Everybody knows how difficult it is to establish the provenance, and the dating, of the Cary Sheet. Michael Dummett was the first to publish it, in 1980, and assigned it to Milan, arguing as follows: Tarot must have gone from Italy to France in the aftermath of the French invasions of Charles VIII (1494) and Louis XII (1499), during the latter of which Milan was conquered and administered by France for 12 unbroken years, and several times intermittently up to 1525. Since the dominant pattern in France is the Tarot de Marseille, the pattern in Milan at that time must have been similar to the Tarot de Marseille. The Cary Sheet is definitely related to the Tarot de Marseille, and is obviously older than any surviving Tarot de Marseille. Since the Cary Sheet is conventionally dated to 1500 (I'm not sure whose date that is - it looks older to me), and is somehow ancestral to the Tarot de Marseille, it is therefore probably from Milan.
I'm not convinced by this argument, but it is not my purpose here to debate it. It is only to remind people of the state of the question. Going on then - Robert has always had a great interest in the Cary Sheet, and found that the Devil figure is very reminiscent of the folkloric figure of the devil Krampus, who frightens people at Christmastime in Germanic regions of Europe. This sort of removes it from Italy, where the figure is not known. Not quite however, since the extreme north of Italy, bordering Switzerland and Austria, seems to know him too. We can't exclude that some cardmaker in Milan knew him, not least because Milan is a northern city, very close to Switzerland. The Cary Sheet Devil is of course very different from the Tarot de Marseille Devil in any case.
To an expert in clothing and fashion, and prints, the Cary Sheet's provenance may be obvious - but so far no one with that expertise - at least to my knowledge - has come forward with a statement about it.
I want to bring attention to something else I noticed recently - the Bagatto's shoes. These are the wooden "overshoes" or slippers, known as "pattens". It struck me because they are not common in Italian art - in fact in a brief look at the Italian prints of the 15th and 16th century that I have close by, I can't find a single example. Yet they are extremely plentiful in northern - Belgian, Burgundian, German, and French - art of the period.
It just does not seem to have been an Italian fashion.
These are exactly the sort of pattens depicted by van Eyck in the "Arnolfini Portrait" of 1434:
(Note that although Arnolfini was an Italian merchant (it is presumably him or another Italian), the painting is of his home in Bruges, where he had lived since 1419.)
In addition to the un-Italian "Krampus", these pattens on the Bagatto give me more reason to suspect the Cary Sheet is non-Italian in origin. Pattens show up in German art, I believe, until the early 16th century, so that does not help with the dating of the sheet. My own sense is that it is mid-15th century, but perhaps it is too refined for an engraving of 1450 (or earlier).
Am I missing some obvious Italian pattens of the 15th century (or even 16th century)? I mean those that look like these, not the monster platforms that became fashionable with Venetian women in the early 16th century (which you will find if you look it up). I'm thinking of Mike in particular, since he has perused Hind more than any of us I believe.