## Franco Pratesi's Florentine discoveries

### Re: Trionfi.com: News and Updates

#26
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
Huck wrote:That's an older article, written in the time, when we didn't know as much as today. We had far less statistical material.
But the impressions are still the same as today. A hole in the documents 1442 - 1448, a peak, when the bigger development started. Although it's not mentioned in the article, it was suspected, that Borso's disinterest in Trionfi decks possibly referred to the begin of the use of mass production technology.
There's a document for 1445 now -
....
Any hole in the 1440s is now only 3 years at most. To that we should add the Brambilla and Cary Yale decks, which Bandera put at 1443-1445, because of Bembo's career, and without any theoretical agenda (such as proving an evolutionary hypothesis). To that we might add the Borromeo fresco, also dated mid-1440s, although in truth no Triumph cards can be seen (or were even seen in an old photo from before the bombing).
0 from c. 25 ...
... is not so as bad as ...
... 1 from c. 100

*****************
Imagine, you've a roulette with 25 possible results

you place 6 chips at the possibilities 1443, 1444, 1445, 1446, 1447, 1448 in each round.

0 from c. 25 is equal to ... In 25 rounds you lose 6x25 = 150 ...
1 from 100 is equal to .... In 100 rounds you win once 25, but you loose 6x99 = 594 ... this makes 594 minus 25 = 569 (loss naturally). That's worse.

Another way to observe the hole:

I just reduce it to 24 years, it's easier to calculate, cause the basic chance is then 1/4 , cause of 6/24.
It seems to me (I've math as an occasional hobby, I'm not a specialist), ...
that the chance, that you get none in 25 attempts is ...
1 : (4^25) / (3^25) = 1 : 1328.82691
... simplified "less than 1:1000"

... and the chance, that you get 1 in 100 attempts is ...
1: ((4^99) / (3^99)) / 4 = 1 : 5.84621702 × 10^11
... simplified a "1 : a number with 12 ciphers"
(... :-) ... a provisional "sorry" for the case, if would be wrong with it ...)

... and the latter should be smaller then.

Which means in short, that the "hole-phenomenon" in the distribution of the Trionfi notes has become much more manifest, as it had been before, in my humble opinion.

*************

But, actually the data used for this statistic is still rather small, so anyway that's all a little bit insecure. Maybe Franco with all his researcher talents finds a Florentine Trionfi specialist, who against all trends of his time produced 50 Trionfi decks for a secret circle market of Trionfi card lovers just in the time of "the hole" ... we would have then 50 documents, and all talk of a hole would look like rubbish, although it wouldn't be naturally so. It just would prove, that we have in our research a focus on a selected aim.
If we would take all data of general playing card research (under the condition, that we would have enough), we would get a more reliable statistic. But we have not enough of it, as far I know.

... :-) ... actually we're interested to find one of the first Trionfi card specialists.

### Huck's "holes"

#27
Hi, Ross,

"Doesn't the form of our expression mislead us here? For isn't it a misleading metaphor...?"
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Any hole in the 1440s is now only 3 years at most.
It may seem like a quibble, but Huck's "holes" metaphor seems particularly misleading. There is no hole, because there is no broad stretch of material in which a hole could exist. As you have pointed out, there are only scattered bits and pieces, extremely fragmentary evidence. We are missing 99.99% of the evidence we might wish to have.

The game was probably being played regularly by lots of people in each of many different towns and cities. We have sufficient evidence to know that Tarot was played over a wide area, and played by both the aristocracy and the hoi polloi, at a very early date. But we do not have evidence from every town, every gathering place, for every day of every month of every year, or anything remotely like that. So the absence of evidence at any particular point is to be expected -- it is not a "hole" which requires special explanation.

As an example, look at the "holes" for Bologna.

Do we take the absence of evidence as evidence of absence, and speculate about two points when the game was played in Bologna and create "theories" about why it wasn't popular until 1460, why it became unpopular for 15 years, and then had a momentary resurgence, etc? That would be absurd.

