I'll contradict this, and suggest a production in 1559, based on the following considerations (which will not be finished in one post).
The heraldic of the Tarot de Paris was partly identified by Michel Popoff in a Bibliothèque Nationals catalog, "Tarot, Jeu et Magie". As I got it, also Thierry Depaulis contributed to this text.
1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10 coins make 55 heraldic signs to give some messages, what the artist might have intended in with his deck.
The 2 of coins, often used to design the producer, has 2 "messages": Gonzaga (above) and Strozzi (below). Strozzi is easy to decipher, Gonzaga is difficult.
This seems to be some Gonzaga basic heraldic
This is, what became of it in the case of Gonzaga-Nevers (state 1595):
(both shields from http://www.europeanheraldry.org/mantua.htm )
With goodwill I recognize ...
... an imperial double eagle and twice I would assume the horizontal Gonzaga-basic-stripes. The Imperial double-eagle at the head of the coin is the only one in all the 55 signs. With the blue frames I recognize further details of the eagle.
As we will see later, this is not a "German Imperial eagle", but a double headed eagle of the Paleologi, the earlier regents of Constantinople.
Now one has to consider, that the heraldry during a biography of a speciic person can change, especially in the case of the duke of Nevers-Rethel, who hadn't Nevers and Rethel before he married.
I don't know, how Michel Popoff made his identifications, but he writes: This is Gonzaga heraldic.
This article is of interest and it leads in the Gonzaga-labyrinth
Popoff is mentioned, so one should assume, that Popoff is indeed a Gonzaga-specialist...
On 8 Apr 1530, his son Federico II Gonzaga (d. 1540) was made duke of Mantua by the Emperor Charles V and was granted a crest: on Mount Olympus an altar and above it the word FIDES. In 1531, Federico II married Margherita Paleologo (d. 1566), heiress of Montferrat, in 1531, and the marquessate of Montferrat was attribute to him by Charles V 3 Nov 1536, after the death of the last male of the Paleologo line in 1533. Consequently, the arms of the Paleologhi were quartered with those of Gonzaga on the escutcheon of pretence: Quarterly gules a double-headed eagle displayed or (Paleologhi), per pale Jerusalem and Aragon, per pale Saxony and Bar, and Gules a cross between four letters B addorsed or (Constantinople); overall argent a chief gules (Montferrat). Federico II was succeeded by his sons Francesco III (d. 1550) and Gulgielmo (d. 1587). Monferrato became a duchy in Dec 1575. On that occasion, Emperor Maximilian II granted to Gulgielmo that the eagles be displayed and affronty. The escutcheon or pretence was changed to quarterly of nine in three rows of three, Byzantium, Bohemia, Gonzaga, Jerusalem, Aragon, Montferrat, Saxony, Bar, Constantinople. On 20 July 1588 Emperor Rudolf II granted to Guglielmo's son Vincenzo I (1562-1612) the right to an escutcheon of Austria surmounted by an archducal coronet in point of honor, above the escutcheon of pretence. On 25 May 1608 Vincenzo I created the Order of the Redemptor or of the Most Precious Blood (approved with some reluctance by pope Paul V); its collar henceforth surrounded the Gonzaga arms. Vincenzo I was succeeded by his sons Franceso IV (d. 1612), Ferdinando (d. 1626) and Vincenzo II (d. 1627), on whose death the senior line became extinct.
The junior branch of Gonzaga-Nevers succeeded after a brief succession war with the Guastalla branch (the Gonzaga-Nevers sold their French inheritance of Nevers to cardinal Mazarin in 1659). This branch was issued from Ludovico (1529-95), third son of Federico II, naturalized French in 1550, married in 1565 to Henriette de Clèves, heiress of the duchy-peerage of Nivernais, countess-peer and then duchess-peer of Rethelois in 1581. Ludovico was the very first knight to be received in the Order of the Holy Ghost in 1578. His arms were:Quarterly: 1, Gonzaga-Mantua (argent on a cross patty gules between four eagles displayed sable affronty an escutcheon bearing quarterly gules a lion argent tail forked gorged or, and barry of six or and sable; 2 and 3, quarterly of seven in one row of 4 and one row of 3, Clèves (gules an escarbuncle or), La Marck (or a fess chequy argent and gules), Artois (France ancient on a label gules three castles or on each pendent), Brabant (sable a lion or langued gules), Nevers (France ancient a bordure gobony argent and gules), gules three or (Rethel), Albret-Orval (quarterly France and gules a bordure indenty argent); 4, quarterly of six in two rows, Paleologue, Jerusalem, Aragon, Saxony, Bar, Constantinople, over all Montferrat. Over all France a bordure gules bezanty (Alençon).
His son Charles I (1580-1637) became duc de Nevers and Rethel in 1595, and duke of Mantua in 1627. By Catherine of Lorraine (d. 1618) sister of the duc de Mayenne, he had François de Paule (1606-22), duc de Mayenne, Charles (1609-31), duc de Rethelois, and Ferdinand (d. 1631), duc de Mayenne. By Maria of Gonzaga (daughter of Francesco IV) Charles had Charles (1629-65), duc of Rethel, Mayenne, Nevers (all of which were sold to cardinal Mazarini in 1654 and 1659), duke of Mantua, naturalized French in 1646. By Isabella Claire of Austria (d. 1685) he had Charles IV, last duke of Mantua (d. 1708), without issue. In 1707 Mantua was conquered by the Austrians and annexed to their Northern Italian domains in 1713, while Monferrato was handed over to the kingdom of Piedmont.
Another branch of the Gonzaga family, issued from a younger son of Francesco II in the 16th century, was given the county of Guastalla by Charles V in 1541. It was made a duchy by the emperor Ferdinand II in 1621. Guastalla was conquered by Spain in 1745 united to Parma-Piacenza in 1748. Other branches were the dukes of Sabionetta and princes of Gazzolo (from a son of Ludovico II) and the counts of Novellare (from a son of Luigi, the founder of the dynasty).
The heraldic information is from Giancarlo Malacarre and Rodolfo Signorini: Monete et Medaglie di Mantua e dei Gonzaga dal XII al XIX secolo. The information on the Nevers branch is from Levantal, the arms from Popoff.
Well, I didn't care too much about this question, how this shield could be really from Gonzaga. First I realized, that the Gonzaga shield in the Tarot de Paris was perfect to fit in my other considerations about a distribution of Tarot in France.http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Popoff
Michel Popoff, né le 27 juillet 1942, est un bibliothécaire et historien français, spécialiste de l'héraldique.
Il actuellement président de l'Académie internationale d'héraldique.
Michel Popoff a été conservateur en chef au Cabinet des Médailles de la Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Il est auteur de travaux de référence et d'éditions de documents sur l'histoire de l'héraldique.
My second attention went to the Strozzi shield. Why Strozzi?
The Strozzi were a big family and in c. 1430 they were considered to be more rich than the Medici in Florence. After Cosimo di Medici returned back from exile in 1434 a lot of the Strozzi had to leave Florence and had to live elsewhere. The Ferrarese branch was involved in Trionfi deck production. Tito Vespasiano Strozzi (poet) was the long living uncle of Matteo Maria Boiardo (died likely 1505). His son Ercole Strozzi was murdered 1508 under not very clear conditions in Ferrara. A lot of suspicion went on duke Alfonso d'Este, who in 1505 had ordered the production of Tarochi cards ... the first time, that a Taroch or Tarot word appeared in context to playing cards. A possible background was an often discussed erotic relationship between Pietro Bembo and Lucrezia Borgia, in which Ercole Strozzi might have served as a secret messenger.
The victim was stabbed with a knife 22 times (maybe true or may be "intentional legend"). "22" is the number of the Tarot card trumps. It happened in June 1508, and in April 1508 Lucrezia had given birth to Ercole d'Este, the heir of Ferrara.
