A STORY OF ENGRAVERS IN CHAMBERY FRANCE
rox wrote:I believe it was Yves who did as much research as he could on the Mermés. If editors were no longer allowed to engrave their own molds after 1701, that would explain why the Payens would hire someone. It could be that there were few engravers (a very specialised skill-amazing!) around by that time, especially since then, as Ross has indicated, the rage for playing tarot had largely evaporated and the market mostly focused on export.
The only link between Dodal and the Payens is that they were both editors who employed Mermé (or his son) to make their woodblocks. But the fact is, very little is known about Dodal. On reading this thread, one sees that very much is known about the House of Payen.
Thanks for this. Hopefully Yves will share the source and information. I'd like to know more about the Mermés.
rox wrote:JC is going to ferret out his source on the mold-planing edict. Hmmm...
That would be great to know if it is a different one than the one Ross knows.
rox wrote:The I.P. remains a mystery - what would another editor's initials be doing on the deck Dodal sub-contracted to Mermé? If that's how the story went - there's so much "not known" in all this, that all reasonable speculations must be accomodated. Finding the "facts" is another matter.
My guess has been that Jean Payen (the senior, from Marseille) was probably the carver of his own plates, and that when creating the Dodal, he initialled the plates. So the Dodal would be a Jean Payen Senior, the Jean-Pierre Payen would be his son, and then the Jean Payen deck from later possibly a grandson? So three decks from the Payen family, the Dodal being engraved by the founder for the dynasty, for export purposes. But Mermé certainly blows that guess out of the water.
rox wrote:A master cartier was indeed no longer an apprentice, but at an earlier time (before 1720, when speculative Masonry was on the rise) , when a cartier was more than "just" an editor, it can be imagined that the editor-engraver was also someone who was versed in the "canon" he was effectively transmitting. The "content" of that canon, JC is convinced, reflected the philosophy of Compagnnonage. But the images are there and stand alone - whatever "baggage" they bear must pass through the eye of the beholder, and each person sees what's useful for himself. That's as it should be (Rox speaking, there).
This is the tricky part for me. Part of me wants to take a torch to this and illuminate it so that we can separate the fact from the fiction, and part of me doesn't want to be an iconoclast and take the magic out of it, a bit like opening the presents before Christmas, if you know what I mean.
I honestly know nearly nothing about the Compagnnonage, it feels like saying "The Templers", or "The "Rosicrucians", (and everyone gets all hushed, and "wink wink") in that it is like a black hole with tons of "mystery" and "superstition" attached to it and questionable evidence to support it. We certainly had guilds in England too, and there was certainly a religious aspect to many of them (saint days, care for widows and orphans, burials, candles... etc), but what's so special about the Compagnnonage? What is the spiritual tradition they are supposedly conveying in their work? What evidence is there to support this? Or does everyone prefer to not shake the box?
Well, if I have to reply to this demand from Le Pendu, and if Roxanne (wife of Jean Claude Flornoy) declares that I am the man who searched more about this family of Cardmaker and engraver, let it be, and let's clear this out…
So, I just can declare that:
Mr Thierry Depaulis French card expert wrote a very documented little book named: Cartes et cartiers dans les ancients états de Savoie (1400 – 1860) issued in April 2005. IPCS Papers. In pages 20 and 21, I read that :
Mermoz, Merme ou Mermaz, Joseph, fall XVIIth c. and Mr depaulis explained here that this card maker located in Chambery, had a son named Claude who was married in Avignon on 03rd April 1714 aged 25 years (so birth year 1689). This one was at this time cardmould’s engraver (he give his source: Mr Henri Chobaut in “Les maitres cartiers d’Avignon du XVe siècle à la Révolution” published in Provence Historique October/November 1955 Tome V Fascicule 22).
Important fact: Claude Merme or Mermoz or Mermaz, declared at this occasion that he worked before 1714 as wood engraver for Jean Payen and Jean Pierre Payen in Avignon
.Jean-Joseph Revest in Carpentras at his marriage celebration date 1714, he declares that he presently works for Etienne Blaterond.
Jean Pierre Payen and Etienne Blaterond made a declaration on 27th march 1714 to confirms this fact.
Concerning Joseph Merme or Mermoz or Mermaz the father, Mr Depaulis note that Henry rené D’Allemagne wrote that this man was acting in 1696.
He (T.Depaulis) estimates that he died before 1709
regarding a dated document that informs us that his wife was declared “Mermaz veuve (widow) joseph”.
My only contribution was the following: I exchanged this information on a French tarot Forum named Tradition des Tarots de Marseille (co administrated by Laurent Edouard a french Tarologist and Jean Claude Flornoy) during 2009 year. Jean Claude Flornoy contacted me by mail and later we discussed this mater by phone. He declared to me that for him there was a clear relation between Payen and Dodal regarding the fact that Claude Merme worked for Payen family and that his father Joseph Merme was card maker in Chambery which is close to Lyon where Jean Dodal is located (40/50 km distance).
J.C.Flornoy added that for him it is clear that it is the same family hand that engraved both Dodal and Payen moulds. Joseph Merme would have teach engraving to his son Claude Merme and that could explain the engraving lines similarity.
To this hypothesis I replied that personally I could not agree with this because facts are not strong enough and we need additional documents before being able to legitimatly declares this as evident.
Jean Claude asked me to send him copy of these details by mail and I added a scan copy of relevant pages plus some cards pictures authored to Joseph Mermoz (from Mr Thierry depaulis Collection page 20 of Cartes et cartiers dans les ancients états de Savoie). I insisted to Jean-Claude Flornoy about the lack of ground for such declarations, but hopelessly…
Now I notice that Jean-Claude wrote this in his little booklet that is attached to his Dodal full deck industrial version.
What can I say more? I just do expect (and strongly wish as seeker of truth) that Jean Claude Flornoy found additional documents that ground and justify his declarations and writing now.
I would be very pleased to see this supposed documents and sources
because I never gave up this case and still continue on searching about engravers and historical cardmakers via genealogy, archives visits, museums communications and various other sources…
This being said, I ordered and paid myself for Christmas an exemplary of this Flornoy’s Dodal industrial deck and will examine it with pleasure like you I suppose.
Bonnes Fetes quand meme à toutes et tous
Happy Feasts to all of you anyway
Yves Le Marseillais
Made in Marseille City Capitale of Tarot 22nd december 2009
Nobody is above obligation to tell truth
Nul n’est au dessus de l’obligation de dire la Vérité
Personne n'est au dessus de l'obligation de dire la vérité.
Nobody is above obligation to tell truth.