We have to accept the fragmentary nature of historical evidence. For example, when a 5-century old deck of cards is incomplete, we shouldn't be surprised or pretend that it's actually complete and invent "theories" about various decks with fewer than 22 trumps. It is both obvious and to be expected that the earliest decks are incomplete in both suit cards and trumps. Likewise, we have only the sketchiest information about popular decks, and even the luxury decks. We have only a few dozen data points from the first decades of Tarot.

Best regards,
Michael
We are either dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, or we are just dwarfs.

### Re: Franco Pratesi's Florentine discoveries

#28
In the case, that you really have problems to understand it ...

TWO YEARS
NO HOLE 1. - 1440 recently from Depaulis 2012
NO HOLE Document 1.1. 1441
NO HOLE 2. - Feb 1442 - Leonello
NO HOLE 3. - Jul 1442 - deck of the boys

SIX YEARS
HOLE 1443
HOLE 1444

Exception form Hole 4. - 1445 - silk-dealer sale from Pratesi 2012
HOLE 1446
HOLE 1447
HOLE 1448

THREE YEARS
NO HOLE 5. - 1449 - Marcello game in camp
NO HOLE 6. - 1449 - Marcello - Michelino deck
NO HOLE 7. - Dec 1449 - Giovanni di Domenico - 6 decks acquired by silk dealers from Pratesi 2012
NO HOLE 8. - Mar 1450 - Leonello 3 decks
NO HOLE 9. - April 1450 - Giovanni di Domenico - 3 decks acquired by silk dealers from Pratesi 2012
NO HOLE 10. - Dec 1450 - Letter I of Francesco Sforza
NO HOLE 11. - Dec 1450 - Letter I of Francesco Sforza
NO HOLE 12. - Dec. 1450 - Trionfi allowance in Florence (older detection of Franco Pratesi)
NO HOLE 13. - Jan 1451 - Antonio di Dino - 2 decks - acquired by silk dealers from Pratesi 2012
NO HOLE 14. - ? 1451 - Trionfi allowance in Gambassa - Florentine territory(2011 detection of Franco Pratesi)
NO HOLE 15. - 1451 - Trionfi allowance in Asinalunga - Sienese territory (2012 detection of Franco Pratesi

******************

*****************

### Re: Franco Pratesi's Florentine discoveries

#29
In Chapter 21 of The Game of Tarot (page 418) Michael Dummett wrote:
Originally called triumphi, a set of cards including them were carte da triumphi, cards with trumps. Thus, in the passage of his Caos del Triperuno leading up to the five sonnets on the tarot trumps, Teofilo Folengo has Triperuno being led to a room where there were carte lusorie de trionfi, 'playing cards with trumps'; and Sperone Speroni, in his brief tract on games, says that to the cards of the four suits one sometimes adds certain other cards called tarocchi, so that the first distinction to be made concerning the cards used is whether they are with tarocchi or without tarocchi.
So he seems to speaking of separate sets of trumps being added to ordinary playing cards as well as (later in the text) packs including both suits and trumps. This might account for some of the price differences.
He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

### Re: Franco Pratesi's Florentine discoveries

#30
Hi Huck,

I can't say that I really understand where you're coming from with this. I look at Ross' chart, and it's clear that we have a lot of tarot activity happening in the 1440s in Milan, Ferrara and Florence. As Ross and Michael have pointed out, chances are that there was a lot of activity probably happening in Bologna as well, as it connects two of the other centres, but we just haven't found the evidence for it, which is no surprise if we consider that we're talking about card decks from over 500 year ago. What strikes me as really surprising is that we have as much as we do! You say there's a hole between 1443 and 1448 where we don't have any evidence, only six years! Now, there's a hole in your hole! We've got a hole at 1445, right in between your dates. Do we need to fill in the five remaining years for you to be satisfied that there is a lot of evidence pointing to a game being played in different locations at the same time?