I found a Strozzi-Gonzaga marriage, though at the level of lower nobility and with only distant relationship to the reigning house. The man (Pompeo Strozzi) worked as an important ambassador for the Mantova Gonzaga house in Rome in the 1570s and died 1582. He was considerable rich and had an impressing inventory then. One of his sons got the title later and helped to get Nevers house back (1627) to Italy and Mantova. The whole activity caused a major war (Mantovan succession war 1627-31) and the heavy destruction of Mantova in 1630 by troops of the emperor. Mantova and the Gonzagas were robbed in great dimensions, the Strozzi-Gonzaga also were victims.
I couldn't find enough indications, that this part of the Strozzi-family had much to do with Nevers-Rethel and France, there's just this interaction in 1627. So I gave up to consider this possibility.
Long after the Strozzi were exiled, there were given an allowance for some family members to come back. Then some marriages between Medici and Strozzi took place, but nonetheless hostility returned back in 1537, after the duke of Florence, Alessandro Medici, had been assassinated by a relative.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alessandro ... f_Florence
Cosimo I de Medici could win the succession and became grand duke of Toscana, inside the connected fights ....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filippo_St ... he_Younger
Two of the Filippo-Strozzi-sons died 1537, two others started a greater military career in France (their father had had also some condottieri experience). The two sons are ...Filippo Strozzi the Younger (1489 – December 18, 1538) was an Italian condottiero and banker, the most famous member of the Florentine Strozzi family in the Renaissance.
Born in Florence as Giambattista Strozzi, he was rechristened by his mother with the name of his father Filippo Strozzi the Elder, who had died two years after his birth.
Filippo Strozzi began his career as treasurer at Ferrara in 1513, and soon became a prominent figure in Florence's politics and economics. Although in natural competition with the other main family of the city, the Medici, he managed to ally with them through his marriage when the Medici were living in exile. When the latter returned in Florence, Strozzi obtained important political and diplomatic positions. However, when Lorenzo was replaced by Leopoldo and Alessandro de' Medici, he and his son Piero started to be looked as enemies by the new lords. Rumours about alleged Piero's (who was indeed son of a Medici) claims about the lordship of Florence reached Pope Clement VII who menaced the Strozzis of punishments. When Clarice died, the strain became unbearable: therefore Filippo and Piero self-exiled to Rome, in order to escape a likely attack from the ruthless Alessandro.
In Filippo's house in Rome Catherine de' Medici, the future queen of France, and Lorenzino de' Medici were educated. It is likely that Filippo himself prompted the latter to his assassination of the tyrannic Alessandro (1537). In the same year the Strozzi assembled an army, including numerous other Florentine exiled, and marched against Florence from France. the Strozzi army was first halted at Sestino by troops hastily mustered by the new Medici lord, the future Cosimo I. The decisive battle occurred on August 1, 1537 at Montemurlo. Cosimo's army, supported by Spanish troops, was victorious. Filippo Strozzi was imprisoned, while his sons escaped to Venice and then to France.
Detail over Strozzi's end are unclear. He died in the Fortress of San Giovanni Battista, in Florence, by suicide or killed by order of Cosimo de' Medici.
Filippo Strozzi had his famous Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, begun by his father, completed in 1534.
Piero Strozzi, the older son, Mareshal of France (1500 or 1510 - 1558), died during the siege of Calais
Leone Strozzi, 5 or 15 years younger than Piero, died in a sea battle 1554
Leone Strozzi with Malta cross
Piero had some more successes than Leone. In 1554 he became Mareshal of France. From a dictionary ...Leone Strozzi
Fu cavaliere dell'Ordine di Malta dal 1530, poi Priore di Capua e Commendatore di San Jacopo in Campo Corbolini.
Nel 1536 venne nominato Capitano delle galee di Malta, incarico che ricoprì di nuovo nel 1552. Alla morte del padre (1538), volle proseguire la sua azione antimedicea, diventando filofrancese in contrapposizione alla politica filoimperiale di Cosimo I de' Medici.
