Card games in Carte Parlanti 1543

#1
A year ago Girolamo Zorli posted on TreTre a short essay about the games mentioned in Aretino's 1543 Carte Parlenti, giving numerous page references (http://www.tretre.it/menu/accademia-del ... o-aretino/, also available in Google Translate). Unfortunately these page references are to a 1992 edition that by his own account is not easy to find, even in Italy. Since the 1650 edition is online (at least in the US, at http://books.google.com/books?id=q6FKAA ... r_versions), and I have access to a library copy of the 1992, I thought it might be useful for researchers if I converted Zorli's page references into the corresponding references to the 1650. Then people could at least see, in Italian, what Aretino says. It was also a good exercise for me, to help familiarize myself with Aretino's text. I give the results below.

I couldn't find a few of Zorli's references. And I found ones that Zorli might have missed, although some might be other meanings of the words. I put these page numbers, for references other than Zorli's, after the word "also" for each game. (And yes, Google Books will search for particular words; but it fails to find almost any game-title I put in.)

Below, Zorli's page references are in parentheses, the 1650's not. The footnotes I refer to are those of the 1992 edition. I give them along with the 1650 page numbers because I am assuming that one will read them while looking at the 1650 text. I have typed out and translated the footnotes, which appear after the list of games, in both Italian and English. I give the 1992 footnotes mainly because they are knowledgeable, based on other 16th century texts about games, such as Berni. Zorli has more information, easy to find in his online essay by finding there the page number or game title. The descriptions are of interest in part because some are derivative from trionfi/tarocchi. I am not sure which ones, other than Germini/Minchiate, Trionfini, and Trionfetti.

I might also mention that Andrea Vitali has quoted and discussed specific passages in Carte Parlanti in three of his essays. In their English-language versions, there are also translations of the passages, which Andrea and I have worked on together to make as accurate as we could.

(1) regarding Tarocchi/Germini, in his essay "Theater of Brains", http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=163&lng=ENG;

(2) regarding the suits, in "Symbolic Suits", http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=180;

(3) regarding Trionfetti, in "Triumphs, Trionfini, and Trionfetti" (in a recent addition to that essay), http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=238&lng=ENG.

Here are the games in Carte Parlanti, followed by page references, 1992 edition in parentheses, then 1650 edition. The relevant notes follow, in Italian and English:

Tarocchi and Germini (50-53, 60, 61, 66, 69, 178, 179) = 10-14, 19-21, 25-28, 122. See note 40.

Minchiate: not mentioned by name (except once as "Menchiate"), but notes 136 and 150 say that the game (perhaps known to Aretino as Germini) is alluded to at (76)/33 in the phrases 'per un resto,' and 'per fare del resto' at (80)/ 36.

Menchiate (186) = 129, see note 448

Primiera (131, 139, 169, 187-188, 243; also 94, 165) = 79, for which see note 194; (139) I can't find; 114; 177; also 49, 110, see note 389

German Primiera (276-278) = 207, 208, 210

Bassetta (80, 96, 122, 216, 217, 226) = 36 (but I can't find it in either text); 51: "bassetino"; see note 202); 73; (216-217) should be around 155 but I can't find it in either text; 163

Trappola (52, 218, 336) = 13, see note 44; 156, 255

Ronfa (65) = 24, see note 94.

Flusso (95 also 169, 186, 277) = 49, see note 196. Also 114, 129, 177, 208.

Trionfetti (236, 336 also 84) = 40, see note 159; 172, see note 556; 255

Condennata (95) also (236) = 49, 172; see note 556

Sequenza (95) = 49, see note 196

Trenta (95) = 49, see note 196

Trentuno (165, 204, also 71) = 28, see note 116; (165) should be around 110, and (204) should be around 145, but I can't find either
.
Quaranta (165, also 70) = 28, see note 116; (165) should be at 110, but I don't see the word in either text.

Pariglia (165) = 110, 111; see note 389.

Salticchione (186) = 129

Ispariglia (186) = 129

Minonne, Calabrache, Criccone, Tre e due asso (187) = 129; see note 448.

Cedo Bonis (214) = 152

suits, (101-103) = 55-57

origin of the cards, against detractors (42, 43, 102, 104) = roughly 3-5, 56-57

Also:

Venticinque (92)= 48; see note 188.

Cinquantacinque, 177; see note 116 for possible origin of the name

At the top of 129, other card games may be named besides those already identified.

