Re: Bolognese sequence

#212
Ross wrote
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.
My memory was playing tricks. Checking my references, I see that you are right. Thanks for catching that.

I notice that some Minchiate has female pages of cups and coins: Kaplan vol. 2 pp. 265-6 for a 17th century deck; http://l-pollett.tripod.com/cards17.htm for a "Rosenwald sheet" female page of cups. I don't know what "Rosenwald Sheet" Andy is talking about.

I have trouble imagining that Fillipo Visconti would have followed the lead of the mercantile class or even the lesser landed nobility on much of anything having to do with his entertainment. He was snobbish. Adding cards would count as following.

What is your reasoning that the CY was done in 1444-1445? Many people think 1441, commissioned by Filippo Visconti as a wedding gift. Others (Andy) think 1450 or after, by Franceso and Bianca, is the best guess. What are your thoughts about the occasion and commissioner?

Packs would have been purchased for different purposes in republics vs. duchies. In duchies, the nobility orders luxury decks as gifts for family and other nobility. In republics, they would be gifts to political supporters among the monied classes, which includes family but much more. The "lords of Bologna" in 1440 aren't as rich as the rulers of duchies, either; hence they need cheaper decks. It is not a question of a lowly cardmaker getting hold of a nobleman's cards somehow. The cheap decks, at first, are commissioned just like the luxury decks, by rulers. These rulers, although on a lower social level, marry aristocrats' children and get decks that way if no other.

Thanks for patiently answering my questions.

Huck: Place, p. 20, suggests that the checkered floor in the Goldschmidt might mean that the card is a trump: "These cards (Guildhall, Goldschmidt] do not include putti but they both depict the Grail on a checkered floor that only appears on other trumps in these decks." That fits in with your chess argument. He is talking about the "Ace" in particular, and of course you wouldn't agree with him there. Kaplan (vol 1 p. 110) suggested that the Goldschmidt "may have originated in Provence or Italy." He says "circa mid-fifteenth century," but isn't that too early?

Re: Bolognese sequence

#213
mikeh wrote:
Huck: Place, p. 20, suggests that the checkered floor in the Goldschmidt might mean that the card is a trump: "These cards (Guildhall, Goldschmidt] do not include putti but they both depict the Grail on a checkered floor that only appears on other trumps in these decks." That fits in with your chess argument. He is talking about the "Ace" in particular, and of course you wouldn't agree with him there. Kaplan (vol 1 p. 110) suggested that the Goldschmidt "may have originated in Provence or Italy." He says "circa mid-fifteenth century," but isn't that too early?
The dating is more or less correct, based on paper analysis, made ca. 1955.
I think, ca. 1461 - 1465 would meet the point. Probably in Belgium (then Burgund), Italian card producer, French commissioner.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Bolognese sequence

#214
Ross wrote
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….
I have explained how the Cary-Yale (CY) develops from the Michelino at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=365&start=20#p468

Ross wrote, in response to my question about whether he thought the CY had 24- 25 trumps
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.
None of the luminaries in fact is in the CY as we have it, a nice coincidence. In my account of the development of the CY from the Michelino, I admit, there is no room for both the theological virtues and the three luminaries. But the two sets actually have similar meanings. The Star of Bethlehem offers Hope; Faith, like the Moon, is our light in the darkness; and the Sun renews life, like Charity not seeking anything in return. Putting in both is redundant. I know that both sets are in Minchiate. But there, they have the whole zodiac separating them and providing a different context. The presence of both sets there, with the theological virtues where the luminaries usually are, along with its female pages, to me shows the presence of CY-like Milanese decks in Florence, which the Florentines synthesized with another tradition coming from elsewhere to create the Minchiate.

If the luminaries were not in the CY, then they got into the tarot when either someone replaced the theological virtues with them (not really sacrilegious if they had an eschatological meaning), or there was another tradition that did have them, and Filippo Visconti, for whatever reason, replaced them with the theological virtues. Even if the luminaries were in the CY, there was probably another tradition he got them from. But where? Filippo would have probably ignored or deprecated a game played by businessmen in Florence or businessmen and students in Bologna. (Ross might disagree; but all accounts say that he was an aloof, unpopular leader. He seems to have frustrated everybody by his paranoia. My guess is that to him businessmen were probably just tax-evaders. After he died, nobody wanted an aristocrat ruling over them.) But the Estensi in Ferrara were a noble family far more ancient than his, going back at least to the 9th century. In the 13th century their women had been sung about by Ferrara court troubadours. Petrarch spent his last years living near their Italian countryside base in Este. They also seem to have been interested in cards, perhaps even in Marziano’s game of the gods, A combination of evidence points to 14 trumps there: payments for 13 cards in 1422 (possibly "imperator", possibly a 5th suit or maybe just repairs of existing cards--this parenthesis added in response to Huck's post below), 14 paintings on paper Jan. 1441, 70-card decks in 1457. Filippo’s emissaries had spent extended time in Ferrara in 1428 and 1433 for the peace conferences, probably with continued contact afterward. Given that the luminaries but not the theological virtues are in the d’Este cards, it seems to me likely that the luminaries were part of the tradition there, either before Filippo's "theological virtues" deck or decks, or in response to them. Filippo either invented the game himself (perhaps stimulated by a prior game) or, more likely to me, changed Ferrara's luminaries to the theological virtues. Besides the similar meanings, there are visual links: the CY Hope lady looks at a star; and his Charity holds a sun-like mirror. But his version didn’t catch on. The PMB changed them back to the luminaries, yet with visual reminders of the other set: the Star lady looks at a star, the Moon lady holds a broken bow instead of Faith’s cross, and the Sun and putto replace mirror and suckling infant.

Could Ferrara have gotten the tarot from Bologna and then passed it on to Filippo? Or have endorsed the game, if introduced at the 1441 wedding, raising its status in Filippo’s eyes? That scenario might fit a 1445 date for the CY, but not much earlier. It takes time to adapt a foreign game to one’s own taste and the taste of one’s recipients. If they already had Ferrara’s game, it would be easier. For the CY, what is the occasion? By 1445 daughter Bianca has gone over to the enemy, literally. And as far as his wife was concerned, Filippo was probably thinking more of how to keep the duchy out of Savoy’s hands when he died. The only occasion I can think of is the 1444 birth of his grandson. But was that a joyous occasion for Filippo, or just another complication, and not an occasion worthy of giving out an heirloom? Meanwhile there is the Borromeo fresco, back in Milan (on the assumption that the game is tarot--this comment added after Huck's post following). I prefer to think that the CY was not an isolated example, but typical of Milanese decks c. 1438-1447, and in fact was a commemorative deck done after March of 1450.

Here is my conclusion, for further consideration to be sure: Florence, by its Minchiate, as I have said, shows signs of combining developments from different cities. Bologna, by its geographical position and its marriages, was well situated to do the same, both c. 1440 and later in the century. As citizen-republics, their modes of entertainment would not have been much emulated by the card-playing nobility of Ferrara and Milan, unless these groups already had something very like the game already. But both Florence and Bologna, precisely because of their republican governments, and with strong printing industries, had the motive (especially Bologna, with its serial assassinations) and means to popularize their decks to a greater public at home and abroad. Thus it was probably they who set the deck at the particular 22 trumps that we have, in a basic A order.

Once a deck with 22 trumps was standard, cardmakers had to deal with the convention that death be 13, since in the A order, with the Popess included (perhaps not at first, as I believe), or all four “papi,” Death would be 14. Since it is 13 in all the lists, I can’t see it as a coincidence. Adjustments had to be made, not necessarily the same in different places,. Thus in B, Justice is second to the end, as it may have been in Ferrara all along. In C, Temperance is put just after Death. I think that was done in the PMB, no later than the 2nd artist, because the lady in Temperance, Star, and Moon makes a set, of which at least the last two are in consecutive order. In A, either two cards get the same number, as in the Rosenwald, or both Bagattino and Fool are unnumbered, as in Tarocchino, or the Popess is left out, as in the strambotti poem. .

Re: Bolognese sequence

#215
hi Mike
mikeh wrote: They also seem to have been interested in cards, perhaps even in Marziano’s game of the gods, A combination of evidence points to 14 trumps there (reports of 13 added "Imperator" cards in 1422, 14 paintings on paper Jan. 1441, 70-card decks in 1457).
I wouldn't call these Imperatori cards, the related document is dated in a phase, when Imperatori card experiments are proven ("VIII Imperatori cards" 1423 in Florence/Ferrara, 1426 in Nördlingen, Germany, as Karnöffel). The document might relate to a replacement action of damaged cards, the production of a 5th suit, which is added, is only a possibility, not more ...
http://trionfi.com/0/d/11/
Meanwhile there is the Borromeo fresco, back in Milan.

