Re: John Shephard - Goldschmidt tarot

mikeh wrote:Huck wrote,
The Goldschmidt cards are in the Spielkartenmuseum Stuttgart-Leinfelden. Hoffmann reported 1972, that a paper research was done in the 1950's. The result was a c. mid 15th century.
Looking in Hoffman's book of 1972, The Playing Card, in the English translation, I see nothing about "paper research". In the paragraph after his discussion of the Goldschmidt, on p. 18, he does say
There is literary and material evidence of the game of tarots in the middle of the 15th century.
This refers to the game in general, not the Goldschmidt in particular. But perhaps Hoffman wrote something else in 1972.

Perhaps you have a German language source that includes the information you cite. If so, could you find it?
It is obviously of crucial importance in discussing the cards.'

Also, do you have any suggestions as to who the castle-ladies would be?
In the German edition at p. 163, and Nr. 19 of "Bildtafeln" inside "Bilderläuterungen" (in the appendix, starting after the picture-part) it says ...
"Provence (?), Mitte 15. Jh.: Sog. "Goldschmidt-Karten", handgemalt, Hintergrund vergoldet und gepunzt auf Pergament, 14, 0 x 6,5 cm, RS: dunkles Karmin. Lit: V. Goldschmidt: Farben in der Kunst, Heidelberg 1919, Bd. III, T 66 a-e, T 67 f-i; 54/52; 71/243; 72/89; 91/100. Ein Gutachten des Doerner-Institutes vom 21.6. 1955 bestätigt das Alter der Pigmente.
Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Deutsches Spielkarten-Museum."

RS likely means Rückseite ("backside"). Lit: means literature. The references are likely only clear, if you see the mentioned book.
This is likely "V. Goldschmidt" ...
also here ... ... hmidt.aspx

... and he (likely') wrote about these cards and researched the colors in 1919 in "Farben in der Kunst", printed in Heidelberg, volume 3. The Doerner Institut (about 35 years later) seems to have confirmed the dating: "mid 15th century". ... 7459225/bd
... 1280 Euro for all 3 ...


Well, I assume, that the ladies have a Flemish style and it fits with the idea, that the cards possibly were made in Genappe 1456-1461 in Burgundy (in the Belgium part).
The region (and the court of Burgundy) was famous for their falcons, which also appear in the deck (falconer). Milan (Galeazzo Maria) around 1470 got its falcons from Burgundy.
Sforza cards, which include the Isabella d'Este motto and therefore should be from "after 1505", contain a falconer, which in earlier Visconti-Sforza versions are not known.

Re: John Shephard - Goldschmidt tarot

In the English Hoffmann this note is on page 80, number 19. The Doerner institute confirmed the age of the pigments, not the paper. The "paper" is actual parchment, which is very rare for cards. On the card showing a bishop, you can also see on the far left edge that it is a kind of palimpsest (I am not sure if it is a full palimpsest - i.e. that the ink of the text has been erased and painted over, or if it is just a thickening layer); the text is gothic style. I haven't studied it yet to see if it is printed or manuscript, which would help establish a terminus post quem.

As far as I can tell, nobody doubts the cards' authenticity; the only question is whether they should be considered a Tarot pack at all.

Further bibliography is:
Dummett, Game of Tarot, pp. 73-74;
Depaulis, ed., Tarot: jeu et magie, pp. 39-40, number 6; the article is written by Hoffmann.
Dummett, Il Mondo e l'Angelo, pp. 65-66.

Re: John Shephard - Goldschmidt tarot

Thanks ...

Going through the older text, I see, that I overlooked the horizontal written line, that Marcos once referred to. Another (possible ?) written line follows to the right, and a 3rd one seems to be at the black bottom border (or left border, if the card would be upright).
Anyway, I can't read it.
mmfilesi wrote:HI again friends, two questions

a) Somebody have the Delphine and the 5 batons in color?

b) Somebody know what said the phrase in the Bishop?

For the other question of Marcos ...
"a) Somebody have the Delphine and the 5 batons in color?"

The 5 of batons in color is in the Hoffmann book.
Recently I presented the golden dolphin ("Delphine") somewhere ... but where?

Ah, here ....

at ...


Added later:

This are the both suspicious places at the bishop card:
One presents clearly a scripture, the other part looks more like some natural break of old color.



