Re: Tarot Origins and Early 15th Century Woodblock Printing

#101
Hi Jim,
Jim Schulman wrote: As a microscopic version of my initial question: any speculation on the relations (if any) between Ferrarese hand painted cards, the Dick sheet, and the Rosenwald sheet?
You seem to be working with some outdated notions.

The only hand painted cards currently attributed to Ferrara are the "Issy Chariot" (so-called because owned by the Musée français de la carte à jouer in Issy-les-Moulineaux) and a Queen of Cups and Knight of Coins from the same pack in the National Museum in Warsaw (see Kaplan I, p. 109).
http://www.issy.com/musee/ci_f2.htm

They are attributed to Ferrara because of their clear affinities with the school of Cosimo Tura.

The "Charles VI" pack was once attributed to Ferrara (and earlier still to Venice, when not generically "north Italian"), but now this pack, along with its close relation the Catania and the stylistically similar Rothschild cards, are now securely attributed to Florence. A recent summary of the arguments for this attribution is here -
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=788&start=30#p11585

The only reason these cards had been attributed to Ferrara, Thierry Depaulis once explained to me, was that, given Ferrara's documentary prominence, there was a general tendency among museum curators to assign anything that wasn't Milanese to Ferrara. However, that lazy assumption was dispelled by a closer study of the cards.

The "Dick sheet" is part of a group of sheets in the Metropolitan Museum in New York City and the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, so I prefer to call them collectively the "MB" sheets (Met-Budapest) so that the pattern can be discussed in general rather than focusing on a single sheet.

The Rosenwald Sheet is, together with two other sheets of the same size in this collection (National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1951.16.5, 6 and 7), considered to be Florentine. The two non-trump sheets in particular show centaurs for knights, which is (almost?) exclusively a Florentine Minchiate characteristic.

Finally, all Tarot trump sequences can be reduced to three families of orders, which Dummett called simply A, B and C, and Tom Tadfor Little called more descriptively Southern, Eastern and Western (there is no "northern" because the north of Italy is divided horizontally between the East and West; the true "northern" Tarots, of France, Austria, Switzerland, and the Low Countries are all "C" or "Western" in order).

The A or Southern ordering is found in Bologna and Florence (actually everywhere south of Bologna), and this is represented on the Charles VI and Catania cards, and in the Rosenwald sheet. The iconography of these cards, compared to the printed Bolognese and Florentine Minchiates, reinforces the attribution of all of these cards to the Southern family. A close comparison of the Rosenwald sheet with the Charles VI cards convinced me that the Charles VI were more likely Florentine than Bolognese -
http://tarotforum.net/showpost.php?p=71 ... stcount=16

The MB sheets represent the B order, which is attributed to Ferrara by card lists and titles coming from there (the earliest is the "Steele Sermon"). The outstanding characteristics of this trump order are the placements of two of the Cardinal Virtues - Justice in the second highest place between the Angel and the World, and Temperance between the Pope and Love.

The "Ercole d'Este" cards - which may not be from Ferrara, but seem more stylistically related to the Florentine cards above - survives with numbers that are consistent with B orderings. This pack does show a unique design for the Sun card as well; a representation of the story of the Cynic philosopher Diogenes meeting Alexander the Great. This subject occurs in a surviving printed card of the 16th or early 17th century, in a private collection, which also has the number "XVIII", which is the same as that on the Este set (Arabic numeral "18" there).

The A-Southern "Charles VI" cards find a startling printed relation in two surviving cards that recently came up for sale -
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=179
Thierry Depaulis met the buyer, who lent the cards to him for examination; Thierry judged them authentically 15th century. They may not be part of a Tarot, but the Valet of Swords is so clearly related to the Charles VI Valet of Swords that it is tempting to think that the Charles VI represented a "standard pattern" upon which a printed pattern was based.