I sort of hate to ask these questions, but to even begin to understand where you are coming from I guess I have to... If they weren't playing with a 22 card deck in these different places, what were they playing with? Are you suggesting that in Florence, in the 1440s, they weren't using a tarot deck, they were using a Minchiate? Or, (god forbid this from flowing from my lips), a "Proto-Minchiate"? ("Ur-Minchiate" ) Are you still arguing that these are all different, "experimental" decks being sold?
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

### Re: Franco Pratesi's Florentine discoveries

#31
robert wrote:Hi Huck,

I can't say that I really understand where you're coming from with this. I look at Ross' chart, and it's clear that we have a lot of tarot activity happening in the 1440s in Milan, Ferrara and Florence.
There are 4 documents, 2 in Ferrara (1442 twice) and two in Florence (1440 + 1445), another not accepted by Michael and Ross at 1.1.1441 also from ferrara and two decks in Milan (December 1449 can't be hardly counted as 1440s). If you call this a lot of activity ... we likely have documented meanwhile 10-12-fold activity for the 1450s.
As Ross and Michael have pointed out, chances are that there was a lot of activity probably happening in Bologna as well, as it connects two of the other centres, but we just haven't found the evidence for it, which is no surprise if we consider that we're talking about card decks from over 500 year ago.
This are hypotheses.
What strikes me as really surprising is that we have as much as we do!
This didn't come from alone.
You say there's a hole between 1443 and 1448 where we don't have any evidence, only six years! Now, there's a hole in your hole! We've got a hole at 1445, right in between your dates. Do we need to fill in the five remaining years for you to be satisfied that there is a lot of evidence pointing to a game being played in different locations at the same time?

I've already pointed to the condition that 1 of 100 might be a better witness of missing activity than 0 of 25.
I sort of hate to ask these questions, but to even begin to understand where you are coming from I guess I have to... If they weren't playing with a 22 card deck in these different places, what were they playing with? Are you suggesting that in Florence, in the 1440s, they weren't using a tarot deck, they were using a Minchiate? Or, (god forbid this from flowing from my lips), a "Proto-Minchiate"? ("Ur-Minchiate" :ymsick: ) Are you still arguing that these are all different, "experimental" decks being sold?
We don't know, what was there. There are in the documents more indications for decks with 5x14-structure or decks with 16 trumps as hints to the existence of decks with 4x14+22 - structure in the period till 1465.

The observation of the "hole" is of importance, cause it might indicate, that a period of increased card playing prohibition in the 1440s might have blocked the quick expansion of the Trionfi card deck genre. The aim of research is to understand, what has happened ... If there was a prohibition period, then this has to be understood. If there was a large Trionfi card distribution, then this has to be understood.

We've to understand the Biography-writer Vespasiano da Bisticc and what he told about Giannozzo Manetti:

from myself ...
http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t= ... t=bisticci
Giannozzo Manetti (1393-1459)
a person of some interest in more than one way.

1. he was responsible for a sharp attack on gaming in Pistoia in 1446/1447, which adds to our general suspicion, that in the 40's of 15th century the situation for playing cards was difficult.

2. He became a crowned poetus laureatus in 1443 ... this is of interest to the general Trionfi development, for instance to Alberti's literary contest in 1441. And of special interest is Bisticci's "they crowned him with a laurel crown, a custom which had not lately been observed." ... which should mean, that an old custom was revived after a long time.

"He condemned the worthless and the sluggards. Gamblers and gaming he hated as pestiferous abominations."
http://books.google.de/books?id=lyMQTgO ... ng&f=false

"Giannozzo was governor of Pistoia and, as at Pescia, would accept neither gift nor tribute. He kept more servants and horses than the law allowed. The place was given to gaming; indeed the people thought of little else. Hating this vice as he did, he resolved to put an end to it as long as he was there, and to effect this he issued a proclamation that whoever should play any forbidden game should be taken and treated with four strokes with a rope. Moreover, he fixed a fine which every offender would have to pay, wherefore during his time of office gaming ceased."