Re: John Shephard - Goldschmidt tarot

I’d doubt the deck would be directly for the Dauphin but possibly for an ecclesiastical figure that was the Dauphin’s client…if that’s what the fish symbolizes. Rene Anjou, who certainly was aware of tarot-like productions, utilized a similar fish via the coat of arms of the Duchy of Bar of which he controlled:

The noblewoman holding the fortress certainly speaks to some sort of building undertaking (a convent or church is more frequently shown in a saint’s hands for this motif, but royal donors are not infrequent like the Sforza and the Certosa diPavia foundation) or perhaps a benefice – and given the presence of the bishop and the cross on the heraldic three mountain motif this is possibly the bishop’s benefice, again, with a connection to the Dauphin or Duchy of Bar? As for the “MAC”, I was once musing that the person the deck was made for was the Camerlengo, with the AC at least connected to the Apostolic Camera, but I could find no connection for the M and the AC would be reversed in Latin.

As for the other coat of arms, the yellow bends/diagonals on the coat of arms on the livery of the falconer, are similar to the stemma in Milan’s Sforza Castle Museum on a fragmented cycle of frescoes - actually entire walls - pertaining to the myth of Phaethon (“Mito di Fetonte” - the museum merely attributes them to an anonymous Lombard painter and the end of the 15th century – not very helpful). Not sure if the stemmi are related (perhaps one is a cadet branch’s version) but “Lombardy” at least places us in the realm of tarot productions. A major difference is that the fresco version shows a flattened imperial eagle in the upper horizontal band of the shield . Aside from the possibility of some relation to that on the falconer, I’d love to know where this fresco cycle came from; I’ve thumbed through the Stemmario Trivulziano looking for this coat of arms with no luck – if anyone has any ideas as to which family, would love to hear. This coat of arms appears a few times in the upper band of the frescoes where putti frolic, etc.; I have better photos from a subsequent visit (can’t find at the moment), but here is one of the fresco fragments with the coat of arms:
Italy, April 2010 450.JPG
Phaethon fresco, Milan
(479.98 KiB) Not downloaded yet

Re: John Shephard - Goldschmidt tarot

Dauphiné liard of Charles VII (Kingdom of France)

Dating: 1422 to 1440
Mint: Crémieux
Weight: 1,31 grammes
Diameter: 18 mm
Metal: billon
Other informations about the type:
Condition: VF
Particularity: double shifted strike on reverse

Image ... 'or_Fr-355
FRANCE, Royaume, François Ier (1515-1547), AV écu d'or au soleil du Dauphiné, s.d. (1521-1527), Grenoble. 2e type. Droit: Champ écartelé de France-Dauphiné sous un soleil. Différent: rosette et E en fin de légende (Etienne Nachon). Revers: Croix fleurdelisée cantonnée de deux F couronnés. Très Beau à Superbe. (kingdom of France, Francis I (1515-47), gold écu d'or au soleil du Dauphiné without date (1521-27), Grenoble mint, second type. Obverse: quartered fields with dolphins and fleur-de-lys beneath a sun; privy mark: rose and "E" at end of legend; reverse: floriate cross with two crowned "F's" in the fields; very fine to extremely fine.)"

This money looks more like a "crowned dolphin" ....

Image ... 920,a.html

... given to 1584 and to Delfino Tizzone, comte of Desana (which is in Piedmont - 60 km northeast of Turin) and so relative close to the Dauphine.
Le droit de battre monnaie a été accordé à Louis II Tizzone(1510-1525)par Maximilien d'Autriche(1493-1519).Les comtes de Desana monnayèrent jusqu'en 1683,date à laquelle l'atelier fut cédé au Duc de Savoie qui le ferma. Agostino(1559-1582) et Dauphin(1583-1598) imitèrent les Louis II de Montpensier et les Liards royaux français


The 2 fishes of the duke of Bar are quite different.

Image ... r_Arms.svg

Re: John Shephard - Goldschmidt tarot

The French dolphin does indeed look obvious, but the only unambiguous coat of arms is the yellow diagonal/bends on the falconer’s livery, which points to a specific person/family, perhaps aligned with the French Crown/Dauphin. Until that stemma is identified, I’m not sure how close we can get to the patron of the cards.

The bottom line on the dolphin, however, is that it maps over the Sforza snake and does so with a degree of similarity. So it begs the question about whether a suitable, similar symbol was simply sought for or if that symbol had a primary meaning for the deck. Does the mapping over the Sforza symbol possibly point to events in Milan? I am of course thinking of the French occupation and perhaps a family that allied itself with the French Crown (perhaps a family allied with the Trviluzi – a member of which married one of Colleoni’s daughters - who lead the conquest of Milan).