So, to answer your question, I think the relationship between the Rosenwald and (formerly considered Ferrarese but now considered) Florentine hand-painted cards to be one of distant family relationship - they are all Southern and have iconographic similarities. The Rosenwald and Florentine luxury cards have no direct relationship with the B-ordered MB sheets.
Image

Re: Tarot Origins and Early 15th Century Woodblock Printing

#102
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: ...
The "Ercole d'Este" cards - which may not be from Ferrara, but seem more stylistically related to the Florentine cards above - survives with numbers that are consistent with B orderings. This pack does show a unique design for the Sun card as well; a representation of the story of the Cynic philosopher Diogenes meeting Alexander the Great. This subject occurs in a surviving printed card of the 16th or early 17th century, in a private collection, which also has the number "XVIII", which is the same as that on the Este set (Arabic numeral "18" there).
...
I don't know, what the "surviving printed card of the 16th or early 17th century, in a private collection" is ... ???
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Tarot Origins and Early 15th Century Woodblock Printing

#103
Huck wrote: I don't know, what the "surviving printed card of the 16th or early 17th century, in a private collection" is ... ???
It's in a private collection, unpublished. Unfortunately there are a few cards around like that, which are hard to use as evidence in arguments. Fortunately, however, there are few people involved in such arguments, and the points they can be used to make in arguments are not very important, so they can remain private without much fuss.
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Re: Tarot Origins and Early 15th Century Woodblock Printing

#104
hi Jim
Jim Schulman wrote: I grew up in downtown Munich; but it's been a long time since I played Skat.
I lived and live mostly in Cologne, Bonn, Aachen, Cologne. Well, also in Kerpen, which is somehow in the mid of the other 3. Well, Kerpen is famous ... for ...

a. for an Autobahn-Kreuz
b. as the birth place of Michael Schumacher, a famous Formel-1 pilot, in other words a modern triumphal-chariot-rider

... so that's somehow a private joke of private history, that I work here so intensively for Trionfi.com ... :-)
I haven't played "mental-games" with the "must trump" condition; that will change things when used in combination with capturing valuable cards rather than tricks: you can draw outstanding trumps by leading worthless cards in a long suit, forcing others to waste their trumps. That is a real game changer, similar to a running a squeeze in bridge, and would encourage strategic play. Is the "must trump" a feature in the earliest rules?
This "MUST trump" Tarot rule is quite uncommon for German players ... :-) ... actually it reduces some freedom, but opens the chance to make high trumps worthless. ... :-) ... somehow as the Italian play in soccer games.

I think, that this "way of thinking" developed from a Chess version, which is already mentioned in the chess book of Alfonso the wise (1284).
I wrote about it here ...
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=460&start=57
Between other chess variants Alfonso also noted this:
A chess variant, which is called "forced" or "game of the damsels"
And we wish next to tell of the game which they call forced. And this is because even though it
may be played according to each player’s will, in it there is also to be an element of force because
a man goes against his will losing his best piece to his opponent’s worst, willing or not by putting
it on a square where the other is forced to capture it, according to the movement of the piece
against which it is put. And this game is arranged just the same as the first and the pieces move
and capture each other in that same way except that there is in addition the forced capture. And
therefore those that play it are to be knowledgeable so that they do not put their best pieces in a
position where they are to give them up to lesser and more lowly pieces. Because in this lies all
the wisdom of this game and its play. And because of this force which we described, they call it
the forced game. But because some tell that the damsels first invented it overseas, they call it the
game of the damsels.
This is of special interest, as the later Tarot card games differed from other trump card games, that trumping was "forced" (you MUST capture, if you can) ... as in the chess game of the damsels. "invented it overseas" likely meant, that this version developed in England (?).
In this text I suspected, that ... " "invented it overseas" likely meant, that this version developed in England (?)".
Nowadays I assume, that the passage of "damsels in overseas" might also mean "Ladies from Italy" (seen from the Alfonso perspective in Spain). This would make sense, as some elements in the early Trionfi card development look so, as if they are invented by women or for the "taste of women".
This rule naturally ALSO reduces the game possibilities (and so makes chess possibly a little "less interesting") ... at least it results in a quicker game, cause the figures disappear more quickly from the board.

