Explaining Pratesi’s Florentine card trade spikes: 1430-1440

#1
Pratesi’s invaluable research has revealed who was making/selling the cards, regulations and even trials. The point of this post is to juxtapose those data points with local geopolitical events as a means of revealing who the end-users might have been – who was buying the cards.

Huck and Ross have provided the relative cost of decks which shows them to have been affordable by all walks of society. One thing not considered however is that portion of the general public that had the “leisure” to actually play cards. Two occupations that presumably had more idle time than most were clerics and the proto-humanist market of notaries (for this last group see especially Lauro Marines, Power and Imagination: City-States in Renaissance Italy, 1979, 54f and 203f). Clerics would have been more bound to view cards as sinful (see Bernardino and the Steele sermon) although there are notable exceptions discovered by Pratesi (e.g., a 1400 document of a pack lent to a priest in Arezzo); still these appear to be exceptions to the rule. As for notaries, they were certainly increasing in numbers and utilized by the Florentine state to impose its organization on its growing territory, especially in the periphery of the contado where rural and mountain village rebellions occurred due to over-taxation by Florence: “For most of the costs were the expenses of maintaining public order – large salaries and expenses paid to Florentine officers of the peace, from the Captains of the larger subject cities of Arezzo, Pisa, and Pistoia to the vicarii and Podesta’ of rural regions, along with their bevies of notaries, soldiers and horses” (S. Cohn, Creating the Florentine State: Peasants and Rebellion, 1348-1434. 1999: 247, but also 198f for the general background of the problem).

In addition to the clerical and notarial classes we now encounter soldiers as well, often in the areas we find early card sales, thus my thesis here. Clergy and public notaries could not have fluctuated in great numbers but soldiers, particularly in times of rebellions or during foreign threats of invasion, would of course spiked beyond comparison with any other occupational class. These rural regions were also subject to fixed rates of a military tax called the lance (not to be confused with a three member military equine unit) and often provided militia of crossbowmen, and so already militarized to a degree and why rebellion was likely there. On the flip side, the Medici, in particular, relied on partisans from the Mugello (more on that below).

Pratesi’s data (all articles cited below can be found here: http://trionfi.com/franco-pratesi ), anecdotal due to its incomplete nature (how many records perished or simply did not note the trifling sales of cards?) but is the most complete data set we have on the subject for Tuscany. What follows are years, location and Pratesi-studied event for the decade preceding the earliest mention of tarot (supplemented here with relevant sources detailing “geopolitical” events):

1. 1430, Prato, 16 deck sales spike: “1429/30 - NAIBI TRADED IN PRATO BY A NOTARY”, Franco Pratesi, 06.04.2012 . Of 21 deck sales recorded, all but 5 occurred in August and September 1430. Those late summer sales can be explained by the war with Lucca: “the troops of Francesco Sforza arrived in Lucca [sent by Visconti in relief of the city being besieged by Florence], and by July 1430, he was able to remove the siege placed on the city by Fortebraccio [leading the Florentines]; not only was he able to quickly throw back the invaders, but soon had installed military fortifications in the field against them (which had been constructed by the Florentines, but discarded in their flight from Lucca when Sforza arrived)” (Ken Johnson dissertation, “Lucca in the Signoria of Paolo Guinigi,1400-1430.”, 2002: 292). The Florentine troops would have retreated back to the town of Prato in the Florentine contado[/1] via that city’s Porta Lucchese; the sales of cards there are in the two months following their retreat from Sforza when an influx of troops could have been expected to be quartered there during the ensuing fall/winter - the cessation of the campaigning season. It should be noted Prato was a primary entry point into Florence and why it would have been garrisoned; e.g., in 1512 it was infamously pillaged and raped by the Spanish army (reports of 2,000 dead) that reinstalled the Medici as rulers of the city in that year.

2. 1433, Florence. Trials of card players. “1433: DIRITTA AND PILUCCHINO BEFORE THE COURT”, Franco Pratesi, 11.12.2011. This seems to indicate an attempt to control card playing during the critical months of strife between the Albizzi and Medici factions, which saw the latter exiled/recalled and then the former exiled for good.

