Re: Meissner's Karnöffel

#11
The "Haintz eff mich wohl" in the Karnoeffel poem might have referred to something, which was popular inside the Karnöffel game. The picture of "Haintz Narr" is made possibly 50 years after the poem and we have no confirmation, that Mysner's text had been very popular, but the painter might have remembered or known something, which was also common to Mysner.

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The year is 1494 and a Fool is getting out of his graveyard ... and that happens at the begin of a new book, the "Ship of the Fools" ... which became an overwhelming success, the most printed German book before Goethe's Werther, a bestselling text.

Short before 1494 the old emperor Fredrick III had died, and the whole situation promised, that some things would change now. The earlier Emperor had reigned 53 years and in a series of 27 unbroken years he even hadn't entered the central part of the empire ... and the rest of the time he was mostly absent, too.
Although it is not referrred to this in the text of the ship of fools, it might easily be, that the pictures were interpreted and understood in this way.

The first three pictures might be meant as an introduction, starting with the book-fool:

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The preceding 4th picture (Narr Haintz has the 5th picture) has the character of an impressum, it carries the number of the year 1494
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The text of the Haintz picture, which actually might be interpreted as the first picture of the main text, tells the story of a 100 year old "boes kind", who "den Jungen die Schellen vorträgt" (plays the fool in other words). The "schyntmesser jm ars" (knife in the ass) is mentioned in the second line. A Schindmesser is probably the tool, that you need to get the skin of an animal, by starting to cut from the asshole. "schyntmesser jm ars" signifies as an old proverb the situation, in which somebody is near to death. Loosing the skin is that, what the wolf makes with the Sau in Mysner's 5th verse.
This old Fool now (in the text of Ship of Fools) has a son and this son has a name and this name is Heyntz. So the meaning of the picture. So the picture refers to an old king, who has died, and a young king, who proceeds the work of his father. In other words ... Fastnacht 1494.

The following 6th picture shows a scene with youth (the new Heintz is young) and they play cards ... in other words fighting and even murder is very near.
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The Karnoeffel has a second name and this name is Keyserspiel. The old Keyser Fredrick III was boring and anyway somehow not really present, so he didn't offer much for public critique and amusement and not too much stuff for literary development. Now a new fool ... ahem, emperor, had arrived, and as a natural result a name called Keyserspiel had better chances to become more popular. Indeed we have the notes about Karnöffel increasing in number around this time, especially in the region of Strassburg, where the book of Fools had appeared.

But this context shall not interest, the situation of ca. 1445-1450 has the focus.

We have this picture, and J. C. Fischard also called Bauer von Eyseneck (reporting author about the codex material) from early 19th century thinks ... "Die Hauptkarte, der Karnüffel scheint hier unter dem Namen Heintz eff mich wohl vorzukommen, der oft unerwartet das Geld einzog." (p. 204), in other words, he thinks, that Heintz is the Karnöffel, what somehow is not really plausible.

But, as the devil has it, Heintz, the suspected "highest trump" (at least by Fischard) 50 years later ascends from the graveyard. And in the Tarot, suspected to have descended from Karnöffel we have also some people ascending from the graveyard as the highest trump, and it is for the Bembo cards and also for the Bolognese Tarocchi also the highest trump. This is a little bit strange.

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Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Meissner's Karnöffel

#14
In later Karnöffel rules we have:

2 - 5 are 4 Emperors
6 is the pope
7 is the devil
The Karnöffel is the highest trump and the Unter

So there is a difference between Meisner's information and the later rules
It's hard for me to say this in English ... I'll try.

I think tarot born of Karnoffel.

The natural triumphs karnoffer is eight. They are the result of multiplying the ober and unter x 4. We have packs of eight (the Imperatori of Parisina), sixteen (at least, Michelino and maybe Cary Yale), fourteen (maybe Bembo cards and note Ferrara 1456), 22...

What would be the natural evolution of karnoffell?