The thread, to which the linked article belongs, is "Chess variants 14th/15th century", a fine collection mainly made myself and the second most successful thread in the researcher Forum (with more than 15.000 views). I note this, cause I'm rather sure, that most Tarot researchers from here do not often visit it ... the many views should come from visitors of the web, who search something about chess and not of Tarot.
Well, I think, that the hypothesis, that Trionfi decks developed from Chess, makes sense, and then I started this thread just to help up my own small knowledge about chess history. Some persons here made critical remarks about my Chess-Tarot connection ... "monstrosity", "self-evidently ridiculous", "The folly is so apparent as to beggar rational analysis: JUST LOOK! Look at a chess set. Look at the Tarot trumps. They are very different types of subject matter", "self-evident nonsense" ... :-) ... which is naturally wind for the mills of my mind, cause I well remember a sentence of good old Lao-Tse, who argued, that, if nobody laughs about something, it isn't worth to be researched (well, just my own free interpretation of the sentence, and the original sentence is old Chinese, and that's always a matter of interpretation). Independent from the condition, if my interpretation is correct or not, I made mostly good experiences with the personal practice of the advised strategy ... :-).

So, here are the pictures, which caused the "monstrosity" reactions ... I forgot, if already pointed to them.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=460&p=12319#p12319

So I wasn't interested in the major chess history of the common versions, but in the study of possible variants. Actually Chess figures on playing cards would be naturally ALSO part of the variants.Actually I would assume, that there were more Chess variants, than we know of. When we gather chess documents, it's similar to documents of Trionfi cards, the authors just tell about Trionfi cards and Chess, but forget the structural information like the composition of figures and board size and the game rules. So researchers run against the mental wall, that they read Trionfi (and they think, that this means the Tarot version they're thinking of) and they read of chess (and they think, that it should be the version, which they know). Well, with some experience the researcher know, that the modern version of chess is different from the medieval version, but that, what is commonly taken as the medieval version is also under the risk to be another form of misunderstanding. So for instance these versions are all European, but they are different ...


4 person chess or Chess of the four seasons

Image

Courier Chess at 8x12 board with 24 figures for each player.


Same Courier chess

Image

Chess game with either 15x8 or 16x8 board and 32 figures for each player. 16th century.

Image

Short-assize versions, said to be from 16th century

Image

Sort of short-assize version 1398, used by Evrart de Conty.

Generally we've to calculate a lot of "unknown Chess versions", which also existed, most of them likely not of big relevance (just experimentation with rules), but some might have had some real manifestation, but had left the world without reporting historical document. Well, likely a situation comparable to playing card research.

The change from medieval chess to modern chess occurred between 1470-1530 ... so it's said. Well, it's not accidental, but causal, that just in this same period occurred the distribution of the book printing press. Likely one can claim, that unification of different chess rules to a "modern chess" followed the increase of international communication by the use of a new media ... very logical. In the moment, when enough people could publish their work in a well distributed book and enough people could read it - then in a natural way a sort of unification took place. On the long run the book printing press reduced the different forms of language use, a unified form of writing was searched and found, at least for the national languages. When later radio and TV spread their words, spoken dialects (still strong in 1950 and 1960's in Germany for instance) started to disappear. So Chess development stands in a series of other unification processes caused by the invention of book printing, and when we look at our special problem "development of the Tarocchi game", so it would be against the probability, if we would assume, that Trionfi cards never took part in the global unification process, but were ready in the 1430s and weren't changed by the otherwise revolutionary changes of the late 15th century. Actually we see a name change of the game in 1505, an indication, that something has changed with the game.
It seems probable, that different trump games from different Europeans regions collided in the course of the "international unification processes" and keeping up the "Trionfi game name" would have caused confusion (in the case, that Latin "triumphare" was used also elsewhere for game procedures in a different manner).
The man, who likely caused the name change (Alfonso d'Este in 1505) had been before (1504) on a journey through Europe, which had led him to the French and to the English court and, considering the general card playing fever of this time, he likely made experiences with playing card habits in other countries (in France was played very much and England just had detected card playing as a wonderful habit). He named his game "Taroch" after this journey - that's, what we know from the documents.

