How much Tarot decks in France in 17th century

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How much Tarot decks in France in 17th century

robert wrote: I always keep this quote from Dummett in mind:

“A million is probably a highly conservative estimate for the number of Tarot packs produced in France during the seventeenth century; of those, no more than four have survived to us.”

So, out of a million, in France, in the 1600s, four remain.

I actually would be very interested to know, at what calculation or what opinions this statement was based.

Any ideas? Actually it seems, that Tarot interest went down in c. 1660 in France. Is somewhere a list, which makes the up and down understandable?

1.000.000 would be 10.000 for each year. Possibly not such a high number. But if a greater part of years possibly were bad years, it would interesting to know, where and when the high points had been.

Huck
member

Re: How much Tarot decks in France in 17th century

I don't know how Dummett, or perhaps Depaulis (it's from WPC, I think), come to this number, but I do find it plausible.

Let's guess that Tarot was only 1% of all packs of playing cards produced, so that means one million packs per year of regular cards (on the basis of 10,000 Tarots per year average over the whole century). Is that too much?

The only way to have a basis on which to guess would be to find the number of cardmakers, and to find every indication of how many packs of cards they made, and to make an average out of it.

If we assume 100 cardmakers average on any given year over all of France, then each one would produce an average of 10,000 packs per year for a million packs overall per year. If only 10 of those cardmakers made Tarot cards, then it would be 1,000 packs of Tarot cards per year, per cardmaker.

That doesn't sound unreasonable. Of course the "average" is probably misleading; the game was popular in France only in the first half of the 17th century, maybe even the first quarter; but cardmakers made a lot for export as well.
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Ross G. R. Caldwell
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Re: How much Tarot decks in France in 17th century

It's from Game of Tarot, page 205.

I'll try to scan the pages directly before and after it in a few days because they are so fascinating, they describe the early production of tarot in France.

From what I read, Dummett never fully explains how he arrived at the one million number.
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robert

Location: Oxford, England
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Aliases: le pendu

Re: How much Tarot decks in France in 17th century

Hello,

I don't know if this has been done - I assume since Dummett doesn't mention it he didn't - but certain figures could be estimated from the Fermiers Generaux archives and other taxes to know at the moment taxes were imposed how many decks were created, I believe this is Depaulis methodology.
Regarding those figures, I'd like to make clear an important detail, following a remark by Robert :
If a scientist were to carry out an experiment with a sample of 4 (or 40!) out of a pool of 1,000,000, I wonder how reliable the research would be?
which sounds quite confusing.
If the production was of a million, however accurate that figure may be which is not a big deal anyway, we speak about the number of copies of X decks, X being the figure to which we shall compare the remaining sample of "4 or 40".
Given the known numbers of cardmakers in France, given that not all of them made Tarot decks, given that some of them used maybe four molds in their career while other unique molds were used by several cardmakers, the X - number of different decks - is far from a million. As I see it - and I may be wrong but would love to see this estimation corrected - a thousand different decks from XVIth and XVIIth centuries would be an extremely optimistic estimate of the number of different decks. Hence the sample of known decks may be more of 1 to 10% than 40 to on million, which makes quite a huge difference.

Moreover concerning the french parisian decks from the XVIIth century, the fact that those decks were part of Michel de Marolles collection, and as such were selected by him, should be taken in consideration when we wonder if this small sample is representative of the period production.

I don't mean here that we have a clear picture of the french cardmakers production, but maybe it is more accurate than is usually thought when we compare for instance the number of known different decks to the number of produced decks (each copy), a comparison that appeared here and there and though apparently convincing may be a bit irrelevant.

Again this is just my two cents, and I may be missing important points (maybe am I lacking some of those essential bricks we talked about earlier), so I eargerly expect your comments and corrections

Bertrand
Bertrand
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Location: Paris - France
Favorite Deck: Viéville

Re: How much Tarot decks in France in 17th century

Bertrand wrote:Hello,

Robert wrote:If a scientist were to carry out an experiment with a sample of 4 (or 40!) out of a pool of 1,000,000, I wonder how reliable the research would be?

From which 4 decks is precisely spoken, just to have it clear ... Tarot de Paris, Noblet, Vieville, Chosson?

Further, from my studies, I saw at a 19th century catalog a deck mentioned, which I don't know:

A Jean Hemau at Epinal lived in early 17th century ... somehow he made a Tarot, and actually it - somehow - should still exist somewhere.
... see viewtopic.php?f=11&p=11390#p11390
Somewhere I read, that he became active 1623.