One other thought – is it possible that the Goldschmidt was an intermediary step towards the Marseilles deck? The checkerboard floor of the Goldschmidt cards is shared with the Cardinal/Death on the Victoria and Albert museum trump (the rest of the cards in the VA group do not have the checkerboard, but the Cardinal/Death not only shares the checkerboard with the Goldschmidt cards but also the religious theme – the latter having both a bishop and someone praying; so, again, perhaps an ecclesiastical benefice doled out by the French to an ally when taking Lombardy).

Does the VA Cardinal/Death card really belong with the other late “Colleoni” decks that feature the Colleoni stemma on the fountain? If yes, the route of transmission might look like this: late (“Colleoni”) Sfora decks’ checkerboard and large sun (among other elements) absorbed into the likes of the Goldschmidt deck with just the sun being retained in the Marseilles deck (perhaps the former presence of the checkerboard floor was transformed into the similarly orthogonal wall in the case of the Marseilles sun trump?:


PS interesting that the Rosenthal deck features a cardinal as well, and that the Sun card has a fleur-di-lys (France or Florence?) as well as the fortress symbol we find elsewhere in the Goldschmidt (the woman holding the model of a fortress). Cardinal Ascanio Sforza was alive until after Milan fell (died in 1505) and one wonders if this was connected with his circle?

Re: John Shephard - Goldschmidt tarot

I've no idea for the heraldry of the falconer at one of the Goldschmidt cards.

For the two V-S-decks, which contain a Visconti viper (Bartsch and Rosenthal), I assume, that they should have been made after 1505, the time, when Isabella d'Este adopted the motto "nec spes, nec metu" (which appears at one card, Ace of cups). Actually I go so far to say, that this deck was developed under the influence of Isabella d'Este, who arranged the crowning festivities for Massimiliano Sforza in 1512 (the deck likely made at this opportunity). I've written about this at another location ... ... ost3842551
... and the following pages. That's a longer excursion there.

In this context it plays a role, that a specific card with heraldic design (Croatia, Frangipani family) ...


... had appeared in a deck fragment, which included cards, which were known as part of Rosenthal, Bartsch and Victoria-Albert Museum VS-Tarocchi.
A Frangipani was involved in the battles of 1512 and he had married a sister of cardinal Gurk and cardinal Gurk had been close to Isabella d'Este in this interesting year 1512. The sister earlier was lady of the Austrian court of Bianca Maria Sforza, who had a special favour for playing cards, btw.


Now we have for the Goldschmidt cards the old diagnosis "mid 15th century" (Goldschmidt and the Doerner institute), and "mid 15th century" is rather far away from 1512. Nonetheless your above observation, that the dolphin in Goldschmidt cards and the VS-viper in Bartsch and Rosenthal Tarocchi have their similarities, has its merits and somehow this condition demands, that there are not about 50 years or even more between the dates of the productions.

The research about the dolphin gave the result, that the Dauphine dolphin looked similar to the Goldschmidt dolphin, but the dolphin of the Conte de Desana looked more similar (a clear "crowned dolphin").

Here is some info about Lodovico Tizzone, conte of Desana, a title which he got from emperor Maximilian in the year 1510 (which is close enough to 1512) together with the right to mint money. ... izzone.htm

Naturally these pieces of information refer to the same situation: Massimiliano Sforza and 1512

Re: John Shephard - Goldschmidt tarot

But ...

... naturally the decks from Rosenthal, Bartsch, Victoria-Albert and also these new cards and some others of the VS-decks are closer to each other than the strange Goldschmidt cards. It's just, that the Dolphin use as a playing card looks rather similar as the use of the VS-Viper in the later VS-decks. As you had noted it before. It's definitely a sort of plausible argument to assume a correlated production.

In the community of the Rosental-Bartsch-etc. group it seems, that only the heraldry card (Viper, Dolphin, or Croatian flag) or the Ace of coins are variated (a cardinal in the Rosenthal) and the man on the Ace of Coins in the new cards:



Added later:

The crown for both objects is rather similar, too.


Re: John Shephard - Goldschmidt tarot

This should have some more details about the Tizzoni family and their money:

Memorie storiche dei Tizzoni, conti di Desana, e notizia delle loro monete
Costanzo Gazzera
dalla Stamp. reale, 1842 - 246 pages ... navlinks_s


A German report about the destiny of Desana ... ... ichtliches

* Completely destroyed in 1317, the population left the location

* The Tizzone family got the wrecked castle and the region from Monferrat with the promise to rebuild it in 1411 (inside the regency of Monferrat).