The Borromeo picture, as far it is recognizable, shows the face of a few cards. These are not Trionfi cards ... just number cards. An ace and a two, perhaps chosen, cause these cards are easy to recognize ... but perhaps a reason to assume, that Trionfi cards didn't exist.
Once a deck with 22 trumps was standard, cardmakers had to deal with the convention that death be 13, since in the A order, ...
The trouble with the A B C order - theory etc. is, that it demands 22 trumps and it demands numbers. Numbers appear late in the development, and possibly also the number 22 appeared late. So, what can the ABC theory explain?
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Bolognese sequence

#216
Thanks, Huck. I made corrections in my post in light of your first two comments. I didn't understand your last comment.
The trouble with the A B C order - theory etc. is, that it demands 22 trumps and it demands numbers. Numbers appear late in the development, and possibly also the number 22 appeared late. So, what can the ABC theory explain?
It seems to me that the game in any form demands a sequential order to the trumps, in order that one trump can win a trick from another. There has to be a numbered hierarchy, even if the numbers aren't on the cards. At least that was the kind of numbering that I was thinking of--not numbers actually written on the cards.

Re: Bolognese sequence

#217
mikeh wrote: It seems to me that the game in any form demands a sequential order to the trumps, in order that one trump can win a trick from another. There has to be a numbered hierarchy, even if the numbers aren't on the cards. At least that was the kind of numbering that I was thinking of--not numbers actually written on the cards.
Recently I developed various arguments, that the early Trionfi cards contained ideas of the game of chess ... something which I already earlier stated for Cary-Yale and Charles VI. Now it seems, that also the 5x14-Bembo cards and the Hofämterspiel, possibly also Goldschmidt and Guildhall cards were involved, more or less all early Trionfi decks,which we know of.
If the cards had a relative dominant chess function ... chess figures have not a simple hierarchy, which counts from from 1 till 16. Also not all card games have a simple hierarchy. Which hierarchy has for instance Canasta?

Fact is, that Trionfi cards didn't use numbers in the early time ... the numbers would have disturbed something, so they were left out. The Hofämterspiel, Mantegna Tarocchi and Sola-Busca used numbers. Usual cards painted numbers as numbers of objects (suit signs). A game which used professions like the Johannes-of-Rheinfelden game and the Hofämter had problems, as they used figures - so they had numbers. Johannes speaks of a row 1-15. So the Trionfi cards, which also used figures should have done also... but they didn't.
We're used, that the simple set of playing cards can be used for 2000 games or so, likely more. Not all games use a hierarchy. Why should we assume, that Tarot, as we know it from rules of 1637, was the only game?
If the cards were used for chess and if this was a dominant feature, we have a reason, why they didn't appear.

Also we have rows for instance in the Losbücher. This German version von Pambst from 1546, with 5x21 sequences, fathers, kings, heroes, prophets, saints etc.. Are these "hierarchies"? Are these 5 different Tarots? Well, they have numbers, but "hierarchy" is not the dominant function.

And there is no early evidence for the use of 22 trumps or special cards ... and the first confirmed use of this structure is more than a generation later. The rows A, B and C do not exist without 22 trumps or special cards.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Bolognese sequence

#218
Well, now you really lose me. It seems to me that the reason the numbers weren't on the cards was to force people to memorize the sequence, to show clearly the educational purpose of the game: to play well, one has to know the steps toward salvation. It also seems to me that the most reliable way to see what a game looked like originally, in lieu of anything better, is to see what it looked like a generation later and work backwards. That is preferable to looking at other games that were popular at the time and looking at this game in terms of them. People had different games for a reason. They didn't want to play the same game all the time in different ways.

So we have two clear representations of sequences, the strambotti poem and the "Steele Sermon," both done sometime in the second half of the 15th century--no more than a generation from the beginning. One, from Florence, depicts the A order and the othe, from around Ferrara, the B order. There is also the Rosenwald, with numbers, and the Charles VI, with numbers added not much later, both A. So we go backwards from that. The C order is more iffy.

Re: Bolognese sequence

#219
mikeh wrote:Well, now you really lose me. It seems to me that the reason the numbers weren't on the cards was to force people to memorize the sequence, to show clearly the educational purpose of the game: to play well, one has to know the steps toward salvation. It also seems to me that the most reliable way to see what a game looked like originally, in lieu of anything better, is to see what it looked like a generation later and work backwards. That is preferable to looking at other games that were popular at the time and looking at this game in terms of them. People had different games for a reason. They didn't want to play the same game all the time in different ways.

So we have two clear representations of sequences, the strambotti poem and the "Steele Sermon," both done sometime in the second half of the 15th century--no more than a generation from the beginning. One, from Florence, depicts the A order and the othe, from around Ferrara, the B order. There is also the Rosenwald, with numbers, and the Charles VI, with numbers added not much later, both A. So we go backwards from that. The C order is more iffy.
Now I agree completely with that, Mike! You can see that the 5x14 theory is highly implausible. Huck also forgot to mention the only card game before Tarot that had a trump sequence, Marziano's, had a hierarchical sequence.