(Source of possible interest in this matter: Giannozzo Manetti, Chronicon pistoriensis [Historia pistoriensis], in Rerum italicarum scriptores, a cura di L. A. Muratori, vol. XIX, Milano, 1731, coll. 987-1076, probably written 1446 - 1447)

Pistoia had 996 households in 1442, Manetti's work started Oktober 1446.
http://books.google.de/books?id=seDbXV9 ... ti&f=false
"On his return to Florence he was drawn for the Assembly, and about this time Messer Lionardo of Arezzo died (1443). The Signoria decided that his memory should be honoured in every possible way. It was decreed that the custom of delivering a funeral oration should be revived and Giannozzo was charged with this duty and that he should be crowned with laurel after the ancient custom. To these obsequies all the illustrious men of the city came to his coronation. Many prelates attended, as the court of Rome was then in Florence, and Giannozzo delivered an oration worthy of the subject, and they crowned him with a laurel crown, a custom which had not lately been observed."
http://books.google.de/books?id=lyMQTgO ... ng&f=false

********

Generally we have to assume, that Bisticci was against gambling (and likely also against cards). He suffered personally after the attack on Lorenzo de Medici in 1478, cause he had to leave the city. It seems, that his biographies were written after this.

When I wrote this in January 2008, I finished with this ...
Generally we have to assume, that Bisticci was against gambling (and likely also against cards). He suffered personally after the attack on Lorenzo de Medici in 1478, cause he had to leave the city. It seems, that his biographies were written after this.
Lorenzo generally was attacked, that he had a bad influence on the youth - likely the new gambling activities in connection to cards belonged to this category.

Generally Bisticci should have also suffered by the change of his own business - the new printing industry was his oppnent.

He possibly might be seen "as rather conservative" ... but generally his presentation somehow makes it difficult to believe in a strong playing card development in Florence already in 1450.

... "his presentation somehow makes it difficult to believe in a strong playing card development in Florence already in 1450." Franco Pratesi's research meanwhile has caused, that this part of my opinion (1450) wasn't correct. If there was stronger prohibition in Florence than usually, then this period must have ended earlier.

In the debate is "card playing liberality" since 1447.
As facts we have, that the Francscan San Bernardino had died at 20 May 1444. After this a promotion activity took place to force, that Bernardino should become a saint as soon as possible. This was easy, as the current pope Eugen was a friend of the Franciscans.Egen reached around 1445 the height of his power ... after he had been the longer time of his pontificate a weak pope, who was thrown out of Rom, who was abdicated by some parts of the church and replaced by an antipope. All these difficulties were overcome and Eugen looked splendid in 1445. As the Franciscans and San Bernardino had preached against card playing cards and gambling generally, this political movement might have caused higher card playing prohibition than usual. San Bernardino was made Saint in 1450 (that's very short after his death) and his promotion caused an increased importance for the Franciscan order, and this better position of the order caused, that in 1471 a Franciscan was chosen as pope with Sixtus IV (this hadn't happened since a rather long time before).
In 1447 Pope Eugen died, and the following pope Nicolaus was a lover of books and had quite another view of the world than pope Eugen (more tolerance, more humanistic ideas).

Manetti was governor in Pistoia and seems to have interpreted his mission as an action against gambling with strict methods - since end of 1446. He had the governor position only for a year - this was usual, as I understand it. When he returned to Florence, there are "mockery poems" about Manetti recorded (I wished I knew more details, I don't know the reasons and the content). Six years later (well, that's a period, about which we know now, that playing cards were en vogue in Florence), a reason was found, that Manetti went into exile.
Well, if Manetti went out to fight the dragon of gaming and gambling in Pistoia and found himself after his return in a Florence free of card playing prohibitions , that would have made a lot of lovers of card playing in Florence smile in some hidden corners .., perhaps the background or mockery poems about Manetti.
Leon Battista Alberti, a man, whom one likely has to understand as "progressive" in contrast to Manetti, who likely falls in the category "conservative", had initiated a poetical contest in Florence at October 1441, just 100 years after Petrarca had become poetus laureatus in Rome. He was frustrated by the decisions of the organization committee, and their conservative taste. A little later then Manetti became poetus laureatus.

The "hole in the Trionfi notes" has some relationship to other contemporary developments.

### Re: Franco Pratesi's Florentine discoveries

#32
I have loved reading this thread Huck (and thank you Robert for such clear graphs).

The thing that interests me is that the spread of truimphs is the same as the Silk History of what was to be called Italy.
There were three major law adjustments to do with Silk Merchants.(setaioli grossi ) 1404 I think. 1420 and 1440.
If I recall properly (and it can be checked) The gild that covered the silk workers who were the best paid of all the gilds, also covered the goldsmiths and silver trade. They forced a change in statutes to promote Goldbeating and silver thread for the brocade industry, and gave huge tax credits to get artisans from other areas and the made laws so those same artisans could not go to other areas (like the death penalty). The same families that you see involved in Tarot were involved in the lucrative silk trade. D'este is one I remember.
I think it would be rather intersting if the Visconti Cards were with their Goldfoil, silver thread and silk dye colours were an advertisment for the silk trade..........
So Silk started in Lucca 12th century and by the 15th you have Genoa,Venice,Bologna, Ferrara, Florence,Milan,Lyons,Bruges all bankrolled by the Lombardy Bankers.
Maybe Mr Pratesi should follow the Italian Silk Road and thence to France.
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

### Re: Franco Pratesi's Florentine discoveries

#33
Lorredan wrote:I have loved reading this thread Huck (and thank you Robert for such clear graphs).

The thing that interests me is that the spread of truimphs is the same as the Silk History of what was to be called Italy.
....
Maybe Mr Pratesi should follow the Italian Silk Road and thence to France.
~Lorredan
For the moment we have different traders in Florence with different backgrounds. None of them is a typical playing card trader, everyone uses it as additional business, also the silk dealers. Over the relevant 11 years these have bought less than 200 Trionfi decks, as far we can see it. If we would assume an average of 15 soldi and full 200 decks we get 3000 Soldi totally, which would be 150 Lira. If we assume plus 20% on these decks ... we would have 30 Lira profit ... in 11 years. Well, they sold much more playing cards. But likely all, what we know, stays likely a small part of their business.
The monthly income of usual noble man in Ferrara were 20 Lira.

Lapini family (1415 - 1455 - ...)
http://trionfi.com/lapini-playing-cards

Ser Andrea di Giovanni Bertelli (1429-30) - in Prato, notary and other official occupations, his retailer activities are less known.
In this shop, people acquired first of all foodstuffs of many kinds. We read of wheat meal, barley, broad beans, and as expected olive oil and wine, but always in small quantities.
Together we find however many small items and household goods, such as candles and pins. Playing cards themselves, which might appear out of place here, are not alone in the family of games and toys: balls of various kinds, spinning-tops, dice and board games were also on sale.
http://trionfi.com/naibi-trade-prato

Puri family (1447-1449)
"purchases of poultry, of wine, of Parmesan cheese, and so on"
http://trionfi.com/naibi-on-sale

Giovanni da Pistoia (1453) ... with Trionfi
imports decks to Rome, connected to Milanese trade
http://trionfi.com/triunfi-playing-cards-rome
http://trionfi.com/giovanni-da-pistoia

Bartolomeo di Pagholo Seragli (1453 - 1458) ... with Trionfi
... sells fine art to noble customers
http://trionfi.com/filippo-di-marco

The impression is, that most merchants were flexible in their trading activities.

********
Franco, living in Florence, is interested to study the documents in Florence and nearby.

http://trionfi.com/naibi-trade-prato

### Re: Franco Pratesi's Florentine discoveries

#34
Hi Huck,

My point is that by the end of the 1440s, experimentation, if there was any at all, is over and in the 1450s, as you point out, the evidence is tenfold for the existence of tarot.

I guess we need to have Ross' chart spelled out item by item. I look at the chart and, for the 1440s I see at least 7 items of documentary evidence, 2 decks and an item of iconography. That's 10 items that we have from the decade, and I think it's only logical to assume that there were probably more, we just don't have the evidence (yet!). Nevertheless, it seems that the evidence is building that tarot existed during this period, and it is showing increase play, now we have Florence to add when we didn't even know about it last year. Not only that, but the evidence is in three different places, Lombardy, Ferrara and Florence. Do we imagine that they are all creating different types of tarot decks and games?

