Re: Tarot de Paris 1559 ...

Accoriding to Gebelin/Mellet, the name of the Ace of Coins in the game Aluette is 'le borgne',* the one-eyed; which in association with the King calls to mind the proverb:

"In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is King!"
[Au royaume des aveugles, les borgnes sont rois!]

[Both Gebelin and Mellet mention the game, stating the Spanish names of the cards preserved their ancient Egyptian origins, the one-eyed ace of coins being the Sun, Apollon [Phoeboae lampadis instar]; the cow (la vache = 2 of cups) is consecrated to Apis or Isis; Le Seigneur, le Maitre, the supreme being IOU (three of coins); etc]

NB: Accordingt modern rules I have seen, it is the 2 of coins that is called le borgne, not the Ace --
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Tarot de Paris 1559 ...

In the discussion at Aeclectic ...
... Philippe was satisfied with my explanations ...
hi Philippe,

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 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 ...

the card

Antoine II de Viste

Strozzi (usual)

Strozzi (usual)

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. ... n_heraldry

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 ...

Image ... earch/juan

... I found that a longer time ago, but nobody reacted on it.

Now I find the following work (written 2015) ...



from ... ol_10_no_1

... 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.
Well, that's nice, but I still see the weakness, that the Gonzaga sign couldn't be interpreted till now.


Popoff wrote, that this is Gonzaga, but I don't understand the reasons.


a selection from

The full page comment:
"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."
Louis married in 1565 Henriette of Cleves, heiress to the Duchies of Nevers and Rethel ...

Image ... _of_Nevers

... so one should forget Nevers and Rethel in the heraldry of 1559.

In 1559 there had been a war before and Louis Gonzaga (1559 he was 19 years old) had fought on the "wrong side", other Gonzagas were on the other side. In 1559 there was a peace agreement and Louis Gonzagawould present something, which was agreed on in the peace contract ... perhaps.

This is the Gonzaga basic heraldry:


Re: Tarot de Paris 1559 ...

A complex story is told about Anna d'Alencon (lived till 1562) ...'Alen%C3%A7on
... who arranged, that Louis Gonzaga became the heir of Monferrat.

One needs some better material to get insight in the full story.

Here is a coin study to Monferrat ...

Re: Tarot de Paris 1559 ...

The discussion at Aeclectic ended in a not desired result. The local moderators demonstrated another case of failed diplomacy. It's a pity ...

Tarot, Jeu et Magie
... has the text to the Tarot de Paris at Page 63 ff. ... m.r=popoff

Easier to handle is the version at ... ... 9/mode/2up



Stephen was so friendly to transcribe the list with own comments at #20... ... 099#p13099
... and translated them to English ... ... ostcount=2

Stephen added then a nice overview to the card denari 6 ...

... which by Popoff was given to ...

D 6 : Pairs ecclésiastiques du royaume :
1 : Reims
2 : Langres
3 : Laon (la croix est omise)
4 : Châlons
5 : Noyon
6 : Beauvais

On this point all agree.

The six belong to an old French peerage system ...
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."
Archbishop-Duke of Reims, premier peer
Bishop-Duke of Laon
Bishop-Duke of Langres
Bishop-Count of Beauvais
Bishop-Count of Châlons
Bishop-Count of Noyon
Duke of Normandy
Duke of Aquitaine, also called Duke of Guyenne
Duke of Burgundy
Count of Flanders
Count of Champagne
Count of Toulouse

According Popoff these 6 lay peerages appear on the cards 5 and 7:
D 5: (all ecus are bypassed):
I: Paris
2: Vendôme-La Marche
3: Lyon
4: Normandy
5: Toulouse

D 7: This series tries to represent the lay couples of the kingdom (the crowns are bypassed)
1: Aquitaine
2: Burgundy
3: Champagne

4: Bourbon
5: Flanders
6: Alençon
7: France (formerly)
Philippe made this statement in the development of his theory:
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)
English Wiki added to the themes of the peerages:
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. ... C3%A9gime)

Philippe added further details to his theory about the denari card no. 4, see ...

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