8 + 4 aces = 12

8 + 4 aces + 4 tens = 16

8 + 4 aces + 4 tens + Emperor (vd. spanish poem or Joker card) = 17.

But 14 is a number unnatural!

I think the deck of Bembo had 14 trionfi. But this is very strange. Fourteen is a very rare number.
When a man has a theory // Can’t keep his mind on nothing else (By Ross)

Re: Meissner's Karnöffel

#15
mmfilesi wrote:
In later Karnöffel rules we have:

2 - 5 are 4 Emperors
6 is the pope
7 is the devil
The Karnöffel is the highest trump and the Unter

So there is a difference between Meisner's information and the later rules
It's hard for me to say this in English ... I'll try.

I think tarot born of Karnoffel.

The natural triumphs karnoffer is eight. They are the result of multiplying the ober and unter x 4. We have packs of eight (the Imperatori of Parisina), sixteen (at least, Michelino and maybe Cary Yale), fourteen (maybe Bembo cards and note Ferrara 1456), 22...

What would be the natural evolution of karnoffell?

8 + 4 aces = 12

8 + 4 aces + 4 tens = 16

8 + 4 aces + 4 tens + Emperor (vd. spanish poem or Joker card) = 17.

But 14 is a number unnatural!

I think the deck of Bembo had 14 trionfi. But this is very strange. Fourteen is a very rare number.
The earliest "normal" system had been 4x13 and 3 courts (1377 JvR). Johannes knew also a deck with 4x15 and somehow also the Michelino deck has 4x15-structure.
A Spanish deck of ca. 1382 had 44 cards, likely with 4x11-structure. Later German decks preferred 4x12 structures. Decks with 16 cards for each suit were known. ... :-) ... so nothing is unusual with a deck with 14 cards in each suit, cause any plausible number was occasionally taken.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Meissner's Karnöffel

#17
Girolamo asked ...
Very interesting. Where can I get information about Karnoeffel rules ? I am sorry, my German is ridicolous, is there anyting in English about early Karnoeffel rules ?

in this thread ... viewtopic.php?f=11&t=767&start=40

I better reply here:

"Missing German" is a problem. The things stay complicated, even when one knows German quite well. English rules ... best address is usual http://pagat.com , but I think, you know it.

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

1. Most relevant for the rules of Karnöffel and most used in reconstruction attempts is this text of 1537:

http://books.google.de/books?id=0_dbAAA ... &q&f=false

2. The oldest text with relevance for rules of Karnöffel is the Mysner poem c. 1450. This is given and interpreted in this thread. Mysner seems to see another variant than the rules reporter of 1537 and possibly his text knows "special playing cards", possibly 8 (which can't be assumed for the text of 1537).
The 8 special playing cards are (possibly) 4 (only interpreted; the text gives a plural form) "heilige lerer (= holy teachers)", Pope, Devil, Emperor and Karnöffel.

3. The earliest documents are 1423 Ferrara ("8 Imperatori cards") and a note 1426 in Nördlingen (Karnöffel). "Imperatori" is also used in the 1440s or 1450s in Würzburg. "Karnöffel" or variants of the word appear then frequently.

A not totally complete older list of the use of Imperatori or Karnöffel is given here ...
http://trionfi.com/0/p/07 ... Imperatori and Karnöffel ocuments
http://trionfi.com/0/p/06/ ... Imperatori documents
http://trionfi.com/0/c/05/ ... reflection on the name of Karnöffel

4. A not clear role has the text of Meister Ingold 1432. The games presented are NOT declared to be Karnöffel by Ingold himself, but by others taken as this.
He describes two decks, both with 4x13-form and in both the 2 court cards beside the king have different compositions than usual. One has King, Queen and a further woman (and Ingold diagnoses illegal, unmoral action) and the other has 8 funny professions (and Ingold diagnoses again rebellious spirit). One of the 8 professions is female, and this is a whore (Toypel), and at her side is a pimp (Ruffian). I have the opinion, that this second 8 picture sequence refers to chess, and the Toypel has the role of the queen and the Ruffian the role of the king.
It seems indicated (but that's not sure), that the 8 court cards beside the king have trump function (and all 8 trumps have a hierarchy between themselves, a row - also not totally sure, but plausible). In the case, that this was really so, this sort of game would have had structural similarity to the German Schafkopf game, which has Ober and Unter as predefined trumps (similar to the Trionfi, which also are predefined trumps).