3. 1437, Borgo San Lorenzo [largest town of the Mugello], card playing law: “EARLY LAWS ON CARD-PLAYING IN TOWNS UNDER FLORENTINE INFLUENCE”, Franco Pratesi, 1990 (The Playing-Card, Vol. XVIII, No. 4, pp. 128-135). “In 1437 naibi are explicitly prohibited with the exception of the standard’ game of alla diritta e alla torta. Noteworthy is the year as this was after the Medici exile of 1433-4 and this law thus points to the new regime in wanting to regulate card playing in their power base of the Mugello. In fact it was the armed peasantry of the Mugello that played a key role in the Medici’s final ascent: “Throughout the crises of 1433 and 1434 one is aware of the shadowy presence of armed force in the background behind the political maneuvering and the personal pressures. On both occasions the Medici had privately assembled their own troops at Careggi [one of the Medici villas] in readiness to defend their interests….In 1434 the Signoria, having assembled 500 men in defense of the conservative arms, sent for further reinforcements; by Cosimo’s account, ‘they called into the city a huge number of foot soldiers, and from the Mugello, the Alps, and the Romagna alone there came to our house more than 3,000 troops in addition to the company commanded by Niccolo da Tolentino. [fn 196]’ [fn 196, See Gelli, ‘L’esilio di Cosimo’, 78; cf. the letter of 27 Sept. from Piero di Cosimo to Francesco di Giuliano (M.A.P. IV, 332) describing the anti-Medican attempt to set fire to the Martelli houses, how it was foiled by the intervention of the Ginori, Masi and Della Stufa, and urging Francesco to recruit as many men as possible from the Mugello and send them to Careggi.”] Dale V. Kent, The Rise of the Medici: Faction in Florence, 1426-1434. Oxford University Press, 1978: 337).

4. 1439, Arezzo, 24 decks sold (November, 1439). “1421-39 - PLAYING CARDS TRADED IN AREZZO by AGNOLO DI GIOVANNI”, Franco Pratesi, 15.12.2012. Pratesi: “ Here we find two different kinds of playing cards – each of them has something worth discussing. The dozen packs of Naibi Piccoli …they had been acquired not to be kept for sale in the shop in Arezzo, but with the intention to send them to Borgo. …I believe that Borgo San Sepolcro was intended here [a town that defected to Piccinino before Anghiari]. In addition to local inhabitants, many soldiers and civic servants from Florence and other provenances lived by then in and around San Sepolcro, and seemingly they needed more cards than usual for spending their free time there, far from home.”
a. Also in 1439 (September): 36 decks sold in fiera de la Vierna. “NAIBI SOLD BY SILK-DEALERS”, Franco Pratesi, 03.03.2012

5. 1440, Prato/Florence. “NAIBI SOLD BY SILK-DEALERS”, by Franco Pratesi, 03.03.2012 (again).
. a. March 1440: 16 decks sold in Prato
. b. April 1440: 24 decks sold in Prato
. c.May 1440: 12 decks sold in Florence, 9 in Prato
. d.September, 1440: 36 decks sold in Florence
. e. November, 1440: 15 decks sold in Florence

So why an uptick on card production towards the fall of 1439 through 1440? Florence and the Papacy were mobilizing for war. See the timeline in Margaret King (1994: 247-249): In March 1439 Piccinino inaugurates the campaigning season by attacking the areas around Verona and Vicenza; by June 23rd Sforza signed up with the “united colors of Venice, Florence and Genoa sent him as emblem of command”; October 1439 Marcello urged by Venetian Senate to persuade Sforza to cooperate with Pope Eugene [in Florence] and Michele Attendolo arrives on scene (249). Tellingly the ensuing decks produced in 1440 before Anghiari are sold especially to the north (Prato again) where Piccinino was expected to arrive from (and where soldiers would have been quartered) but he instead swung south through the Casentino to Borgo San Sepolcro and then onto Anghiari. Most of the decks sold in Florence – certainly the largest spike of 36 decks in September sticks out - are after Anghiari, the same month Giusti records his commissioning of a trionfi deck for Sigismondo Malatesta. If trionfi was a brand new game, as I argue (and there is no previous association of this word with cards in any archive yet found), it’s decks might still generically be referred to as simply naibi. What can be said here is a spike in card production in Florence occurred at the same time Giusti ordered a deck to be made there embellished with Malatesta’s arms.