Footnotes, from the 1992 edition:

7. Federico Padovano, pittore e disegnatore di carte, con bottega a Firenze. Le poche notizie si ricavano dall'epistolario aretino. Si veda in particolare la prima lettera, del 7 Iuglio 1541 (Lettere, a c. di F. Flora, Milano, Mondadori, 1960, II. 255), in cui Aretino lo ringrazia del dono di un mazzo di tarocchi e carte miniate, promettendogli una ricompensa. Potrebbe essere stato questo episodio il pretesto per la stesura delle Carte parlanti. Una scheda sul Padovano è stata posta in appendice a lettere sull'arte di P. A., commentate da F. Pertile, a cura di E. Camesasca, Milano, 1960., vol. III, t. 2, pp. 315-316; e, ancora, il suo nome è citato ne I Germini sopra quaranta meritrice della città di Fiorenza (str. 5, v. I), poemetto del 1533, ripubblicato nella "Bibliotechina Grassoccia", vol. 8, Firenze s. d. (rist. Bologna, Forni, 1967).

7. Federico Padovano, painter and designer of cards, with a workshop in Florence. The little information is drawn from the letters of Aretino. Thus see particularly the first letter, of 7 July 1541 (Letters, a c. of F. Flora, Milan, Mondadori, 1960, II. 255), in which Aretino thanks him for the gift of a pack of tarots and miniature cards, promising him recompense. It could have been this episode that was the pretext for the layout of the Talking Cards. A card on the Padovano has been set in the appendix to letters on the art of P. A., commented on by F. Pertile, edited by E. Camesasca, Milan, 1960, vol. III, t. 2, pp. 315-316; and, his name is again cited in The Germini above forty meritrices of the city of Florence (str. 5, v. l), 1533 poemetto, republished in the "Bibliotechina Grassoccia", vol. 8, Florence s. d. (rist. Bologna, Forni, 1967).

40. I tarocchi furono menzionati la prima volta, come "ludos trionphorum', in due libri contabili della corte estense del 1442 (cfr. Le carte di corte, p. 78), mentre è in questo testo dell'Aretino la prima attestazione dei Gérmini, gioco che è noto dal XVII sec. come Minchiate fiorentine, ampliamento dei tarocchi per l'aggiunta di altri trionfi.

40. The tarot was mentioned for the first time, as "ludos trionphorum', in 1442 in two account books of the Estense (cf.The Cards of the Courts, p. 78), while this present text by Aretino is the first attestation of Germini, a game known from the XVIIth century as Minchiate Florentine, an amplification of the tarot by the addition of other triumphs.

44. Trappola: Gioco di origine veneziana (fine sec. XVI), che si eseguiva con un mazzo di trentasei carte (quindi senza i trionfi come spiega anche il testo)

44. Trappola: Game of Venetian origin (end of XVIth century), that was carried out with a pack of thirty-six cards (then without the triumphs as the text explains also)

94. Ronfa: Gioco di carte, detto anche Picchetto, in cui la carta più alta è l'asso.

94. Ronfa: Card game, also called Picchetto, in which the highest card is the ace.

116.Quaranta, trentun: il quaranta per forza, trentun per amore: Giochi di carte: il Quaranta è una probabile variante del gioco del Quarantacinque, cosí chiamato dal puntegio necessario per vincere. Il Trentuno è gioco con i tarocchi in cui ognuno dei quattro giocatori receve quattro carte e si dichiara fuori quando ottiene trentun punti.

L'atmosfera erotica del brano successivo puo indurre a leggere nel gioco del Truntuno un'allusione ad un altro "gioco", vale a dire alla punizione collettiva a cui venivano sottoposte le prostitute.

116. quaranta, trentun per amore: forty [quaranta] for strength, thirty-one [trentun] for love: Card games: Quaranta [Forty] is a probable variation of the game of the Quarantacinque [Forty-five], so called for the points necessary to win. Trentuno [Thirty-one] is a game with tarocchi [tarot cards] in which each of the four players receives four cards and declares himself out when he obtains thirty-one points.

The erotic atmosphere of the passage following could lead one to read into the game of Truntuno an allusion to another "game", or rather to the collective punishment to which prostitutes were submitted.

136. "per un resto": Nelle Minchiate, insieme di 60 punti. Per estensione, la puntata o la posta.

136. "for a rest": In Minchiate, a total of 60 points. By extension, the bet or stake.