Well, we live in another new form of mighty unification process called internet. In my pre-internet life I collected and used dictionaries. This habit has disappeared, and likely everybody can identify, why. Further I've learned in the new time a lot about different languages (another part of the unification process) - I think, everybody knows, why. In my youth I put a lot of energy in learning Go, a Japanese board game. Nowadays the youth can play with their i-phone against each high-quality games, even, when they don't understand the rules. Life changes.
Earlier my interests to publish were limited "just by money" (books take money). Nowadays I only have to understand some internet technology and I can produce, whatever I want.
In the standard chess histories, the period from 1300 to 1500 was seen as the the death throes of the old game (with the limited queen and bishop). By 1500, the new rules have emerged in Spain and the game revives.
.....
In this situation, you would expect a wild proliferation of different rules for chess (like "faerie chess" variants today). The professionals and top players would be open to a rule change, but only a change that preserved the strategic refinement of the old game. That only happens with the contemporary rules that empowered the queen and bishop, and turned the board into a far more rapidly lethal, but still fairly calculable, arena (you can look ahead a lot further playing in the old rules).

In the retrospective chess histories, it is the pros of each era who finally determine the rules of serious chess. Lucena is usually credited as the key professional to create modern chess; which is almost entirely a Spanish phenomena (since they inherited the Moorish pros)
Well ... I made some observations during my Chess escapades. For instance this one: Cessolis wrote his chess moralization very vaguely "around 1300". The book later became "very successful" and the translations spread through Europe. Cessolis individualized the pawns, they got professions, although this specifications (all what we know of European chess variants) had no consequence ... the rules weren't influenced by this idea, European just had the same function in the game.
But in Persia existed at least since c. 1340 a version (without problems possibly much older), which used specified pawn and in this case, the specifications really had influence on the development of the game and each pawn had an individual movement (though only, if they reached the final promotion field). The game later was called Tamerlane chess, cause Tamerlane (the ruler of a rather big gigantic Persia since c. 1370 till 1406) loved this game. Tamerlane was more or less of Mongol descend. In 1406 he embarked to reconstruct the fallen Mongol Empire in China. The gigantic operation suffered by bad weather and Tamerlane died.
Tamerlane was far in Persia and Cessolis in Genova. China was not so far, as one might expect, as Marco Polo fought for a Venetian army and became prisoner in Genova (1298/1299). And about Cessolis we don't know much, but it's known, that he worked for the inquisition. Traditionally the inquisition worked on and with "prisoners". It was in Genova, that Marco Polo had time to report about his journey to China, and he dictated to another prisoner, who was able to write.
For contemporary Europeans Persia had been the motherland of Chess - for instance for Meister Ingold in 1432. so it naturally had been interesting, how the Persians played chess.

In 1450 Persia again was a big Empire, but the ruler dynasty had changed and the new regent, Uzun Hassan, had much less Mongolic descend than Tamerlane before. But naturally the Mongolic past couldn't disappear totally in a few years. Uzun Hassan had a vital interest: to fight against the Ottomans, which were dangerous neighbors. As he himself alone had been too weak to attempt it alone, he developed a greater interest to cooperate with others, who had similar difficulties with the Ottomans. The Ottomans took Constantinople in 1453, so Western Europe started to get worries. Uzun Hassan sent delegations, likely already in the 1450s, already in the time, when a Spanish pope reigned in Rome (1455-1458). During this time a "real crusade" took place 1457, led by St. Capristan and Hunyadi (if Uzun Hassan participated in the background, I don't know). In 1463, when Venice declared war on the Ottomans, an Uzun Hassan delegation was in Venice. The diplomatic connection was handicapped by the far distance. Travels from Persia to Venice and vice versa could take a half year. Pope Pius II attempted a crusade, but the attempt more or less died with his death 1464. Pope Paul II. (1464-1471) gathered a lot of money, but stayed inactive. Pope Sixtus IV (started 1471) had enough money and organized a crusade army (also Aragon participated, so somehow also Spain) , which took Smyrna. In "triumph" they returned in spring 1473 to Rome, but the real military success was considered rather small. But in this period a sort of super-ambassador had been in Italy, who visited various places, between them Montefeltro in Urbino. The date is not clear, might be something between 1472-74. Both,the ambassador appear together on a picture.

Image


The ambassador was a Spanish Jew, who worked as physician for Uzun Hassan. I don't know, if he also was in Spain, a least he wouldn't have had difficulties to communicate with Spanish delegates, which he surely met. When his visit in Italy might have had only small success, he was very successful at the court of Hungary and at the Balkan.

The visit of the ambassador to Montefeltro is interesting, cause Montefeltro developed in the period 1474-1476, so following the visit, a personal interest in mathematical structures with "28" as the key number. "28" is the key number in the Tamerlane chess, which has 28 figures at each side and a board with 112 fields. Montefeltro for instance had "28 pictures" in his famous studiolo. More you find at:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=494&p=8097&hilit=montefeltro#p8097

Montefeltro had in 1474 the climax of his career, He became duke of Urbino, and got various honors, for instance he became member in the English knight order of the garter and member of the order of the Ermelin in Naples. He was Condottiero Nr. 1 in Italy. in this time. He became very rich.
He likely became obsessed with "knight culture". And Chess played a role in knight culture, in Germany it belonged to 7 installed capabilities of the knight, beside swimming, horse riding, sword fighting and some other practical arts, useful for a knight. So there's some plausibility in the idea, but it's only an idea.

But fact is, that Mongolic chess variants (Shatar / Hia-Shatar) existed, which had already a strong Queen (the Mongols had another expression) and a strong bishop (the Mongols had another name) with long steps ... at least 500 years old, as the not very precise sources claim. The information about these rules is confusing in the internet, with contradictions. Nobody seems to be very sure about the rules 500 years ago, and it's assumed, that the rules floated. Nowadays Mongol people show a general chess enthusiasm.

Another fact is, that the Mongols crushed Persia in 13th century, and then took for some time a strong influence there. There were known for a "quick war" and could move their forces large distances in short time. It's somehow typical, that this special quality of the Mongol army was imitated in their Chess games.

Chess generally imitated real battles or the real usual state of the medieval time. A quick Queen or a quick Bishop wouldn't have been realistic in the European world. In Mongolic chess these figures had other names (Oueen = Snow Panther / Bishop = Camel), which didn't know these limitations and indication of slow movement.

You mention Lucena, but Lucena (* 1465) was too young to have initiated the "new rules", which are assumed to have originated in the early 1470s. Lucena was of importance in the larger distribution of the new rules.

Lucena's father ...
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_de_Lucena
... had been in Italy and was in Rome at least in the time of Pope Pius II, when he still wasn't pope (so before 1458) ...
Juan de Lucena fue sacerdote y vivió en Roma algún tiempo al servicio del cardenal Enea Silvio Piccolomini, futuro papa Pío II
,
... who made strong movements towards a new crusade. I'm handicapped by my not very small Spanish, but I would imagine, that he might have had insight in these secret discussions between Persian and Western diplomats, which had the aim to organize a coordinated fight against the Ottomans. Lucena himself is later called a "converso", son we likely have to imagine Lucena's father as a Jew with abilities to communicate in Arabian language. An early connection to the later "super-diplomat", the Spanish Jew and physician at the court of Uzun Hassan, can't be excluded.

All this is difficult to research for me ... I'm limited in my Spanish ... but I sense, that European chess (whatever this had been in the period 1450 - 1470)) had been confronted by the large Persian view on chess and it's very much variants in Eastern countries. It was discussed a political alliance of high importance, so acts of politeness against
this very specific "Persian culture" was natural ... a way to understand the other side was urgent in the given moment. Well, the problem was in the begin vivid in "internal diplomatic cycles", but these discussions and their connected circumstances reached naturally also the next level, which in Italy would have been the Condottieri and in other European countries other capable men of high nobility with knowledge about the use of swords and canons. So we have the Congress of Mantova in 1459, inviting many men of this specific class. A class, which traditionally had implied the game of chess as part of their military culture.

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

I hope, that you see, that the whole question has some dimensions. The pressure of the Ottomans on European culture endured later a few centuries. It was at least very strong till Vienna and its first coffee-houses with the paid chess players ... :-)
First Venice had a war from 1463 - 1479 with the Ottomans. The connection to the Persian throne broke down, when Uzun Hassan had died in 1478, so Venetia agreed wth peace. The early big danger of the Ottomans was stopped in 1481 (after the attack on Otranto) for some time with the death of the conqueror of Constantinople, Mehmed II.

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

In my opinion Italy had made a very specific Chess development with the production of Trionfi decks, which imitated chess in their trump series. As a result we have games with 16 trumps (Michelino deck, Cary-Yale Tarocchi, Charles VI deck). Stronger Persian Chess influence started some time after Uzun Hassan had taken the throne. For the Trionfi deck development I personally see, that the decks got 20 trumps instead of 16 ... around 1465.
Well, that's "Uzun Hassan time". In the Eastern chess in Persia normal 8x8 chess versions were considered to be "small chess" and the larger versions with 10x10 (also called decimal chess) were considered "more noble" and of higher value.
The Eastern decimal chess versions didn't take a big influence on European chess, the usual board-form 8x8 was the most popular. For Trionfi card history, which likely was strong connected to noble cycles, however, it became a deciding step: 20 special cards instead of 16 and later 22 special cards became the general form.

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

Alright, that's long enough. I hope, you see the somewhat larger dimensions of this consideration. As usual, playing cards are only a small part of the story, but they mirror the greater development of the general society, ans so may contain information, which would be otherwise not available.

It's nice, that you understand something of chess history. That makes the communication easier. It's nice to write to somebody with some coffee experiences ... :-)
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Tarot Origins and Early 15th Century Woodblock Printing

#105
Huck wrote: Well, I think, that the hypothesis, that Trionfi decks developed from Chess, makes sense, and then I started this thread just to help up my own small knowledge about chess history. Some persons here made critical remarks about my Chess-Tarot connection ... "monstrosity", "self-evidently ridiculous", "The folly is so apparent as to beggar rational analysis: JUST LOOK! Look at a chess set. Look at the Tarot trumps. They are very different types of subject matter", "self-evident nonsense" ... :-) ... which is naturally wind for the mills of my mind, cause I well remember a sentence of good old Lao-Tse, who argued, that, if nobody laughs about something, it isn't worth to be researched (well, just my own free interpretation of the sentence, and the original sentence is old Chinese, and that's always a matter of interpretation). Independent from the condition, if my interpretation is correct or not, I made mostly good experiences with the personal practice of the advised strategy ... :-).
Ah, the Chess Gospel inundates and overwhelms another helpless thread.
Image

Re: Tarot Origins and Early 15th Century Woodblock Printing

#107
Huck wrote:
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: Ah, the Chess Gospel inundates and overwhelms another helpless thread.
Threads are not helpless. People are occasionally helpless.

The thread is named "Tarot Origins and Early 15th Century Woodblock Printing" and the "Chess Tarot theory" is about the origin of Tarot.
It becomes equivalent to spam when you post the same post to two or more threads at the same time.

Jim's title should be read with an eye to context - I believe he would not disagree with me if I paraphrased it as "Tarot Origins in the Context of Early 15th Century Woodblock Printing."

The "and" is a conjunctive that means "in addition to" not "or". So isolating "Tarot Origins" from the "15th Century Woodblock Printing" is a mistake.

I believe this thread was not started to examine any theory of Tarot origins that one might have, but to examine the specific idea that woodcut prints or engravings might give some insight into the original look of Tarot trumps.
Image

Re: Tarot Origins and Early 15th Century Woodblock Printing

#108
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
Huck wrote:
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: Ah, the Chess Gospel inundates and overwhelms another helpless thread.
Threads are not helpless. People are occasionally helpless.

The thread is named "Tarot Origins and Early 15th Century Woodblock Printing" and the "Chess Tarot theory" is about the origin of Tarot.
It becomes equivalent to spam when you post the same post to two or more threads at the same time.

Jim's title should be read with an eye to context - I believe he would not disagree with me if I paraphrased it as "Tarot Origins in the Context of Early 15th Century Woodblock Printing."

The "and" is a conjunctive that means "in addition to" not "or". So isolating "Tarot Origins" from the "15th Century Woodblock Printing" is a mistake.

I believe this thread was not started to examine any theory of Tarot origins that one might have, but to examine the specific idea that woodcut prints or engravings might give some insight into the original look of Tarot trumps.
Hm. We have different types of threads here, some are places of intensive discussion (as this here), some are more for theme collection.
For instance the collection to Chess Variants is a theme collection. Or the whole idea of "Bianca's Gardens" ... if in discussions single pictures appear, which are interesting for the iconographic aspect, it's of interest, that they are repeated there. Of course that's a double-posting, but it makes sense.
Similar it's with this chess discussion. It belongs to the discussion here, and I wrote it for it, but it's also useful for the chess collection.
Jim opened the thread, and he himself imported chess as a longer theme, speaking about Lucena and chess details.

I think, in 2012 we haven't a web space problem. Pictures are usually located elsewhere, written text doesn't take too much place. The most expensive part of the whole story is my own time, which I need to write an engaged post.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Tarot Origins and Early 15th Century Woodblock Printing

#109
Ross is right about my intent; which is to look for restrictions and constraints on the possible sources of the tarot trump imagery and semantics. If the first trionfi decks were printed, that represents a constraint. Finding constraints is a rather ordinary way of doing research, since it reduces the possibilities until, obviously still with luck, but nevertheless methodically, one reaches the truth.

Huck is frustrating, since he seems to follow the opposite course; widening the search into every thicket in the hope of stumbling across the smoking gun. (There is an epistemologically hilarious Karl Valentin skit about where to look for lost keys that he could cite in his defense). The trouble with all the smoking guns I've found was that other people regarded them as overcooked cabbage.

In any case, thread-drift is a familiar hazard to me, since I've been posting since the Usenet; and Huck's scattershots are always interesting to read (at least for a newbie)