Since they continue to play the game into the 50s, 60s and onwards, and additional cities start to also have evidence of playing the game, we have to assume at some point that there was a standard. To me, it makes more sense that it was sooner rather than later. It spreads. Otherwise, you'd have to argue that each town is playing different games with different cards, and then somehow... they all came up with the same cards later and started to play the same game. That seems... as I think Michael would say.. fantastical. There are dozens of decks in the 1450s by your estimation, are you arguing that they were all unique?

Honestly, I just don't understand. I've been listening to you talk about 5x14 for almost 10 years now, and it's never made sense to me, and with each new city, each new deck, each new piece of evidence it just seems increasingly crazy to me.

Help me to understand; without references to weddings or mathematical formulas or chess or any of the other piles of information that confuse rather than clarify... When do you think 5x14+22 was invented and what are all of the items on Ross' chart talking about if not 5x14+22?
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

### Re: Franco Pratesi's Florentine discoveries

#35
robert wrote:Hi Huck,

My point is that by the end of the 1440s, experimentation, if there was any at all, is over and in the 1450s, as you point out, the evidence is tenfold for the existence of tarot.
I think, the idea, that experimentation is over with 1450, is a big illusion. And you talk of "Tarot" ... these decks are called "Trionfi". ... .-) ... talking of "Tarot" is another multiplying factor of illusion. It's not justified to talk of Tarot ... just for the honor of research. We (and the quoted people in 15th century) talk about Trionfi and we for our part don't know, what it is in contrast to the 15th century users of the words, they knew, what they mean, they had it in their hands ... that's a usual research viewing point.
Talking of "Tarot" with the premise, that you already know, that this is Tarot as you understand it, is a stupid "make-believe-something" strategy, it has nothing to do with research. It just tells, that you have a favor for a special issue of the research and you're not neutral in the question of research.

I think for the current state of research we've for 15th century between the word "Trionfi" and really surviving deck
identities only two "very strong" examples near to 100% identifications: the Michelino deck and the Boiardo Tarocchi poem, both rather different from the later Tarocchi developments.
Naturally in the given situation (a lot of surviving examples) the suspicion is justified, that surviving 15th century cards with similarities to later Tarocchi cards ALSO belonged to the category Trionfi cards. But one clearly has to see, that experimentation with Trionfi cards took place "early" (Michelino deck) and experimentation took place "late" (Boiardo poem).

In a research with naturally limited information it's justified to conclude from later states to earlier as a "help to build build theories" ... as long, as you've no better information from other research. Otherwise you could easily conclude, that already the old Romans would have had Trionfi cards. If you meet from these other researches the conditions, that the Romans had no paper, the idea of the Romans is skipped, cause playing cards need paper, if there is none evidence for playing cards before "China in 12th century", some further centuries are out of question. Note, that in both conclusions the idea "to conclude from later states to earlier as a help in building theories" is traded as the weaker component.
And so it MUST be, cause it's only a provisional assumption.

Now we meet the justified idea, that the word "Trionfi" might have been used for surviving decks, which definitely belong to 15th century, though the word Taroch in relation to playing cards or similar appears to our eyes only in 1505 and later. This is a situation of contradiction and it had to be bridged with the idea, that possibly another word has been used before 1505. Research in documents has found, that the word "Trionfi" appears quite frequently during 15th century in playing card context and might be the correct solution for the problem of the "older used word". So we have "Michelino deck" definitely and "Boiardo Tarocchi poem" definitely and the most usual "cards with motifs similar to later Tarocchi deck" all in one group, and all members of this group are taken as responsible for the appearance of "Trionfi cards" passages, as we collect them.
Further we cannot overlook, that decks like Sola-Busca (structure similarity), Guildhall and Goldschmidt _(strange motifs) and possibly also Mantegna Tarocchi (though cards are missing, but it was named Tarocchi) and Minchiate belong to the group. Further we cannot overlook the context to the upcoming "Trionfi celebrations" around the same time and the influence of the Petrarca "Trionfi" poem.
And we cannot overlook, that Tarot card development of 18th century and much later generated lots of variants with Animal Tarock, Military Tarock and etc-Tarock, that we, even only with the method "concluding from the later states to the earlier", safely can say, that experimentation was always a feature in the development of Tarot and very likely also in matters of Trionfi cards of 15th century.