Comparing this Ingold game to the earlier Michelino deck, we would see, that the Michelino deck ALSO has additional courts (16 gods) "beside the king", and the king isn't trump (as in Schafkopf) and the additional courts are trump (as in Schafkopf). The structural difference is just the number of trumps, Ingold and Schafkopf and possibly also the Imperatori from Ferrara have "8" and the Michelino deck has "16".

The Michelino deck had (probably) 60 cards and ALSO 60 cards existed in the preferred game of Johannes of Rheinfelden 1377. Johannes had King, Queen and Maid and 2 Marshals (Ober and Unter) ... in the case, that Johannes ALSO used the 4 additional court cards as trumps, he simply would have had (under structural aspects) the same game (just with varied motifs) as Filippo Maria Visconti.
In Johannes' preferred game with 60 cards the number cards were used as professions, similar to the later Hofämterspiel (1455). Now the usual Ober and Unter are presented as "Marshals" or in other contexts as "soldier on horse, cavalry" (Ober) and "foot soldier, infantry" (Unter). So the "Marschals" ALSO are "professions", just with special function, as they had to fulfill military operations. The military function of a playing card naturally would be to capture other cards ... in other words, the "trumping function" likely already existed in the time of Johannes of Rheinfelden, cause Johannes knew Marshals.
Now Johannes of Rheinfelden in 1377 hadn't observed playing cards in his location Freiburg im Breisgau before, but when they appeared in Freiburg, they seem to have appeared in great number and with many variations ... which hardly was possible to have been arranged within a few years. So somehow "somewhere" MUST have been an already established playing card production, something which curiously had escaped the attention of the observing Johannes.
The oldest more or less accepted playing card note is from Bern, a prohibition of the year 1367. Bern is now not very near to Italy (huge mountains are to cross) and also not to Spain, where Mamluks playing cards might have arrived easily.
The far spread hypothesis, that playing cards arrived around 1370 in Europe from the Mamluks doesn't convince me.

Generally the time 1350 and 1377 should have known a breakdown of trade and traffic. The plague diminished the population on a large scale and especially those people, who generally were active at more than one location had better chances to capture the plague and to die cause of it.
We have for Bohemia as one of very few places in Europe, that the plague didn't reach in it's first big wave. And we've for Bohemia the notes of F.L. Hübsch (1850), that playing cards were in use in Bohemia at least in 1340.

http://trionfi.com/0/p/95

The theme of Hübsch had been Bohemian trade, not Bohemian playing cards. He considered his findings about playing cards not especially remarkable, as in his time playing cards were considered to have arrived in Europe c. 1300. So he didn't document, where he found his information ... that's a pity and makes his dates insecure, but not necessarily "wrong". Similar Ingold had stated, that playing cards arrived in Germany in the year 1300 - insecure. Werner von Orseln, master of the German knight order 1324-1330 shall have prohibited the use of playing cards for his knights - insecure. 3 card players were killed by a lightning in the year 1303 in Brieg - insecure. Hübsch noted, that before the playing cards arrived in Bohemia, already Polish nobility played with cards - naturally also insecure. Brieg and German knight order are East of Prague , so "somehow" near Polonia and near to Eastern trade routes. The distance between Prague and Kiew,, an Eastern trading center, is less than the distance between Prague and Rome - especially one hasn't to cross the Alps.
Kiew is said to have had more than 100.000 inhabitants - one of the largest cities in the world then ("Golden Era" of Kiew). The Mongolians destroyed it, more or less. If the Mongolians brought Chinese playing cards to the Mamluks, why should emperor Charles have had difficulties to get them in Prague? The distance Ulaanbator - Prague is nearly the same as from Ulaanbator to Cairo. There's a very early diplomatic contact recoded with a Franciscan monk (1246), who reached the Mongols near their capital Karakorum. Traffic was very well organized: it's said, that he reached home within 100 days, likely thanks to a well established transporting system on quick Mongolic horses.

