On Bianca's Garden, The Star, robert wrote
We have the Two Coins from the Sforza Castle cards, which seems very like a Tarot de Marseille card but we can not be certain, dated to 1499. I doubt seriously that the creator of the Jean Noblet tarot, Noblet or whomever, is the creator of the Tarot de Marseille pattern. It seems likely to me that the Marseille pattern dates probably to around or before 1500.
I've have some time to look at the Sforza Castle cards. I think I basically agree with you that the Tarot de Marseille origins may be possibly traced as back as 1499.
I also agree that Noblet's is not the first version, being already distorted, by being probably a copy of a copy. But you seem to agree with Noblet's primitive status within the Tarot de Marseille decks that we know of. So I will continue to use it as main reference.
But the cards on the Sforza Castle are from many decks and many dates. And even if the Two of Coins is really from 1499, it may be possible that the minor arcana had developed quicker than the major arcana. So these last ones, as we know them of Tarot de Marseille, can be a much earlier development. We may have here a Tarot with Tarot de Marseille-like minor arcana and very different major arcana. Actually, being of 1499, and on Milan, I would guess a Viscontti-Sforza-like iconography. But this is pure speculation, of course.
As for the two Major Arcana that they found. I think the World is older than the Sun. For my eyes ,at least, it has a superior craftsmanship and, if the center was less damaged, it would probably be closer to the iconography of the Pantocrator with the four evangelists than any card we have. I wish we had more cards from this deck. Although Kaplan put's it on early seventeen or late sixteen century, I would be glad to put any date on it, even 1499.
The Sun, on the other hand, looks like a much later development. Kaplan puts it circa 1700, and it seems to me that its iconography is closer to Jean Dodal's than anything else. Even more than Heri's. I can't think of this card being much older than 1700, and newer than Noblet's (or at least more distorted).
To be clear: I know you've never dated the World or the Sun on 1499. You were talking as the Tarot de Marseille style being possibly created as early as 1499. And I agree. But it seemed relevant to me to talk about those two cards.
A great hug,