Further there is the Nicolaus Rolichon case ...
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=475&p=6190&hilit=rolichon#p6190
... it seems not likely, that he was from 17th century, but one shouldn't forget about it.

Bertrand, your perspective looks interesting ...
a detail ..
Bertrand wrote:Moreover concerning the french parisian decks from the XVIIth century, the fact that those decks were part of Michel de Marolles collection, and as such were selected by him, should be taken in consideration when we wonder if this small sample is representative of the period production.

I wonder ... I've brought up (somewhere ?) myself through own considerations the idea, that the relevant decks had come through Marolles' earlier collection, but I couldn't call it a fact, just a plausible suggestion. You call it a fact. Do you've better information than me, that confirms this detail?

Huck
member

Re: How much Tarot decks in France in 17th century

Huck wrote:Hello,
From which 4 decks is precisely spoken, just to have it clear ... Tarot de Paris, Noblet, Vieville, Chosson?
Robert talked about 4 or 40 decks, so I don't believed he intended to be accurate, and what decks is quite irrelevant in the subject, the idea is that we have very few decks, considering either decks from the XVIIth (very few) or including later decks (much much more). Why on earth would we put Chosson ? Chosson is only one among *many* examples of Tarot de Marseille type 2 - they are pretty interchangeable from that point of view (Chosso, Madenié, Conver, etc, etc...)
A Jean Hemau at Epinal .. Nicolas Rolichon case ...
I think because of me this thread is going somewhere else away from the first post important question, so I should have open another thread to discuss the question of the number of potential different decks (which is different from the direction you seem to digress to now which seems to aim at elaborating a list of "nearly known" decks, also pertinent but as off topic as my own digression)
I wonder ... I've brought up (somewhere ?) myself through own considerations the idea, that the relevant decks had come through Marolles' earlier collection, but I couldn't call it a fact, just a plausible suggestion. You call it a fact. Do you've better information than me, that confirms this detail?
Not from the top of my head. It's probably an hypothesis that I took for fact, given that Marolles had a serious interest in Tarot, an awesome interest in prints both artistics and "of lesser importance" (1200 of the later type in his first collection, the one that was sold to Colbert), so we should consider this assumption an error. Anyway if not Marolles, someone thought it was worth collecting them at an earlier period possibly at the time it was made or a century later.

Bertrand
Bertrand
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Location: Paris - France
Favorite Deck: Viéville

Re: How much Tarot decks in France in 17th century

Thanks, Bernard.
I'm just searching for an orientation in a field, which I don't know very well. So I wish to have an idea, how popular Tarot might have been at given moments in the French development ... naturally inclusive contradicting opinions and doubts and insecurities. I could imagine, that Tarot in France had its most intensive phase in the period, when Maria de Medici had the reign for her son. After this the Italian influence might have slowed down, and with it the use of Tarot cards. The playing card ballet of Marolles in 1657 seems to indicate, that there's then a political Pro-French-playing-cards interest, which speaks against Tarot cards as "foreign cultural elements". In the ballet the brave French playing cards start a brawl with the Tarot cards ... and win, as it seems. Depaulis and Dummett expressed the opinion, that Tarot cards became later in the century less popular.
Louis XIV seems to have promoted card playing ... but not with Tarot cards. Actually he kept the French nobility under control with festivities, and part of the festivities seems to have been evenings with card playing. I saw descriptions of that, but I'm not sure, if he always played twice in a week ... as I've read .. in all these years.

For Marolles and if he brought some playing cards in the collection in Paris: This seems logical in my opinion, and if it could be proven or if this is already an older opinion, I would be interested to know about it.

The "Hemau Tarot" seems meanwhile just an earlier "wrong statement", with thanks to Ross' finding ... see the new developments in ...
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=752

Huck
member

Re: How much Tarot decks in France in 17th century

The four that Dummett referred to are also on page 208:

Dummett in Game of Tarot, page 208 wrote:There are two complete packs, both made in Paris, in the Bibliothéque Nationale, one nearly complete pack made in Rouen belongs to a private collector, Mr David Temperly; and an uncut sheet, showing twelve court cards which may come from a Tarot pack made in Toulouse, is in the Musée Paul Dupuy in that city.

The two complete decks are the Paris and the Vieville.

The Rouen deck is the Adam C. de Hautot.