150. "per fare un resto": Per giocarsi anche il resto della casa, oppure per continuare a giocare con il gioco del resto; cfr. n. 136.

150. "to make a rest": To gamble also the rest of the house, or to keep on playing the game after all; cf. n. 136.

159. Trionfetti: Sembra essere questa la prima attestazione del gioco, contrariamente a Dummett che la riscontra nel Liber de Ludo Aleae (1564) di Cardano. Potrebbe però trattarsi anche del Trionfi piccoli, nominati da Berni nel suo Commento e distinti sia da trionfi sia dae tarocchi.

159. Trionfetti: This seems to be the first attestation of the game, contrary to Dummett, who finds it in Cardano's Liber de Ludo Aleae (1564). But it might also have to do with the small Triumphs, named by Berni in his Commento and separate both from triumphs and tarocchi.

188. Venticinque: Gioco coi tarocchi o la somma dei punti accumulata con una combinazione detta "grande".

188. Venticinque: A game with tarocchi [cards] or the sum of the points accumulated with a combination called "grand".

194. Primiera: Gioco antico e diffusissimo in Europa, reso famoso dal Berni nel suo Capitolo della primiera, a cui seguí il Commento.

194. Primiera: Old and much diffused game in Europe, made famous by Berni in his Chapter on Primiera, after which followed the Comment.

196. Flusso, Sequenza, Trenta: Altri giochi di carte. Flusso è anche, nel gioco della primiera, una combinazione con quattro carte dello stesso seme, mentre Sequenza è pure una delle possibili combinazioni per fare punti a tarocchi. Il Trenta è gioco simile al Trentuno (cfr. n. 116).

196. Flusso, Sequenza, Trenta: Other card games. Flusso [Flow] is also, in the game of Primiera, a combination with four cards of the same suit, while Sequenza [Sequence] likewise is one of the possible combinations to make points in tarot. Trenta [Thirty] is a game similar to Trentuno [Thirty-one] (cf. n. 116).

202. Bassetino: Antico gioco di carte già menzionato nel Pataffio e più volte ricarado nei testi aretiniani e nel Capitolo della primiera del berni e nel relativo Comento. Si giocava con carte anglofrancesi, in tre persone più il banchiere.

202. Bassetino: Old card game already mentioned in the Pataffio and recorded other times in Aretino's texts and in the Chapter on primiera of Berni and in the relevant Comento. It was played with Anglo-French cards, by three persons plus a banker.

389. Paraglia, primeria: La pariglia è appunto metà primeria; con l'arrivo della altre carte può completarsi oppure non valere più niente.

389. Paraglia, primeria: The pariglia is exactly half a primeria; with the arrival other cards it can be completed and otherwise it is worth nothing.

448. Minnone, Calabrache, Criconne, Tre e due asso: Non identificato il gioco delle Minonne; il Calabrache si gioca invece fra due persone e ha come fine quello di raccogliere il maggior numero di carte; il gioco delle Minchiata sembra attestato per la prima volta nelle Carte parlanti; il Criccone o, più comunemente "cricca" has attestazione già nel 1470; sconosciuto è il tre e due asso".

448. Minnone, Menchiate, Calabrache, Criconne, Re e due asso: The game of Minonne, not identified; Calabrache, on the other hand, is played between two persons and has as its end that of picking up the greatest number of cards; the game of Minchiate seems attested for the first time in the Carte parlanti; Criccone or, more commonly "cricca" is attested already in 1470; the "three and two aces" is unknown.

556. Trionfetti, Condannata: Il primo già distinto da Berni dai Trionfi col nome di Trionfi piccoli; il secondo è il gioco, da giocarsi in tre, della Condannata.

556. Trionfetti, Condannata: The first already distinguished by Berni from Triumphs by the name of small Triumphs; the second is the three-person gambling game of Condannata.

Re: Card games in Carte Parlanti 1543

#2
Thanks for extracting all that Mike.

The 1992 Sellerio editon of Carte parlanti is not hard to find actually -
http://www.bookfinder.com/search/?ac=sl ... 20parlanti

- copies run generally less than 20 euros. I have one.

The trouble with it is the stiffness of the paperback spine makes it impossible to scan it without breaking it.

The Google Books 1650 version is available to me in France, so I imagine it is available for any European as well.
Image

Re: Card games in Carte Parlanti 1543

#3
Thanks, Ross. I didn't check the availability of the 1992 edition. The price is around $42.

