Dummet is a wild guess based on thumbing through stemmari
that provides zero rationale (and I'm not sure from whom he took the idea that the gold color on the right is "tarnished silver", but that is simply wrong - items like silverware sometimes get tarnished to a golden hue, but not silver leaf
used in medieval illuminations: https://link.springer.com/article/10.11 ... 018-0172-7
). Why the Sforza regime would have given a "PMB" deck to any
Venetian - especially as they were entertaining ideas on how to poison him before 1450 and went to war with him afterwards - boggles the mind. Especially with the King of Swords ironically holding a shield with the Lion of St. Mark on it while the Fortitude trump's imperator
threatens a lion into prone submission. Clearly the PMB was made during hostilities with Venice, not after the 1454 Peace of Lodi.
There is no new evidence so I'm not sure why Ross is broaching this question again, but I may as well repost my own interpretation (my original thoughts on that matter: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=963&p=14119&hilit= ... %2C#p14119
1. Bartolomeo Colleoni, Sforza's must valuable lieutenant, was being induced back to the Venetians before the Peace of Lodi in 1454. If anyone would be getting a PMB deck, it would be him.
2. Colleoni hailed from the Bergamasque and wanted to acquire a fief in his home - Sforza was willing to do that, as indeed Venice did as well (they actually were in possession of Bergamo - taking it from Filippo years before - so Sforza's promise was based on more military action). I would then argue this most complete PMB-type deck was made for Colleoni, showing the arms of Bergamo as they were understood in Milan, per the Stemmario Trivulziano
. The first thing Sforza did when he took Milan was to dole out various fiefs in Lombardy to his lieutenant condottieri. This was standard practice (indeed, Filippo Visconti was in the same boat in 1412 when he took Milan with Facino's Cane's men, and did the exact same thing)
3. The Bon family, a family of sculptors that somehow had patrician status, can be loosely connected to Colleoni through mutual Venetian patrons, but that would mean an overpainting by Bon after they acquired it after Colleoni died at a later date (over paint of the Ace of coins at least, the only one that shows traces of white). And that's assuming those two flecks of white on top of the gold is precisely that.
4. Silver oxidizes not to gold but a dark grey to an almost black (I can post countless contemporary examples of that, but skip down to the bottom of this linked British Library page for an example https://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminate ... GlossO.asp
) and there is no indication of that on any of the stemma in the PMB - just a yellow-gold
, and aforementioned white flecks on the ace. I'm well aware that the red/gold colors are usually shown reversed in Bergamo, but in Milan - where the deck was commissioned - we have an unimpeachable source for Bergamo red-then-gold made for Sforza
Stemmario Trivulziano is probably the most famous of the stemmari Italian Renaissance among scholars and art historians from around the world, this lavishly illustrated manuscript – probable by Gian Antonio da Tradate – is preserved in the Biblioteca Trivulziana Castello Sforzesco di Milano, together with the magnificent treasures once belonged to the powerful and abundant family of Trivulzio. This code back to the years when the condottiere Francesco Sforza became Duke of Milan (1450-66) [others have narrowed it to 1461-66] … It reproduces – along with the coats of arms and enterprises members of the Ducal House – approximately 2000 coats of arms of families and municipalities of the Duchy, but also some families connected, for different reasons, to the Duke...
Edizioni Orsini De Marzo-Milano-2000
The Commune stemma of Bergamo, an exact match for the PMB stemmi:
5. Colleoni is connected with a later variation of the PMB showing his family
stemma (see below), not that of the promised Commune
stemma of Bergamo (which he was eventually nonetheless ruling for Venice). Presumably in possession of an original PMB deck he wanted decks that reflected his own interests, hence the decks with the "three testicles" stemma. The Bon family is not connected to tarot, period.
Colleoni's family stemma: