Good argument, Ross, for Bolognese invention of the quasi-popular tarot. I didn't know about the rest of Burdochio's merchandise. Yes, silk was a Bolognese specialty, not a Ferrarese one. Perhaps your citation for this merchandise is back in the thread somewhere. I should read it, if it's accessible. It seems to count against Huck's proposal that Burdochio got his cards in Ferrara. That was a stumbling block for me.
The references to Marchione that I gleaned from Franceschini are at trionfi.com (somewhere I can't find now), but Huck posted them on this thread, on page 3 -
I subsequently found one or two other notices of him later in Franceschini, which I'll try to dig up to complete the picture. Note that Franceschini's concern was for things connected to the artists involved with the court - Marchione is only mentioned in instances where he provides fabric for artists of the court. The card sale is not mentioned in Franceschini's big book because it has nothing to do with selling to court artists - he only published it in Ludica
2 (1996) in connection with other information he had found on cards in the Este archives in Modena.
Well, Picconino entered Bologna in May 1438, on behalf of Milan. He or an aide might have brought a Milanese deck, then or almost any time later, until the expulsion of his forces in June 1443. And there was the May 1441 wedding, which as market might have accelerated the production time, or as distribution point might have been another place to provide an enterprising Bolognese with the model. How much time does it take to produce a novelty item?
I don't really know how long it would take to produce a novelty - I assume a conceptual period for designing the game, then drawing/carving the cards and putting them out for purchase. I assume at least three months - admittedly a pure guess. Whatever it is, it is well within any margin of uncertainty we might propose - it could have been invented as late as mid-1441.
This is why I prefer the scenario of a quasi-popular game being adopted by the court than vice-versa. It is easier to imagine a wealthy patron with a house artist (like Leonello with Sagramoro) saying "make me a sumptuous version of these cards, with our city's and family's insignia on them", than it is to imagine a humble cardmaker seeing the wealthy game being played, somehow getting ahold of a pack, and redesigning it for a wider market.
For the first scenario, we have an actual example in the Este purchase from Burdochio. Considering the second point, if the game were restricted to the highest levels of society, and the cards very expensive, it is hard to see how a much more humble kind of game would be received by classes of society who knew nothing about it. In the noble setting, it was played in closed palaces and indoor or walled gardens, not places it could be seen by most of the population.
As you know, there is evidence from Ferrara, too, that tarot did not have 22 trumps originally, as late as 1457, but rather 14, but this evidence is subjectd to interpretation.
Yes, the 70 cards reference is the only serious evidence that Trionfi
didn't have 78 cards - in my opinion. Hurst suggested a shortened deck (2 pips of each suit removed), I suggest a "scribal error", and adduce two other instances of exaggeration or underestimation - Berni says a tarocchi player has "200 cards" in his hand, and in 1908 Orioli, writing on the Bolognese card references, says that the Bolognese pack has "sixty cards" (in fact it has sixty-two). Thus, I imagine the accountant just wasn't very familiar with the game, but knew it had "70 something" cards.
Huck suggests it is real proof of the 5x14 theory. Given the attested existence of all of the standard subjects but the Devil by this time (allowing for both Bembo and Charles VI to be this early), and the spread of the game to all of northern Italy and Tuscany by this time, I find it implausible that it would evolve simultaneously in all of these places, into the same set of subjects, afterward, but with their own distinct, but related sequences, if they were not already the standard series of subjects when they were received in each region. So if the Ferrara reference is really referring to a 14 trump deck, it is a non-standard, and very strange deck.
"Augmentation." Are you saying that the Cary-Yale had 24 or 25 trumps, as Dummett once theorized? If so, what were the others, and what other examples or precedents do you have?
Yes - I believe it had the 22 usual subjects, plus the three Theological Virtues. By analogy with Piero della Francesca's Triumph of Battista Sforza
, which shows the Theological Virtues on her Chariot, along with the CY's own addition of two female courts in every suit, I strongly suspect the deck was made for a female Visconti.
As for examples of other augmented decks, there aren't any - that is the point. The CY is the unique example of an augmented trionfi deck, before Germini.
I would think it more likely that the CY had 16 or 17 trumps (Fool, if any, unattached to any suit), based on the precedent of the Michelino.