The Toulouse sheet is Tarot de Marseille II style, I found it by searching the web and have started a thread to discuss it further:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=803

The Noblet and Chosson aren't discussed in the group. Dummett thought that the Noblet was a later deck, he says of the Tarot de Marseille:
Dummett in Game of Tarot, page 211 wrote:...the earliest French example may be one by Jean Noblet, who worked in Paris between 1721 and 1760, the pack being now in the Bibliothéque Nationale."
When did the dating of the Noblet change to 1650? Was it Kaplan?

I can't find a mention of the Chosson.

Strangely, he also mentions a fifth pack on page 211, the Tarot de Besançon by Johann Pelagius Mayer, of Constance in about 1680.

Also strange, after describing the Toulouse Sheet, before discussing Noblet:
Dummett in Game of Tarot, page 211 wrote:There is no other possible example of a Tarot de Marseille pack from before the eighteenth century. A pack made by Pierre Madenie of Dijon in 1709 in the British Museum may be a Tarot de Marseille, but, since the Fool and all the trumps are missing, it cannot be identified as that rather than as an example of the early Piedmontese pattern.

The Fool and trumps are missing??? I'm assuming that another Madenie was later discovered? Yves should have the answer to this.

Next in line he gives the Heri, (the one dated to 1718, not the undated TdB that is related to the Noblet). Of course, it's Swiss... so then he goes on to discuss the Noblet as the first French Tarot de Marseille...
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robert

Location: Oxford, England
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Re: How much Tarot decks in France in 17th century

Hello,
robert wrote:When did the dating of the Noblet change to 1650? Was it Kaplan?
I don't think so, I believe it's Depaulis, dating him thanks to his studies of the cardmakers list - see "Cartiers Parisiens avant 1701" by T.D. This is a quite certain dating.
Strangely, he also mentions a fifth pack on page 211, the Tarot de Besançon by Johann Pelagius Mayer, of Constance in about 1680.
an erroneous dating, also explained by Depaulis in Tarot Jeu et Magie, the erroneous is also found (and possibly originates from) Kaplan I.
The Fool and trumps are missing??? I'm assuming that another Madenie was later discovered? Yves should have the answer to this.
Next in line he gives the Heri, (the one dated to 1718, not the undated TdB that is related to the Noblet). Of course, it's Swiss... so then he goes on to discuss the Noblet as the first French Tarot de Marseille...
It is indeed probably the oldest known.

Bertrand
Bertrand
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Location: Paris - France
Favorite Deck: Viéville

Re: How much Tarot decks in France in 17th century

Bertrand wrote:
Strangely, he also mentions a fifth pack on page 211, the Tarot de Besançon by Johann Pelagius Mayer, of Constance in about 1680.
an erroneous dating, also explained by Depaulis in Tarot Jeu et Magie, the erroneous is also found (and possibly originates from) Kaplan I.

Thanks Bertrand, I looked up page 75 of Tarot Jeu et Magie, and typed it (very poorly) into Google and had this result:

very bad translation by google based on terrible typing by robert wrote:CP Hargrave, who reports tarot in section (Swiss) of his book, in 1680, adding that Johann Pelagius Mayer is a cardmaker of the late seventeenth century. This assertion, not verified, was taken a bit lightly to say that the Tarot Besacon was known in the seventeenth century in Germany.
Although we are not at the end of our discoveries, the fact is that no date appears on this game in style rather coarse, rather characteristic of the second half of the eighteenth century, with his chubby characters.
Research carried out in Germany show that J. P. Mayer was baptized in 1690 Kempten, or it is not, in the Catholic parish of Saint Laurent who depended on the bishopric of Augsburg (Archives of the bishopric of Augsburg, correspondence from 10/12/1983). Another document specifies that Mayer was admitted as a citizen of the city of Constance in 1720. It is also cited in 1730 and then incurring in 1737, in an argument. 1750 therefore seems to be a final date for its activity: it is not dead, he is 60 and should be the end of career. The tarot is presented here, although it is a late producion of our neighborhood, is one of the earliest evidence of the portrait (of Besancon) in Germany.

So, if I read this correctly, CP Hargrave, in a section of a book published in 1680, says that Mayer is a cardmaker in the late 17th century; but Depaulis finds evidence of a baptism in 1690, and more traces in 1720, 1730 and 1737. He suggests that the style is more like later 18th century, so therefore Hargrave, by dates and by style, should be doubted. Correct?
cavete deos

robert

Location: Oxford, England
Favorite Deck: Jacques Vieville
Mood: vernal
Aliases: le pendu

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