I was curious to find out more about these games, which other than Tarot and Minchiate aren't much mentioned, at least not in English recently. Here are some things I gleaned from Dummett's Game of Tarot.

Criccone I'd guess is related to Cricca. In the Bolognese game Tarocchino, if you have three or more point-gathering combinations called cricche, it is called a criccone, and all the points are doubled (p. 321). The game of Cricca, Dummett says, was so called after the term used in it for a set of three of a kind. Mentioned in the Steele Sermon (p. 47). A game in England called Gleek may or may not be identical. There were points for combinations and for cards won in tricks.

Flusso is cognate with our term 'flush', also mentioned in the Steele Sermon (p. 47), prohibited Ferrare 1470, popular at the d'Este court, referred to by Lorenzo de' Medici under the name "Frussi" as an "accursed game" (p. 47-8).

Flusso has one of Dummett's more impressive footnotes. The de Medici reference is to a poem in Tutti i Trionfi Carri, Mascherate o canti Carnascialeschi antati per Firenze (collected by Antonio Francesco Grazzini, called il Lasca), Florence, 1559, p. 7. The Ferrara ordinance is in G. Campori, "Le Carte da Giuco dipinte per gli Estensi', Atti e Memorie delle RR. Deputazioni di Storia Patria per le provincie modenesi e parmensi, vol. III, 1874, p. 124. For the Estensi game, F. Malaguzzi-Valeri, La corte di Lodovido il Moro, vol. 1, Milan, 1913, p. 575, A. Luzio I Precettori d'Isabella d'Este, Ancona 1887, p. 22, and A. Luzio and R. Renier, 'Mantova e Urbino, 1893, p. 64. For French and German references, there are another 21 lines.

Sequentia was played in France and Italy during the 16th century (p. 47).

These games all show the recognition of threes and fours of a kind, flushes and sequences in 15th century Europe. In each case, players bet, then got a certain number of cards, and the highest won, or it was a draw. (p. 47)

Primero, originating in Spain, came to Italy as Primiera. Players were dealt four cards, and there were three winning combinations, the lowest being the primeria, or one card of each suit, and the highest being a flush, four cards of one suit. (p. 47)

Thirty-one was a game where the sum of the cards dealt adds up as close as possible to thirty-one (p. 53), "perhaps the oldest known game of this general type" and mentioned in the Steele sermon. Another version aimed at 17 points. And of course now there is Twenty-One. I'd imagine that games with titles like Trente or Quarante were similar.

Ronfa is in the Steele Sermon. If it is the same as the French Ronfle, it was referred to in 1414 (p. 181). Not a trick-taking game, the object was to have either the highest number of cards is one suit or the highest number of points in one suit ("point" for short), adding up the values on the cards. It later, by the 17th century, also designated a trick-taking game with trumps(p. 183). In English it is "Ruff", meaning "point" in the technical sense.

Trionfetti is possibly the game mentioned by Berni in 1526 as Trionfipiccoli, little Triumphs. But it may not have been a trick-taking game, rather a four-player, fixed-partnership game scored by particular combinations in one's hand(p. 184).

Trappola was Venetian, early 16th century (p.355), played with a 36 card pack, a trick-taking game with no trump suit, with points earned by declarations at the start of a hand, cards won in tricks, tricks won by a Deuce, and for winning the last trick. (p. 359)

Bassetta is mentioned on p. 374 but it is not clear what the game was. The other games are not in the index.

Re: Card games in Carte Parlanti 1543

#4
mikeh wrote: Bassetta is mentioned on p. 374 but it is not clear what the game was. The other games are not in the index.
Same as bassett in the carnival song of the sweetmeat sellers by Lorenzo de Medici?

We've got cards and could play basset:
it needs one to raise, another to bet;
then again and again back and forth throw
the cards; you guess mine, or I take yours.

Declare "without man", "above" or “below”
and shake with longing from head to toe
until it comes, and when it comes you'll see
the funny faces of the pussies that moan.

Whoever's below will then glower,
wiggle and make monkey faces;
all they had gone, they pout, roll their eyes,
the miserable wretches even cry.

Who overcomes, they jump in sweetness,
mock and sneer, splashing all over you;
but to have faith in fortune is crazy,
in time by turn the bender will be bent.