I don't see any reason to think the Marziano-Michelino deck had any influence on the development of Trionfi, unless the trionfi were invented in the Visconti court, and then only conceptually - the idea of adding trumps to the pack. Marziano's game was made from scratch - even the suits were non-standard. On the contrary, the game of Trionfi uses the standard (then standard, it appears briefly) 56 card pack, and adds trumps to them. In the Marziano design, there are 16 "trumps", and they must outnumber the suit cards (I can't believe there were 16 cards in each suit - who could play cards with 12, 13, 14 and 15 birds crammed onto them?), so the proportion of trumps to suit cards was higher, like in standard tarot. If we assume even 10 suit cards, with a King (the only court card the text mentions), we get a proportion of 16:11, which is exactly the same as the proportions of 25:16 and 22:14, for CY and Standard Tarot respectively. This can be rounded for convenience to 3:2 - a proportion Dummett noted, offhandedly, in 1980 in his suggestion about the number of trumps in CY. Does this coincidence have any meaning, if it really exists at all, since we don't have full information on Michelino or Cary-Yale? I don't know, but I do find it seductive. The only suggestion I have is that the designers of each series wanted to make sure that each player got a fair share of trumps in each hand, justifying the effort to learn and play the novel game.
The Beinecke's associaton of trumps with suits was not invented by them, they tell me, nor was it unprecedented in Milan, since the same was true of the Michelino. And other decks, although perhaps not 5-suited ones, also had female knights at least. Hind shows French female knights in Vol. 1 of his Introduction to a History of the Woodcut
. I am not sure when they were done, but they look fairly early to me.
Interesting, thanks. Except for the apparent Knight of Swords, I don't see any other suit markers. Maybe they had not yet been stenciled in - but it is a very interesting set of Knights.
We agree, I think, that C probably was invented by the French. B is Venice--is it safe to say 16th century?
The Steele Sermon is the earliest evidence of B, most likely, and dates on that vary (earliest 1460, latest 1480, although our copy is actually from around 1500). Otherwise, it is the Bud/Met sheets, again very hazily dated, but generally c. 1500.
Late 15th century? Is it also Ferrarese?
Yes, this is the family associated with Ferrara - Tadfor Little gave B the more descriptive and informative name "Eastern", meaning Ferrara and anywhere north and east of there, including Venice. The most famous game associated with Venice is Trappola, whose courts show similarities - I believe Robert has noted them - with Viéville's courts. For that reason I'd like to compare the Bud/Met courts to the Trappola and Viéville courts, which might determine the likelihood of the B pattern having been the one that influenced France the most.
For the Charles VI and BAR, we surmise that the order was somewhat like the numbers on the Charles VI cards, the Rosenwald, the Tarocchino, the Sicilian and Minchiate--i.e. type A. Minchiate, especially played in both Florence and Bologna,
I don't know of Minchiate actually played in Bologna. What is your reference? I know they made Minchiate cards in the 18th century, but I think these were for export, just like they made other kinds of foreign cards for export, especially during that century.
I'm pretty sure there's no evidence of Minchiate actually played in Bologna - although the term "sminchiate
", an instruction to play a high trump, exists in the Bolognese game (see Dummett and McLeod, History of Games Played with the Tarot Pack
, p. 272).
connects these citiesin tarot history, besides numerous cultural and political ties in the 15th century. So A is at least as old as Minchiate and the Rosenwald, again post-1490.
Yes, it's as old as the Strambotto and the numbers on the Charles VI, although, to be fair, the designs of the Charles VI, Catania and Rothschild are typically A, so the order of the cards is most likely that as well.
We infer that the original order, more or less, in Bologna and Florence was the same, because of the strong traditions there. Thus the A, in comparison to B and C, is the "original" order, in the sense of being the one of the three we can project back the furthest. As For the CY, PMB, and d'Este, do we have any clue what the order was, or what generally the order "originally" was in Milan and Ferrara?
No direct evidence from the earliest time, but the few numbers visible on the Este cards (a "6" for Temperance, "16" for the Star, and "18" for the Sun) seem to show the B order, although it could also be A.
For the Visconti cards, no evidence at all - as far as I can tell, most commentators assume it was C, but there is no evidence of C in Milan until 1547, and the designs on the Visconti cards (in contrast to those for the A types) are nothing like the later cards identified with C, so there is no way to be sure what the order was.
Your (and Huck's) contention that there had to be a Popess if there was a Pope, an Emperor, and an Empress, still seems to me dogmatic. Moreover, even if Bologna was the point of origin, or of quasi-popular dissemination in 1440-1442, it might have had three "papi" then, to be on the safe side (2 Emperors and a pope, if anyone asked, or vice versa), augmented to 4 after Constantinople.
I'm not sure I understand your reasoning here. The dogmatic part is just that I assume an original standard of 21 trumps and a Fool, so four papi follows. I don't think two popes would have been any more dangerous in 1440 than during other times in the following three centuries, when the Bolognese used them just fine. Mitelli has no problem with them in 1665. It is only when Montieri's "Geographical Tarocchino" makes the rude point that Bologna has "mixed government", that the papal governor gets upset, in 1725. For its whole history before that, Church authorities, and the official government of Bologna, took no notice of the game.