For the plague observations we have, that the great plague of 1348-1350 had difficulties to cross big rivers and big mountains, but spread easily with ships over the sea. Bohemia profited in this phase from his position "behind mountains" and Donau and Rhine. Also Nuremberg wasn't involved in the first wave, also some other German cities near the South-Eastern border to Bohemia (different to the representation of this map):

Image


Green spots mark plague-free regions in this phase. For playing card history the observation is interesting, that 3 of the 4 green spots are known for ...

a. expansive political development ... Belgium as part of Burgundy became strong and dominated in Europe till end of 15th century, Bohemia had a "golden era" in 14th century and Milan expanded under Bernabo and Galeazzo and later under Giangaleazzo till 1402 and was then restored in 1412.

b. and for all three regions we've the factor "expanding playing card industry" later. Nuremberg became the strongest playing card producer in Europe for a long time, Belgium had its Tournay as an exporting industry and Milan became famous for Tarocchi card production.

From all this I got the opinion, that a minor distribution of playing cards at various points in Europe before 1350 can't be excluded and actually is rather probable. This "small culture of playing cards" went down with the plague and its gigantic dimensions, as other cultural achievements also went down. Only at few places it survived and could start some form of internal social relevance and forms of playing card production. One of these places should have been Prague and Bohemia with its "Golden Era".

Nowadays we have, that Schafkopf is played mainly in Eastern Bavaria (border to Bohemia) and Riesengebirge (North of Bohemia). Schafkopf has had a further development with Doppelkopf (around 1800), which is mainly played in Northern Germany. This has some greater similarity to "Königrufen", which is a Tarock-Variant. John McLeod once (where ?) stated, that he took Königrufen as the "best" or "one of the best" Tarock or Tarot variants.
Both (Doppelkopf and Königsrufen) are games with 4 players, and the usual game happens in 2-against-2 partnerships. The partnership isn't fixed (or is fixed at the start of the game, but "unknown" to the players), but results in the course of the game. Solo games (1 against 3) are possible.

This is the Schafkopf rule as a structure (red = trump)

A * * * *
2 * * * *
3 * * * *
4 * * * *
5 * * * *
6 * * * *
7 * * * *
8 * * * *
9 * * * *
10 * * * *
U * * * *
O * * * *
K * * * *

This is the Michelino deck as a structure:
A * * * *
2 * * * *
3 * * * *
4 * * * *
5 * * * *
6 * * * *
7 * * * *
8 * * * *
9 * * * *
10 * * * *
G * * * *
G * * * *
G * * * *
G * * * *
K * * * *

This is the 5x14 deck a hypothesis ... blue for trumps with high trumps

A * * * * T
2 * * * * T
3 * * * * T
4 * * * * T
5 * * * * T
6 * * * * T
7 * * * * T
8 * * * * T
9 * * * * T
10 * * * * T
F * * * * T
C * * * * T
Q * * * * T
K * * * * T

Considering these variants we see, that "predefined" trumps "naturally" developed either vertical ("4 of a kind") or horizontal ("a total suit") in the schemes. The game developers simply hadn't simpler alternatives.
For Karnöffel we have, that the poem of Mysner sounds like a Schafkopf-trump-structure with twice "Four-of-a-kind" and the later game description sounds as if there is a curious orientation towards the "suit-is-trump" model.

5. There's a further text (and some others) of some interest, which we discussed here:viewtopic.php?f=11&t=345&p=9686&hilit=k ... ffel#p9686
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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