This basset is a very quick game;
you can play it standing up, any place;
its only sore point, it doesn’t last long;
but it often pleases those with little cups.
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: Card games in Carte Parlanti 1543

#5
Depaulis has an interesting piece in the current issue of The Playing Card (Vol. 45, No. 3, pp. 176-182 ["Hidden Treasures in the Musee du Petit Palais, Paris", about some old cards there, a result of "the passionate taste for the Italian Renaissance" of one collector, of whom Depaulis says in a footnote (p. 178):
Eugène Dutuit (Marseille 1807 - Rouen 1886), art lover and collector, from a wealthy family engaged in codon trade. It was his brother Auguste who decided, in 1902, to bequeath their collection of works of art to the City of Paris.

The treasures include playing cards that Depaulis says were made by the famous Padovano, interlocutor in Aretino's Carte Parlanti (for a sample of the dialogue, find "Paduan" at http://www.associazioneletarot.it/page. ... 63&lng=ENG; "Paduan" is my Anglicization of his name). Here are the cards:


About them Depaulis says, starting with the museum's inventory numbers:
- GDUT10843-GDUT10877 (Fig. 5 a-f)
Florence, (Domenico) Padovano, 1547; 35/52 cards; Latin suit-signs, uncoloured; non standard designs; woodcut; 103 x 57 mm; no backs.

This is perhaps the most extraordinary find in this small remarkable collection.

Thirty-five cards of a pack made (and signed) by Padovano in 1547. Yes, the real, great Padovano (Domenico di Francesco, detto 'il Padovano', c.1500-1571), Aretino's friend, active in Florence in 1531-1571, the respondent cardmaker to the 'speaking' cards in Aretino's famous dialogue Le carte parlanti (1543). (5) Because the date 1547 is printed, with the cardmaker's name, on the 5 of Cups, we can have no doubt that we have to do here with a genuine output of Domenico Padovano. In 1986 the late Alberto Milano published two half-sheets of Lyon-
_____________
5. On Padovano, see Milano's quoted article [from footnote 4: Alberto Milano, "Two sheets of 'Padovano' playing cards", The Playing-Card, Vol. XIV, no. 3, 1986, pp. 61-67]; Franco Pratesi, "Padovano et les 'nouvelles cartes florentines', L'As de Trèfle, no. 38, Sept. 1989, pp. 9-10; Id., "Florentine cardmakers and concession holders (1477-1751)", The Playing-Card, vol. XXI, n° 4, May 1993, pp. 126-35, p. 126-7; Giuseppe Crimi, "Il Padovano cartaio: altre notizie su un personaggio serai-oscuro", Filologia e critica, XXXVI, 2011, pp. 139-58.
180

The Playing-Card Volume 45, Number 3

pattern courts, signed Padovano and datable to c. 1615, which were found in the Archivio di Stato di Roma, within documents related to the 'Ospizio di S. Michele' (in Rome). (6) But they are more probably the work of Francesco Padovano, Domenico's great-grandson, who seems to have settled in Rome around 1610/14. (7)

Here we have the best of Padovano. Unfortunately the 35 cards are all numeral cards; courts and aces are lacking. They are Latin suited, uncoloured, and clearly belong to a non-standard 52-card pack. They have been cut from sheets, without backs being pasted. Animals (lions, panthers, parrots, deer, birds, monkeys, etc.) decorate the cards. The 2 of Coins has a lion with a banderole inscribed PADOVANO; the 4 of Coins shows a panther with the caption PANTERA and PADOVANO in a banderole; the 2 of Cups has a lioness with PADOVANO (written in mirror image!). Some of the cards show scenes reminiscent of Aesop's Fables (e.g. the 4 of Swords, The Fox and the Stork; the 2 of Batons, The Fox and the Grapes, etc.).
____________
6 Alberta Milano, quoted article.
7 Nicola De Giorgio, "Un 'Padovano' cartaro accusata di frode", The Playing-Card, Vol. 41, no. 2, Oct.-Dec. 2012, pp. 115-23.
It strikes me that something very similar to the 2 of Batons is in Dummett's Game of Tarot, as part of his Plate 17. It has an animal on the lower right that I don't see in Depaulis's image; and Depaulis's has a few animals - mice or rats - missing from the Rouen.
Image

Dummett p. xiii identifies this and the rest of the cards in his Plate 17 as from the Leber collection in Rouen. For further comparison, here are the Rouen pips (minus the aces) reproduced at http://trionfi.com/0/j/d/leber/t.html:
Image

The only other overlap I see with the Petit Palais cards is the 4 of Swords, but the image is quite different. Padovano has a nice touch.

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