* Lodovico II Tizzone (* c. 1456) became signore of Desana in 1483. He got some imperial rights in 1485.

* In 1510 he got the title as imperial vicar and the right to mint own money

* In 1515 Desana was lost for the Tizzone (after the battle of Marignano)

* In 1525 Lodovico II returned (after the battle of Pavia)


Further info:

Re: John Shephard - Goldschmidt tarot

Thanks, Huck and Ross, for verifying the reference in Hoffmann. I was indeed wondering whether it was the "paper" or the paint. My question is not about their authenticity, but about the date range for the 1950s pigment analysis. I assume that it is based on what pigments were used when. But surely painters can't have used a particular pigment set just for a few years, e.g. plus or minus 10. So what range do we have to consider?

My problem is that on the one hand, the lady at the kneeler seems to relate to a painting shown by La Croix in his book. acroix said that the engraving was copied from a picture that was done around 1470 of Charlotte of Savoy, who was maried to Louis XII in 1451 and so was the Dauphine until 1461, then Queen of France until they both died in 1483 ( First, here are the cards I need to refer to:

And the picture of Charlotte of Savoy:

The caption says,
Costume of Charlotte of Savoy, second Wife of Louis XI.--From a Picture of the Period formerly in the Castle of Bourbon-l'Archambault, M. de Quedeville's Collection, in Paris. The Arms of Louis XI and of Charlotte are painted behind the picture.
The original French, p. 382 at ... 1/mode/2up reads:
Fig. 427. Costume de Charlotte de Savoie, seconde femme de Louis XI. D'après un tableau contemporain provenant du château de Bourbon-l'Archambault, collection de M. de Quedeville, à Paris. (Les armoires de Louis XI et de Charlotte sont pientes derrière le tableau.
This type of subject, a stylish woman at a kneeler, is not one I have seen in art of that time otherwise.

The lady in both the card and the picture are middle aged. Charlotte was born in 1441. So likely they were both done around 1470 or later, although I suppose that since she had already had 4 childbirths by 1461, she might have aged prematurely or been thought of as middle aged even when she was 20. By 1470 she had had 8 childbirths, one of which was the future Charles VIII, the one who fought at the Taro River. There is also the coincidence of the crown, which narrows things down a bit.

Then there is the lady with the castle. This might refer to the occasion of the union of Brittany with France. She she could be Anne of Brittany (1477-1514), as Shephard suggested; her marriage to first Charles VIII and Louis XII united Brittany to France (bringing her castle to France, in other words) certainly justifies the crown. Or perhaps it is the regent, Anne of France, sometimes called Anne of Beaujeu,, born 1461, although then I am not sure about the crown. There might be both, since there are two ladies. That would make the card 1480-1515, which makes sense for me, but is even worse for the pigment issue.

It is pretty clear that court ladies in that part of France played triumphs. In 1449 Marcello's letter makes it clear that Isabella of Lorraine, ex-Queen of Naples, knows the game; she's in Anjou, very close by. Charlotte was from Savoy, in close proximity with Maria of Savoy from 1449 or so earlier, returned home from being a Visconti, to at least until 1451 marriage to Louis and probably later, with members of the family, since she was only 9 years old at the time of her marriage.

The "falconer", if done in 1461, would seem a bit young for Louis, born 1423. Charles would be better, born 1470, for a card, but for the pigment, of around 1483-1491 (age of majority), a good memorial to his mother and a good game for a kid.

As far as the cards being of Burgundian style, I don't think you can go by that, Huck. There was much artistic exchange and imitation between Lombardy, that part of France, and Flanders in the second half of the 15th century. These nobles had a certain sophistication from their travels, too: Savoy, Milan, Naples, and all the people Anne of Brittany brought to her court.

Added later: There are a couple of things about the cards above that are reminiscent more of the Cary-Yale than the PMB. The card with the bishop (and fleur-de-lys) has the same general layout as the "Hope" card, i.e. a standing figure reaching up for a symbol of hope. The anchor is even on the CY card, although at the bottom rather than the top. Secondly, the motif of having same-sex attendants to the main figure, as on both the kneeler and castle cards, is more characteristic of the Cary-Yale than other decks, as seen in the Emperor, Empress, Kings, and Queens. Perhaps Charlotte had a copy, from Maria of Savoy. Or the card really is 1450s and really does portray Louis as a teenager. But somehow the style looks a lot later.

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