The 1450 letter from Sforza requesting tarot shows that he was keen to have himself and his staff entertained with cards; the question is did this passion originate from the ranks or “trickle down” from his him and his staff? Perhaps that question can never be answered but all of the hand-painted decks of which we know of either contain the arms of the families of smaller northern Italian states whose economy depended on its lords to engage in military condotti: Malatesta, d’Este, Sforza (he only held the Marche at the time of the CY). One can then posit that Medici Florence, Visconti Milan, etc. - those states that signed condotte with these same condottieri - would have naturally looked to gifts of elaborate decks of cards to these generals as a visual means to associate them with their employers (especially if the commissioning city’s coat of arms was present as well; which know to be the case with at least the CY deck). But in what capacity could Giusti have been acting on behalf of Medici Florence – was he not ultimately self-interestedly acting on his own as a procurer of soldiers for Malatesta? Or was the Giusti diary entry suggests an elaborate card deck was more along the lines of a gift of state?

In fact the Medici had long established relations with the Malatesta family before 1440; moreover, Giusti was acting on behalf of Medici Florence before 1440. According to Rita Maria Comanducci (Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Volume 57, 2002) Giusti ‘s family’s "specializzazioni" was “l'arte della Guerra” and indeed his homeland bred minor warlords such as Baldaccio di Anghiari, Gregorio di Vanni, Agnolo Taglia, and Leale di Cristoforo, some of whom would be connected to Malatesta. But that came after Anghiari; before the battle Giusti was in a Florentine camp outside Lucca with Gregorio in 1437/1438 and in 28 May 1440 was involved in a minor action with some of the men of the company of Agnolo Taglia against the noblewoman Anfrosina – someone associated with an Aretine conspiracy dating back to 1437 ( Arthur Field, “Leonardi Bruni, Florentine traitor? Bruni, the Medici, and an Aretine conspiracy of 1437", Renaissance Quarterly 51 (1998): 1109-50).

The relationship of the Medici and Malatesta needs to be placed in the larger context of their jockeying for power with the Albizzi. In that struggle the Medici reached out to several condottieri, as we read above when the company of Niccolo da Tolentino showed up in the exile return skirmish of 1434, along with the Mugello peasants. Less well known is the Medici’s relationship to Sigismund Malatesta’s powerful uncle, Carlo Malatesta. In fact in 1429, at that precarious time for the Medici when their father Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici died, Cosimo and his brother Lorenzo had Leonardo Bruni, also serving as the Florentine Chancellor, write to Carlo Malatesta to inform him of that news and to reestablish their family’s connection with him ( see James Hankins,” The Humanist, the Banker, and the Condottiere: An Unpublished Letter of Cosimo and Lorenzo de'Medici Written by Leonardo Bruni.” In: Monfasani J, Musto RG Renaissance Society and Culture: Essays in Honor of Eugene F. Rice, jr. New York: Italica Press; 1991. p. 59-70.). Carlo died that very same year so Sigismondo, Carlo’s nephew and ultimate successor to Rimini, was quickly drawn into the Medici orbit and was present at the ceremony for the completion of Brunelleschi’s Dome in 1436.

But what of the events after 1440 – where are the Medici in connection with Giusti’s tarot gift to Malatesta? The right question is: where was Sigismondo, for he was not at Anghiari; in 1439 and 1440 him and his brother Novello, who held Cesena, were embroiled in dealings with the Montefeltro of Urbino who were in turn aligned with Piccinino/Milan. Peace was made in 26 March 1440, so “the Malatesta should now have been public allies of the Visconti. But when, in the late summer and autumn of 1440, Sigismondo reappeared besides cardonal Scarampi [Ludovico Trevisan] and the Florentine captains in an offensive against the Polenta [Ravenna], the Ordelaffi [Forli] and the Manfredi [Astorre Manfredi II, Lord of Imola, was captured at Anghiari], it was evident he did not hold himself bound by the compact with Piccinino. On his side, Malatesta of Cesena kept faith with Milan.” (P.J. Jones, The Malatesta of Rimini and the Papal State, 1974: 185). Thus the same military alliance that was present at Anghiari - the Pope’s military papal vicar, Cardinal Tevisan, and Florentine contingents - were now off to assist Malatesta…preceded by a gift from a loyal Medici partisan: Giusti.