A statement, that experimentation was finished in the late 1440s, is apparently absurd.
For the provisional research technique "conclude from later states to earlier as a help to build theories" it has to be repeated, that it only stands in its value, if no earlier factual information appears. There had appeared some additional factual information.
Dummett, Depaulis etc. in their earlier statements can't be quoted in this context as "authorities", if they hadn't the better information available in this time, at least it's without value in the discussion.

...
Since they continue to play the game into the 50s, 60s and onwards, and additional cities start to also have evidence of playing the game, we have to assume at some point that there was a standard. To me, it makes more sense that it was sooner rather than later. It spreads. Otherwise, you'd have to argue that each town is playing different games with different cards, and then somehow... they all came up with the same cards later and started to play the same game. That seems... as I think Michael would say.. fantastical. There are dozens of decks in the 1450s by your estimation, are you arguing that they were all unique?

Honestly, I just don't understand. I've been listening to you talk about 5x14 for almost 10 years now, and it's never made sense to me, and with each new city, each new deck, each new piece of evidence it just seems increasingly crazy to me.
All, what we can learn, says, that playing card use, and specific games and specific deck forms had a lot of change.
Gebelin could tell you, that Tarot wasn't used in Paris (although at the same time we've Tarot/Tarock use was swapping through half of Europe and although Paris had Tarot earlier). You can nowadays speak to Italians, and tell them, that you work about the history of Tarocchi, and you may find out, that they know nothing about Tarocchi and don't know, what this is. Minchiate disappeared totally during 20th century. It seems, that in Florence (mother city of Minchiate) the production dropped of 10% of the market (1790) to 1% of the market (1840).
Game name changes are quite usual, there's not only "from Trionfi to Tarocchi". Minchiate became possibly Sminchiate, Germini, later Minchiate again, but also Gallerini and Gallenini. Cuccù had various names. Rules of games with same name are quite frequent very different, a good example is Trionfi which knows versions with very few similarities.

The idea, that "real" production numbers of decks called "Trionfi" during 15th century could be presented by a simple increasing graph seems to be quite common between researchers.
I think, that this is likely a naive idea. Likely there were waves, times, when it might have been nearly extinct, and times, when it was "en vogue". A clearer picture is only possible, when we get more data.
Help me to understand; without references to weddings or mathematical formulas or chess or any of the other piles of information that confuse rather than clarify... When do you think 5x14+22 was invented and what are all of the items on Ross' chart talking about if not 5x14+22?
I accept 1487 as a date for a Boiardo Tarochi poem and for the existence of the 4x14+22 structure, but it's no guarantee, that it already was used for decks with iconographic similarity to Tarot cards.

The Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo Tarochi (with 20 trumps) is assumed to have been composed by 1465. There are some other (in itself rather weak) arguments, which make plausible, that in the phase 1465-1487 possibly deck forms with 20/21 special cards dominated, perhaps explainable by influence of Florentine Minchiate decks, which elsewhere possibly were addressed as "Triunfi".

There's a suspicion, that Minchiate decks were formed with 40 special cards in 1463 or short after ... but it easily could be not so.

It is considered as very sure, that the Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo was originally only a 5x14 deck. This already rather sure position (estimated at 99% security already in 1989) was additionally confirmed by the document of Ferrara 1457 (and other documents in less secure form). This observation naturally not allows to state, that all other decks of the time also had 5x14 structure with the same probability.
As most competing variant is seen the form with 16 special cards, with a stronger association to chess .. but this can be only stated on the base of surviving decks, so it's somehow related only to the category "court decks" (as all older surviving decks fall in this category).

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