Re: Tarot Origins and Early 15th Century Woodblock Printing

#110
Jim Schulman wrote:Ross is right about my intent; which is to look for restrictions and constraints on the possible sources of the tarot trump imagery and semantics. If the first trionfi decks were printed, that represents a constraint. Finding constraints is a rather ordinary way of doing research, since it reduces the possibilities until, obviously still with luck, but nevertheless methodically, one reaches the truth.
... :-) .... And what are the constraints good for, when some of the early Trionfi decks were printed, but others not? What about the constraint, that we don't find any early deck called "Trionfi" cheaper than 9 soldi? Although other decks could be offered by the producers for 1 Soldi?
What's the implication of this condition? Trionfi cards were expensive. Products for the high priced individual market ... the customers are willing to pay more, when the decks have some "noble" differences to the mass market products.
Huck is frustrating, since he seems to follow the opposite course; widening the search into every thicket in the hope of stumbling across the smoking gun. (There is an epistemologically hilarious Karl Valentin skit about where to look for lost keys that he could cite in his defense). The trouble with all the smoking guns I've found was that other people regarded them as overcooked cabbage.
... :-) ... Reality was always a big jungle. That's true for 2012 and also 1440. Many people, a lot of individual actions, and, as nowadays, the year had 365.25 days. Either one takes up some research, then you've (naturally) the jungle, and make the big march of the small improvements, or you research not, than you've to be content with the situation, that Tarot History is actually very easy, what stood at the begin was that what was in the end (cause some authorities had said so) and the 100 years between 1400-1500 look surprisingly short. Anything else disturbs only the mind ... :-) ... and you can speak in chorus of the smoking guns of others, which look like overcooked cabbage.
Well ... :-) ... but that's actually not the real fun in the Disneyland park of Tarot History.

In any case, thread-drift is a familiar hazard to me, since I've been posting since the Usenet; and Huck's scattershots are always interesting to read (at least for a newbie)
... "Scattershoots" ... I could also use buckets or fire hoses.

It's definitely nonsense to assume, that all Trionfi decks had a standard in 1450, when a contemporary speaker with some knowledge of Trionfi decks in 1449 (when, as it seems to be proven, only few Trionfi decks existed), Jacopo Antonio Marcello discovers the Michelino deck with its considerable differences to "normal Tarot" as a "new ludus triumphorum". Similar it's a deep research mistake, when a note in Ferrara 1457, which talks of 70 cards instead of the expected 78 ), is simply overrun by a childish believe system, that there should have been a golden past from begin on for that Tarot deck, which is so loved in 20th century (although the 70 cards hint the only clear hint to the structure of the early decks in the early time).
Similar to the researcher engagement to find out, that the first "Taroch" was found in 1505 and not before, there must be a similar engagement to find the first "22" in context of a Trionfi deck (if one assumes, that "Trionfi" cards is the earlier name for Tarot cards).
The earliest sure "22" appears in the Boiardo Tarocci poem and there's reason to assume, that it was made in 1487, so 37 years after 1450, so about 13500 days and and a half average life of the time. And the product is still similar far away from usual Tarot as the Michelino deck.
It's really not difficult to recognize, that alone with this data it's a duty for research to explore the value of the contradictions and to search for the answer. Dummett, Depaulis and Decker are excused for 1996 and "Wicked Pack of Cards", cause neither the note of the Michelino deck and the note in Ferrara were long enough known then. But Ross, Robert and Michael J. Hurst are not excused, cause they know about the documents well enough.

Well, I stand not alone with this ....

John Berry (1929 - 2004), a long-years-member of IPCS, had died in the year 2004. As he had done a lot in the IPCS, especially as the editor of "The Playing Card", he got a 2-pages-biography (not presented) and the article has some additional notes (1-page) ... in IPCS 32/6, page 225.
The article doesn't speak of the 70-card-notes and the Michelino deck and it might actually have been written before or the theses were already known by other writings (actually Franco Pratesi in 2002 (?), when Trionfi.com became acquainted to him, that a person John Berry and also Ron Decker had similar ideas as the 5x14-theory). Michael Cooper, the new editor, notes in the editorial "In this edition is the last article written by John Berry; it is sad that he did not live to see it in print". So - somehow - this are his final words, at least in the IPCS-Journal. ...

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Trionfi.com started in 2003, but the 5x14-theory (as relevant for Trionfi.com) reaches back to 1989. During the Trionfi.com work we occasionally met persons or heard of persons, who had a similar idea. But likely none followed the idea with a comparable intensity as us, as far we know. Ron Decker's opinion showed already up aound 1974, but it partly went to other ideas. We have not satisfying information about this early engagement.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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