Thanks to Zucker's description and to the courtesy and competence of iagiforum's users, we have a well documented hypothesis for the family who commissioned the painted copy of the Sola Busca deck.
My interpolations in italics. Please, refer to the link above for images and the original Italian text (several errors have been noted in my translation, and more are likely present).
marc2 wrote: ...
[The Sola Busca deck] is composed of 78 engravings from Ferrara dating to the end of the XV Century. The only complete surviving copy has been richly painted, probably in Venice. Among the various details that the painter added to the engravings, there are a few coat of arms, which are likely connected to the owner of the painted tarot deck. In particular, on trump XIV (Bocho), the coat of arms presents the sentences “Anno ab urbe co[n]dita MLXX” (1070 years after the founding of the city). Since, according to the myth, Venice was founded in 421, art historians have dated the painted deck to 1491. A similar coat of arms appears on the Ace of Swords. Prof Mark Zucker (who discussed the deck in the Illustrated Bartsch) described the coat of arms as “three red bars on a silver background, overlaid by an undulating gold bend”. I attach a rough reconstruction of Bocho's coat of arms.
These are the complete images of the cards on which the coat of arms is more clearly seen:
I would be interested in your opinion about the meaning of this coat of arms. Could it really be related to the owner of deck. Is it somehow identifiable?
Salvanèl wrote: It is the coat of arms of the Venier family from Venice.
“Red and silver bars crossed by a gold bend”.
marc2 wrote: I found online this Venetian armorial. I noticed the similarity between the coat of arms on the cards and that of the Venier, but this version is different: the bars seem to be golden and the bend is missing. Are this differences due to the unreliability of the armorial or do different versions of the coat of arms exist?
Tilius wrote: It would be Venier even if the gold bend were not part of the coat of arms. … The “basic” Venier coat of arms is red and silver bars, or silver and red bars.
Franco Benucci wrote: The variant with the gold bend is document as well, even if usually it is not represented as a belt. On the other end, red and gold bars do not seem to appear anywhere else (possibly the online version of that armorial colours are quite distorted...).
Tilius wrote: Correct. The reproduced page is yellowed, but not so much as to suggest that the original intention of the author was not “red and gold” for the Venier coat of arms.
Other variants are documented. E.g. “silver top bar with a red lion of St. Mark”, from the Munich armorial.
marc2 wrote: …
I would like to know in which contexts the gold bend was used and which was its meaning. Would you please suggest to me a bibliographic document where I could find more about this?
Thanks to a post by De Gules, I have found MS 1379 at the Casanatense Library. Even in this armorial, the bend is missing. It seems that the variant with the gold bend is not so frequent.
Franco Benucci wrote: [The gold bend] had no particular meaning. It only identified a specific branch of the family. A document that can be easily accessed is “Blasone veneto” by Coronelli. In order to identify the specific branch, it could be necessary to go to Venice, to the State Archive, in order to check the “Arbori” by Barbaro. (a manuscript by Marco A. Barbaro “Arbori de' patritii veneti”, “[Genealogic] Trees of the Venetian nobility”)
the Venier coat of arms, with errors both in colours and spelling [VEMERI for VENIERI] ([Munich armorial] cod. Icon. 273, 274, volumes VIII and IX respectively c. 153r and c. 85r-86r ).
The gold bend on the bars, as well as its thinner variant called “in divisa”, is a “brisure” or “spezzatura”: i.e. a variant of the coat of arms used to distinguish it from other branches of the same family.
I attach a colour image from the “Stemmarietto veneziano Orsini De Marzo” (small Venetian armorial) published in “Stemmario Veneziano Orsini De Marzo”, Niccolò Orsini De Marzo ed., Milano, 2007, p.314, and a black and white image from “Blasone Veneto” by Vincenzo Maria Coronelli, printed in Venice in 1693.
Franco Benucci wrote:
Tomorrow I am going to Venice. At the Archive, I will check which is the branch with the gold bend brisure.
Franco Benucci wrote:
Strangely, the “Arbori” by Barbaro do not present any trace, graphical or textual, of the Veniers “with the bend”. But I have found some interesting information about the coat of arms of the family in general and its variants …
VII (33), 211: The Veniers descend from the Roman Emperor Valerian, who granted Pavia and Cremona to Zuanne and Franceschino, in reward for their merits. Those cities were abandoned by the descendants, for fear of ...[sic]. In order to show their jurisdiction, they kept as their coat of arms that of the city of Cremona, with three red bars and three white bars [see http://www.araldicacivica.it/stemmi/com ... e/?id=1420], and gave up the coat of arms with a pelican. They went to live in Vicenza, so when they came to these islands [i.e. Venice] say were called “Vicentij”. They lived in Eraclia [Eraclea, near Jesolo, North-East of Venice] while that was the seat of the Doge, then in Malamocco, then in Rialto, where they built the Church of Saint Moses, Saint John Beheaded, and much of St. Aponal [Apollinar?].
VII (33), 243:
When we took Saint Mark instead of Saint Theodore as our patron, also the Veniers put him in their coat of arms. Since [the emblem of] Saint Mark is red, it had to be placed on a white bar. In order to place it in the highest place of the coat of arms, they changed the order of the bars, with Saint Mark at the top.
The nephews of procurator Lunardo … owned houses in the quarter of Saint Moses, where you can see, [carved] in stones and on wells, the coat of arms of the Venier, with the top bar in relief, in order to show that red was at the top.
With the exception of the last technical detail above, C. Freschot, “La nobiltà veneta”, Venice, G.G. Herz, 1707, gives the same information:
Venier. Three red bars or, according to some MS, purple, with the same number of silver bars. In the second version, the bars are lowered by a silver header, with a red St. Mark. The ancestors of this house used a silver pelican in a purple field.
The variant with the bend brisure seems indeed to be very rare (as well as that with blue and white bars)...