To underscore the pivotal nature of the relationship of Florentine factions’ with condottieri consider the fate of Baldaccio d'Anghiari. He fought for and against nearly every political player mentioned here but in the shift of local alliances by 1441 was most closely aligned with the Pope and Neri di Gino Capponi. Neri had shared top honors with Bernardetto de’Medici, a cousin of Cosimo’s, who both acted as provviditore at Anghiari and were both rewarded as such. But Bernardetto was mentioned first in the condemnation proceedings against the Albizzi rebels and it was his protégé from the Mugello, Andrea Castagno, who painted the Albizzi as hanged men on the Bargello. Cosimo meanwhile had Baldaccio unceremonially thrown out of the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio in September 1441 for reasons that are supposedly unclear other than it removed a potential military actor he did not control (even though this left the pope non-plussed). Neri’s influence waned as Bernardetto would go on to be Gonfaloniere di Giustizia in 1447, Vicar of the Mugello in 1450 (based out of Scarperia, where he had Castagno paint a Charity) and Gonfaloniere di Giustizia again in 1455 when the commission to paint the fresco of Niccolo da Tolentino next to the existing ones of Hawkwood and Dante in the Duomo was awarded to Castagno (see John Spencer, Andrea del Castagno and his patrons. Durham: Duke University Press, 1991: 15f).

Conclusions

The tarot gift of Giusti to Malatesta has to be seen – at the very minimum - in a Medici Florence context in which Malatesta, along with the likes of Sforza (he was paid 50,000 florins in 1434 on behalf of Pope Eugene by the Medici; see John M. Najemy, A History of Florence 1200-1575, 2008: 287) were valued as essentially the military of said state.

Tarot, a development of card playing (“cards with triumphs”), is definitely connected with leading condottieri and Pratesi’s data, juxtaposed against military events, suggests card playing in general with troops as end consumers. The Medici put in rules to control card playing in their power base of the Mugello, from where soldiers were recruited, just three years before Anghiari (1437 in Borgo San Lorenzo). My own personal opinion is that because soldiers played with cards, it caught on with their generals and the Medici circle preyed upon that fact in creating a new version of playing cards in which themes important to their state could be featured. So we’d have elaborate hand-painted cards for Medici Florence’s condottieri, a means of celebrating their relationships to these populist heroes ,and perhaps cheap versions printed for the mass of soldiers, all of it advertising the state and the generals’ ties to it. To wit: perhaps the initial decks created after Anghiari were for the Roman condottiero Gianpaolo Orsini, who actually lead the Florentines into battle (notably Lorenzo Magnifico would be married to an Orsini), Cardinal Trevisan who led the papal contingent (see his own Roman triumph medal he had cast after the battle), Michele Attendolo (Sforza’s cousin whom the Florentine’s regarded as leading Francesco’s men – at least the official herald’s poem states that) and for the primary general of the Venetian/Papal/Florentine “holy alliance” against Visconti – Sforza himself. Giusti must have simply been following suit with the permission of the Medici in commissioning a deck in Florence for a lesser condottieri who was not present at the battle - Malatesta.

Beaten on every front (in Tuscany, eastern Lombardy and in the Romagna), Filippo Visconti sued for peace in 1441 – peace terms essentially dictated by Sforza for all parties – and finally relented in giving his daughter in marriage to Sforza. The CY deck, to my mind, has to be a response to the “Anghiari” deck Sforza would have already received, an altered version now featuring the Sforza and Visconti belli, assigned to two each of the court card suits. That Sforza felt in no way beholden to Visconti is proven by his almost immediate visit to Venice after his own wedding in October 1441, right after the Treaty of Cavriana was concluded. And it was no surprise that the spurned and spiteful Visconti was at the gates of the dowry city of Cremona with an army just a few years later (which Venice ended up defending for Sforza, absent in the Marche, via a force sent under Attendolo).

Finally, in regard to Pratesi’s musings about Lo Scheggia as a potential artist of trionfi, based on his involvement with regular decks in 1447/1448, http://trionfi.com/evx-lo-scheggia, I’ll tack on the speculation of proposing Lo Scheggia as a possible artist who might have painted the ur-tarot of Anghiari for three reasons: 1. He was soldier and thus came out of the milieu that likely consumed the most decks; 2) was involved with the most important project of that decade – Santa Maria del Fiore and its recently completed dome (Scheggia collaborated on the intarsia designs for the cupboards on the south wall of the Sagrestia delle Messe, between 1436 and 1440…thus freeing him up for a new commission in 1440); and 3) like Castagno, who was also involved in Anghiari celebrations with the impiccati frescos, was clearly linked to the Medici as evidenced by Lorenzo Magnifico’s Fama birth tray.