Fu ambasciatore dell'Ordine a Costantinopoli nel 1544. Fu anche Comandante nella marina da guerra francese. Si distinse in numerose campagne militari nelle guerre contro la Spagna e l'Inghilterra. Non si sposò e non ebbe figli.
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leone_Stro ... ottiero%29
After his father's defeat in the Battle of Montemurlo, Strozzi fled with his brothers to France, at the court of Catherine de' Medici. Later he fought against Cosimo I de' Medici at Siena, but was again defeated.
In 1530, Strozzi became Knight of the Order of Malta, for which he was Prior in Capua. In 1536, he was named commander of the galleys of the Order, a position he held again in 1552. In August 1547 he captured St Andrews Castle in Scotland from the Protestant Lairds of Fife who had killed David Beaton. The lairds knew an expert was in the field when they observed cannon being winched into position with ropes rather than exposing the besiegers to their fire.
Strozzi died in the siege of Scarlino, in Tuscany, during the unsuccessful defence of Republic of Siena against Florence and the Holy Roman Empire, shot by an arquebus ball.
He [Pierro Strozzi] obtained a pyrrhic victory at Pontedera on 11 June 1554, but his army could not receive help from the ships of his brother Leone (who had been killed by an arquebus shot near Castiglione della Pescaia) and he was forced to retreat to Pistoia.
Pierro Strozzi and Leone both were dead in 1659, logically they couldn't have influenced anything with the Tarot de Paris in 1559 or in c. 1600 or later. But there was a son, Philippe, in 1559 just 18 years old, well, of a similar age as the young Louis Gonzaga (20 years old). Philippe had already gotten some military merits in Piedmont (note "Piedmont") and during the successful siege on Calais ...
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Si%C3%A8ge ... %281558%29
... which was taken at 7th of January 1558 after Calais had been in English hands since more than 200 years under the generals duke of Guise and Piero Strozzi, Philippe's father ... well, this was a big success ... .
.... http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... Calais.jpg
Philippe's father, uncle and grand-father were French war-heroes, naturally one would have expected in 1559 similar strong activities from Philippe in later years ...
... but in year 1559, there was made a peace treaty between France and Habsburg in April 1559 and tournaments and festivities for the knights in the following months.
Unluckily one of the tournaments had a most tragical end, cause at 30 June 1559 at the Hotel des Tournelles ...
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... nelles.jpg
... the French king Henry II was mortally wounded
... and died 10 days later. The festivity seems to have been the celebration of the wedding of his daughter with King Philippe II of Spain, which naturally had been part of the peace conditions in April.
If one thinks about the idea, that the Tarot de Paris had been made in 1559, then this months between peace and death of the king seem to be the right moment, when two young Italians - Gonzaga and Strozzi - arranged an Italian gift for the French society. As already said, the suit of coins has 55 places to celebrate somebody in this deck, but there are only 3 Italian signs recognized by Popoff, two for Strozzi and Gonzaga and one for Milan, which once had been France. Well, and it seems somehow logical, that Italians made this deck and it seems somehow logical, that the producers appeared at the 2 of coins. And the Tarot of Paris is one of the most amusing between the old decks, and it's easily acceptable, that it was arranged in the spirit of two rather young men in good condition and with some humor and without fear about some satirical ideas.
With the research of Philippe Strozzi, who died in 1582, ...
... I started to give up in my attempt to identify the situation "around 1600 or later". I didn't see a Gonzaga-Strozzi connection, which might have cooperated in this time. So ... from this viewing point, the deck might have happened between 1457 (the date, when Ludovico Gonzaga appears first in France and 1582 (the year, when Philippe Strozzi died).
If anybody is interested to look for alternative situations, here is an usable article to the Strozzi family.
http://books.google.com/books?id=8Ok-AA ... zi&f=false
(will be proceeded with the next post)