Kwaw told me about this thread.Recently jtdemers was asking in another thread which sense could be given to the minors of this mysterious deck and was referring to a thread on forum.tarothistory.com discussing the heraldry on the pentacles cards.
All the members seemed to take for granted the arguments advanced by a certain M. Popoff in the well known M. Depaulis' booklet "Tarot, jeu et magie" from 1985. I disagree with several of his assignments hence this thread.
I wasn't totally confessed by Popoff's analyses, but at least it was then (2012) an existent opinion without any other opinion to the coin suit of Tarot des Paris.
And I don't claim to understand French heraldry very much, so I had not much interest to doubt Popoff's identification.
For my dating of 1559 for the Tarot des Paris only 3 cards were really relevant.
1. The 2 of coins, which Popoff identified as containing Strozzi and Gonzaga heraldry
2. The 9 of coins, which contained at one coin a sign of Diane de Poitiers
3. The 10 of coins, which contained at one coin a sign with an "H", which Popoff recognized as related to King Henry II
I could recognize the 3 crescents on the card as belonging to Strozzi then, but I couldn't identify, how Popoff came to the conclusion, that the other sign should relate to Gonzaga.
The 3 Strozzi crescents are usually arranged horizontally, on the card the crescents decrease in height from left to right.
The person, that you suggest, has the crescent also decreasing in height from left to right and that's closer to the card motif. That seems better, but ...
Antoine II de Viste
Strozzi (variant) ... or simply "too modern" ???
... a commercial website ...
So that's an open question. Generally I saw a lot of French heraldry with 3 crescents, but I noticed not, that one decreased in height from left to right.
I found no connection of Antoine II de Viste to playing card documents. For the Strozzi and the Gonzaga this is given, however, and that counts something in my considerations.
You seem to suspect, that the "Gonzaga sign" relates to Emperor Charles V.
This remembers me on an older playing card document ...
... I found that a longer time ago, but nobody reacted on it.
Now I find the following work (written 2015) ...
... as it seems, that's perhaps in our interests not of relevance.
Chiffre for Diane de Poitiers (9 of coins)
Chiffre for Henry II. (10 of coins)
Henry II played with the letter H and a double DD for Diane. Diane (as the goddess Diana) had 3 crescents, cause the goddess Diane was a bow-shooter.
Strange enough, this created some nearness to the 3 crescents in the Strozzi heraldry.
I've difficulties to take Diane of VERY high importance before 1447 (death of Francois I) ... so from this the suspicion, that the deck was not made before 1447.
Louis Gonzaga was quite young in 1447 (and not in France) in 1447. Considering his age and the overall political situation it seems plausible to assume 1559, cause Diane de Poitiers lost her importance in 1559 with the dearth of Henry II.
Anyway, I'm happy, that this fixed and not really sensitive "Tarot de Paris c. 1600" found some general criticism.
"Louis Gonzaga (1539 –1595) Duke of Nevers, son of Francesco III Gonzaga, (1533 – 1550) Duke of Mantua. Married Henriette of Cleves, heiress to the Duchies of Nevers and Rethel. Chevalier du Saint-Esprit."
In the discussion at Aeclectic ...
... Philippe was satisfied with my explanations ...
Enlish wiki: "Medieval French kings conferred the dignity of a peerage on some of their pre-eminent vassals, both clerical and lay. Some historians consider Louis VII (1137–1180) to have created the French system of peers.
A peerage was attached to a specific territorial jurisdiction, either an episcopal see for episcopal peerages or a fief for secular ones. Peerages attached to fiefs were transmissible or inheritable with the fief, and these fiefs are often designated as pairie-duché (for duchies) or pairie-comté (for counties).
The traditional number of peers is twelve."
D 5: (all ecus are bypassed):
2: Vendôme-La Marche
D 7: This series tries to represent the lay couples of the kingdom (the crowns are bypassed)
7: France (formerly)
When the lay peerages were extinct or reunited to the Crown, other eminent dignitaries played their role. It 's precisely what happened on the 30th May 1484 during the coronation of Charles VIII (1470-1498) :
- Louis Duke of Orleans (coat n°12), Valois & Milan, future Louis XII, played the role of Duke of Burgundy (7) (extinct at least for France if not for the Hasburgs since Charles the Bold's death in 1477)
- René Duke of Alençon (coat n°11) played the role of Duke of Normandy (4)
- Pierre de Bourbon (coat n°9), Count of Clermont & La Marche (coat n°2), sieur of Beaujeu and Armagnac played the role of Duke of Aquitaine (6)
- François de Bourbon (coat n°9), count of Vendôme (coat n°2) played the role of Count of Toulouse (5)
- Louis de Bourbon (coat n°9), Dauphin d'Auvergne, played the role of Count of Flanders (10) (as for Burgundy the real Count was Maximilian)
- Philippe of Savoy, Count of Bresse, played the role of Count of Champagne (8)
Thus have we used all the coats of arms, excepting n°1 Paris and n°3 Lyon (that I will explain later)
In 1204 the Duchy of Normandy was absorbed by the French crown, and later in the 13th century two more of the lay peerages were absorbed by the crown (Toulouse 1271, Champagne 1284), so in 1297 three new peerages were created, the County of Artois, the County of Anjou and the Duchy of Brittany, to compensate for the three peerages that had disappeared.
Thus, beginning in 1297 the practice started of creating new peerages by letters patent, specifying the fief to which the peerage was attached, and the conditions under which the fief could be transmitted (e.g. only male heirs) for princes of the blood who held an apanage. By 1328 all apanagists would be peers.
The number of lay peerages increased over time from 7 in 1297 to 26 in 1400, 21 in 1505, and 24 in 1588. By 1789, there were 43, including five held by princes of the blood (Orléans, Condé, Bourbon, Enghien, and Conti), Penthièvre (who was the son of a legitimized prince, the Count of Toulouse, also a pair de France), and 37 other lay peers, ranking from the Duchy of Uzès, created in 1572, to the Duchy of Aubigny, created in 1787.
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