Phaeded

Re: Explaining Pratesi’s Florentine card trade spikes: 1430-

#2
Nice, that you take attention of the recent detections, which are so seldom the topic here ...
Phaeded wrote: Pratesi’s data (all articles cited below can be found here: http://trionfi.com/franco-pratesi ), anecdotal due to its incomplete nature (how many records perished or simply did not note the trifling sales of cards?) but is the most complete data set we have on the subject for Tuscany.
Well, not only from Tuscany. It's likely the most complete data on anything, which happened to playing cards in the early time.
1. 1430, Prato, 16 deck sales spike: “1429/30 - NAIBI TRADED IN PRATO BY A NOTARY”, Franco Pratesi, 06.04.2012 . Of 21 deck sales recorded, all but 5 occurred in August and September 1430. Those late summer sales can be explained by the war with Lucca: “the troops of Francesco Sforza arrived in Lucca [sent by Visconti in relief of the city being besieged by Florence], and by July 1430, he was able to remove the siege placed on the city by Fortebraccio [leading the Florentines]; not only was he able to quickly throw back the invaders, but soon had installed military fortifications in the field against them (which had been constructed by the Florentines, but discarded in their flight from Lucca when Sforza arrived)” (Ken Johnson dissertation, “Lucca in the Signoria of Paolo Guinigi,1400-1430.”, 2002: 292). The Florentine troops would have retreated back to the town of Prato in the Florentine contado[/1] via that city’s Porta Lucchese; the sales of cards there are in the two months following their retreat from Sforza when an influx of troops could have been expected to be quartered there during the ensuing fall/winter - the cessation of the campaigning season. It should be noted Prato was a primary entry point into Florence and why it would have been garrisoned; e.g., in 1512 it was infamously pillaged and raped by the Spanish army (reports of 2,000 dead) that reinstalled the Medici as rulers of the city in that year.


The statistical data is too small to make too much conclusions, I would assume.

2. 1433, Florence. Trials of card players. “1433: DIRITTA AND PILUCCHINO BEFORE THE COURT”, Franco Pratesi, 11.12.2011. This seems to indicate an attempt to control card playing during the critical months of strife between the Albizzi and Medici factions, which saw the latter exiled/recalled and then the former exiled for good.

There are other prohibition notes.
In an earlier work ...
http://trionfi.com/card-playing-laws-florence

3. 1437, Borgo San Lorenzo [largest town of the Mugello], card playing law: “EARLY LAWS ON CARD-PLAYING IN TOWNS UNDER FLORENTINE INFLUENCE”, Franco Pratesi, 1990 (The Playing-Card, Vol. XVIII, No. 4, pp. 128-135). ...

[my INFO: http://trionfi.com/card-playing-laws-florence ]




5. 1440, Prato/Florence. “NAIBI SOLD BY SILK-DEALERS”, by Franco Pratesi, 03.03.2012 (again).
. a. March 1440: 16 decks sold in Prato
. b. April 1440: 24 decks sold in Prato
. c.May 1440: 12 decks sold in Florence, 9 in Prato
. d.September, 1440: 36 decks sold in Florence
. e. November, 1440: 15 decks sold in Florence

So why an uptick on card production towards the fall of 1439 through 1440? Florence and the Papacy were mobilizing for war. See the timeline in Margaret King (1994: 247-249): In March 1439 Piccinino inaugurates the campaigning season by attacking the areas around Verona and Vicenza; by June 23rd Sforza signed up with the “united colors of Venice, Florence and Genoa sent him as emblem of command”; October 1439 Marcello urged by Venetian Senate to persuade Sforza to cooperate with Pope Eugene [in Florence] and Michele Attendolo arrives on scene (249). Tellingly the ensuing decks produced in 1440 before Anghiari are sold especially to the north (Prato again) where Piccinino was expected to arrive from (and where soldiers would have been quartered) but he instead swung south through the Casentino to Borgo San Sepolcro and then onto Anghiari. Most of the decks sold in Florence – certainly the largest spike of 36 decks in September sticks out - are after Anghiari, the same month Giusti records his commissioning of a trionfi deck for Sigismondo Malatesta. If trionfi was a brand new game, as I argue (and there is no previous association of this word with cards in any archive yet found), it’s decks might still generically be referred to as simply naibi. What can be said here is a spike in card production in Florence occurred at the same time Giusti ordered a deck to be made there embellished with Malatesta’s arms.