Even the "trumps" of Karnöffel had an order.

Edited - also Chinese "Chess" cards, which really do have the names of the chess figures, are not used to play chess with cards.
Image

Re: Bolognese sequence

#220
mikeh wrote:Well, now you really lose me. It seems to me that the reason the numbers weren't on the cards was to force people to memorize the sequence, to show clearly the educational purpose of the game: to play well, one has to know the steps toward salvation.
... .-) ... There are lots of iconographic groups, which has no number (and not a connected hierarchy). For instance the neuf preux. They are 9 ("neuf") and occasionally 18, when the "neuf preuse" are added. Surely these objects were memorized, just cause they existed, as they were, and cause they found opportunity to become popular.
The final successful deck form (Tarot) has the quality to present possibly "steps towards salvation" in some contemporary minds ... what I research, however, is the origin of this specific sequence with all its disturbances, curiosities and accompanying side-steps and parallels.
In the current state of research there exists no document, which makes it plausible, that a 22-trumps-or-special-cards version existed before a specific date, let's say 1465. Even after 1465 there is no secure date, although the plausibility ascends with the advance of time, that such a version arrived. The first real version of this type, which we know of, is the Boiardo Tarocchi poem, which I give to January 1487 with plausible reasons. But it cannot serve as evidence, that 22-structure and "most popular sammelsurium of Trionfi card motifs" = "standard Tarot" were used together - although there is some plausibility, that it existed then, in 1487, for an unknown period.
This insecurity stimulates my interest to find an upper date, about which could be said, that at least then structure + standard motifs (no care, which order was used then) fall together.
Such dates might be connected to strambotti poem or "Steele Sermon", but I don't see a way to fix them with security in date and time. Ross' arguments with 1460-1480 for the Steele Sermon, but ...
A personal letter to Ron Decker, between 1991 and 2001 the curator United States Playing Card Company, which owns the manuscript, reached the following information: "The manuscript pages have many different watermarks. All of them date from around 1500 and come from places near Ferrara. The order of the Tarot trumps, as given in the manuscript, is the Ferrarese order. The author was definitely a monk. One of the sermons is about the stigmata of St. Francis, so I think it likely that the monk was a Franciscan. I do not know on what basis others have declared the author to have been a Dominican." (Ronald Decker)

http://trionfi.com/0/p/17/

... there are some facts. Naturally one could argument with the idea, that text genesis and writing it in the specific manuscript could happen at different dates, so not only 1460-80 is possible, but also 1400-1500 for instance. In a negative evaluation one could argument for the possibility, that paper produced ca. 1500 was used in the year 1550, to take an extreme value. But the plausibility would be ca. 1500 ...
Now we just ca. 1500 have this political condition:
Savonarola was active in Florence in 1497 burning playing cards. In Ferrara duke Ercole changed his character, after the death of his wife Eleanor and the following French invasion he turned to Savonarolism and became rather pious against the end of his life. Savonarola was burnt 1498, but it wasn't the end of Savonarolism. Actually a domain on Ferrarese territory, Mirandola, became the home of a leading company with the help of the current signore Gianfrancesco Pico de Mirandola, nephew of Giovanni Pico de Mirandola, the greater philosoph. The whole led to a revolt in 1502 and Gianfrancesco became exiled, parts of the Savonarola company were executed. During this time Ferrarese Franciscans took side with the Savonarola party. Really a good time to write against Trionfi cards.
So the most probable solution (ca. 1500 or little later) is the best, not 1460-1480, which is a time, when renaissance was doing well, full of celebrated trionfi.

For the date of the Strambotti poem .. Ross' description leaves somehow the question open till 1509, as far I understood it. And the Strambotti poem offers a series with 21 elements, not with 22.

It's difficult to argue on the base of "steps toward salvation" in the Tarot origin question, when there are doubts, that a deck with "steps toward salvation" really existed. Similar it's difficult to argue on the base of order A-B-C, if its still a question, if the connected deck types really existed.

It also seems to me that the most reliable way to see what a game looked like originally, in lieu of anything better, is to see what it looked like a generation later and work backwards. That is preferable to looking at other games that were popular at the time and looking at this game in terms of them. People had different games for a reason. They didn't want to play the same game all the time in different ways.
In my opinion it's a clear mistake of method, if one researches the "origin of something" and interprets from a later existence to an earlier existence. This actually is a method to avoid research or simply questions, anyway disregarding the circumstance, that complex other researches have been done, which develop a total other picture of the development.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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