Company around 1845 (Sikhs). As the conqueror Alexander had been in India the use of the title "Nardak" in 1829 might be understandable this way, possibly associated, cause it is related to a black king.

Big version: ... d1805b.jpg

Other cards:

Clubs Ace - Oberbischof Basta (bishop)
Pique Ace - Justizminister Spadille (minister of justice)
Pique 2 - Oberhofmeisterin Mani
Carreaux 7 - Grossadmiral Manille (admiral)
Hearts 7 - Die böse Nille (wife of Manille)
Hearts Ace - Graf Herzponto, Mundschenk (count, cupbearer)
Careaux Ace - Graf Schmezponto, Leibarzt (count, physician)

Basta, Ponto, Spadille, Manille are all expressions from the game Quadrille, which has some roots (and words for specific cards) of Hombre. Mani and Nille somehow associate Manille.
Description Hombre ... ... -game.html

Pique 2 - Der große Casino, Finanzminister (minister of finances)
Careux 10 - Der kleine Casino, Stallmeister (minister of the stable)

Big Casino and small Casino appear in the card game Casino.


The major love affair seems to take place between "Prinzess Pallas, David's daughter" and "Prinz Cesar" ... this might relate to a specific relation of Pique Queen and Careaux Valet in a game, but I don't know it. The specific role of Rolichon as Valet of Clubs might associate German rules, in which this card often is the highest trump, so it might be an Oldenburger ironic counter joke against the many "special cards" in French decks, which are unusual in Germany.

Well, would be nice to read the prolog of Rolichon and what he has to say about the origin of the playing cards. Perhaps he amuses himself about the strongly discussed question.

Re: Nicolas Rolichon


... informs about the Dauphine/Piemont pattern, noting in this discussion also "Nicolas Rolichon (1572-83)" as a card makers, who was active in this deck type ...

A picture with examples is given (from Depaulis collection)

added text:
"Top two rows: Courts from different packs made in Chambéry, late 17th Century.
Bottom row: Geneva pattern, by Gassmann, Geneva, mid-19th Century (all T. Depaulis collection) "

Note in the description: "The maker's name generally appears in banderoles on JS" (Jack of Spades) "and JC" (Jack of Clubs).
As we see it at the Jack of Clubs in the left upper corner of the picture: "Joseph Mermoz".

From this it might be assumed, that the poet Ludwig Starklof simply knew 1829 a French deck, in which the Jack of Clubs showed a "Nicolas Rolichon".

Re: Nicolas Rolichon

Bertrand wrote:On traditiontarot forum, Charly Alverda just informed me that there are images from this deck in a book called "tarot point de croix" (more or less "tarot and cross-stitch" [sic])...

A small bump on this minor thread to add this minor detail : I just had the opportunity of checking the aforementioned book, and it appears those images are simply reproducton of the lines drawing either from Larousse Mensuel or maybe J-M Lhôte's book, not from the original cards.


Re: Nicolas Rolichon

I also have to add something ...
Huck wrote:I detected a theater play with the name "Rolichon" written in 1646 by the poet Seguin de Tarascon. ... on&f=false

... likely produced for Avignon, not Lyon. Rolichon is the married hero of the play.

Actually Rolichon is a rare name, it seems to have existed only in and around Lyon. Now it appears twice in theater plays in a dominant manner.
With Michel de Marolles and his ballet ...
compare the new thread
... we've another connection between theater and Tarot around the same time

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 24 guests