Well,
what we know from the silkdealer business seems to indicate, that the silk dealer started with playing cards in greater numbers since end of 1439, so "after the council". Perhaps "after the council" (when much outside customers had visited the city) they got commissions from outside the city, which led to the export list. Perhaps visitors had seen the cards in Florence and ordered them. In the later time this was not often the case, either perhaps there were other lost books or the export didn't play a big role.

Later we know from the acquire list, that the silk dealer must have had a regular trade with cards, from which we mostly only see, what they paid for cards, but not what they got.

....

But what of the events after 1440 – where are the Medici in connection with Giusti’s tarot gift to Malatesta? The right question is: where was Sigismondo, for he was not at Anghiari; in 1439 and 1440 him and his brother Novello, who held Cesena, were embroiled in dealings with the Montefeltro of Urbino who were in turn aligned with Piccinino/Milan.


I think he was at a warrior camp besieging Forli, in September 1440, and Giusto Giusti visited him there.

Image

from Nerida Newbigin: "I giornali ..."

Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, September/October 1440
became allied with Piccinino, when Piccino attacked the region, but left the Visconti side after Anghiari
http://www.condottieridiventura.it/inde ... di-brescia
Occupa Bagnacavallo, Massa Lombarda ed altre terre dell’imolese; non può, o non vuole, impedire a Francesco Piccinino l’ingresso in Forlì. Danneggia molti villaggi e tenta di espugnare il capoluogo. Vista l'inanità dell' impresa si sposta prima a Forlimpopoli con gli altri condottieri. A metà ottobre i fiorentini prendono la strada di Capodicolle e della val di Savio: Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta si ferma a San Vittore perché trattenuto dai fiumi in piena. Le milizie fiorentine proseguono per la Toscana; egli deve, invece, fermarsi per qualche giorno in quanto non può trovare riparo a Cesena dal momento che il fratello milita al soldo del duca di Milano. Rientra a Rimini.


Allied: cardinal Ludovico Trevisan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludovico_S ... _Mezzarota

Foe: GUIDANTONIO MANFREDI da Faenza
http://www.condottieridiventura.it/inde ... o-manfredi
May/June 1440
Da Forlì segue Niccolò Piccinino in Toscana; partecipa alla battaglia di Anghiari. Si salva con la fuga dopo avere subito numerose perdite.
July
Si ferma a Forlì ospite dell’ Ordelaffi; con il Piccinino assedia, successivamente, Matteo da Sant’ Angelo in Castrocaro Terme.
August - September
Difende Torre di Calamello in val di Lamone; perde, viceversa, Bagnacavallo, Massa Lombarda, Portico, Rocca San Casciano e Dovadola. Si porta con le sue truppe per difendere Portico (datagli in precedenza dal Piccinino); giunto a Modigliana, comprende che la situazione è compromessa e si ritira.
October
Con Domenico Malatesta cerca di sorprendere i pontifici a Forlimpopoli. Dal punto di vista finanziario si trova così a mal partito che già dall’estate deve imporre a Faenza ed al suo territorio una tassa sui prodotti agricoli che entrano nel capoluogo.


Foe: Domenico Malatesta (brother of Sigismonondo Malatesta)
http://www.condottieridiventura.it/inde ... -malatesta
July
Con la sconfitta di Niccolò Piccinino ad Anghiari. Domenico Malatesta lascia Cesena, tocca Forlì (dove si reca a salutarlo l’Ordelaffi) e raggiunge Ferrara. Si allea con Guidantonio Manfredi; a fine mese rientra via mare nei suoi stati.
August
(in Milan) Cambia ufficialmente coalizione, gli viene restituita Meldola e passa al soldo dei ducali: nei capitoli della condotta gli è, tuttavia, consentito di fornire vettovaglie alle genti dei fiorentini ed a quelle del legato, il patriarca Ludovico Scarampo. Si reca a Milano.
October
Fronteggia gli avversari verso Forlimpopoli. Si unisce con Guidantonio Manfredi ed i pontifici abbandonano la località. Con il ritiro dei fiorentini verso la Toscana, si reca a Cesena; per strada si ferma a Forlì, ospite di Antonio Ordelaffi.


Foe: Antonio Ordelaffi (owner of Forli)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_I_Ordelaffi
Antonio I Ordelaffi (c. 1390 – August 4, 1448) was lord of Forlì from 1433 to 1436 and again from 1438 to 1448. He was a member of the noble family of Ordelaffi.
The son of Francesco III Ordelaffi (best known as Cecco III or II), at the latter's death (1405) he was first imprisoned and the exiled to Venice by the Papal legate Baldassarre Cossa. In 1411 he returned to Forlì as co-lord with his cousin Giorgio, but he was again imprisoned in Imola where he remained until 1424, when he was freed by the Visconti of Milan. Giorgio had died in 1422, but Forlì was returned to the Papal States.
Eleven years later a popular revolt ousted the Papal governor, and Antonio could take possession of Forlì. Allied with the Visconti then in war against Pope Eugene IV, he managed to gain Forlimpopoli and other castles, but the peace between Rome and Milan stripped him off of all them. In 1436 he was also forced to cede Forlì to Francesco Sforza, and went to exile in Ferrara. Two years later he regained the seigniory and maintained it despite the attacks of Papal-Visconti condottieri like Niccolò Piccinino and Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta. In 1447 he was recognized papal vicar of Forlì.


They tried to get Forli, but Ordelaffi resisted successfully.

The most remarkable thing about the case is, that in the month October 1440 the wife of Sigismondo Malatesta died (a Parisina daughter from Niccolo III d'Este of Ferrara) , and later it was said, that she was murdered by her husband.
October 1440 was the time, when Bianca Maria arrived in Ferrara.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Explaining Pratesi’s Florentine card trade spikes: 1430-

#3
Very good, Phaeded, and also Huck. I have one comment. Phaeded wrote:
Clerics would have been more bound to view cards as sinful (see Bernardino and the Steele sermon) although there are notable exceptions discovered by Pratesi (e.g., a 1400 document of a pack lent to a priest in Arezzo); still these appear to be exceptions to the rule.
It seems to me that more research is needed on this point. Some orders may have prohibited their members from owning cards at some point, de facto or de jure, others may not have, and tarot may have been an exception from prohibitions, like chess, for some. Dominicans (Steele Sermon) and Franciscans (Bernardino) seem to have been most vocal against cards, including, for the Steele Sermon at least, tarot. But this last was probably in the time of Savonarola. And where did the Augustinians, the Benedictines, etc., stand, and especially in regard to tarot? In other words, was there a pattern to the exceptions, and how extensive were they? Also, there may have been fluctuations depending on edicts or influential sermons by different generals and preachers, etc. So it seems to me important, when looking at sermons, etc., to note when and of what order.

Re: Explaining Pratesi’s Florentine card trade spikes: 1430-

#4
Soldiers might have been a good part of the market, though there's not much evidence.

Franco Pratesi made a longer research with household books of one of the contemporary Florentine condottieri. The result was negative. Nothing about playing cards.

Franco researched also weddings for presents with playing cards (following the assumption, that decks were items, which were made for weddings). Negative gain.

Actually it would be good, if he writes also about negative results.

Well ... of course, a negative result gives no evidence, and one cannot do much with it. There might be other condottieri, whose household books had been full of card playing notes. There might have been the condition, that "gambling expenses" were not part of household books.

We have the "very obvious evidence", that two courts of the standard decks were mostly "soldiers".

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Generally Franco Pratesi resists usually ideas, which relate his results with actual political developments. His argument is usually, that we don't know enough. What we know, has no statistical relevance.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Explaining Pratesi’s Florentine card trade spikes: 1430-

#5
Huck wrote:Soldiers might have been a good part of the market, though there's not much evidence.

Franco Pratesi made a longer research with household books of one of the contemporary Florentine condottieri. The result was negative. Nothing about playing cards.
One household is relevant here (but see my further comments on condottieri below) but in regard to the multiple decks noted in my original post above you offer this?:
The statistical data is too small to make too much conclusions, I would assume.
C'mon Huck. Giusti spells out that his was expressly made for Malatesta. The Visconti-Sforza decks (CY, Brambilla and PMB) are called that for obvious reasons. Malatesta requests a tarot deck from Sforza, so obviously they are made under the latter. But only they played, but not with their officer staffs? It also only makes sense that the common soldiers, particularly when in winter quarters with plenty of free time, would seek out diversions such as card playing, just as in the example of Sforza asking for tarot decks in early December 1450 (i.e, the onset of winter). And quite frankly the condottiere's leisure pursuits would have naturally offered themselves up for emulation for those from the ranks with ambition.

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