Re: Daniel Martin 1637, "Trumpfspiel"

#2
What does one learn from this text? A few interesting things ...

1.

Image


The word "tarautees", by some suspected to be the origin for the word Tarot or Tarocchi, is in German translated with "musirt".
Indeed I find in this text from 1835 ...
https://books.google.de/books?id=uLubCo ... rt&f=false
... a lot about the production of playing cards, and these Spielkarten are either "musiert" or "gemarmelt" (which are alternatives and not the same), in any case it seems to be about the decoration of the backside of the cards. So it's a very specific technical terminus in the playing card production, at least since 1637 (Martin) till early 19th century.

Grimm's Wörterbuch knows the term since medieval times for similar decorations:
MUSIEREN, verb. musivisch verzieren, bunt einlegen oder färben, ein schon im mittelalter als muosieren (Lexer wb. 1, 2241), md. mûsieren, übernommener kunstausdruck: gemusiertes pflaster, gemusierte arbeit. Birlinger 339a; auch als mosieren: eine blau mosierte corporaltaschen. ebenda; mosieren, musieren Schm. 1, 1674 Fromm.; zu seinen bundschuhen worden aufgebracht vierhundert sechs ballen getruckten sammat auf leder musiert. Garg. 115b; bonen mit mancherlei farben, mit schwarzen tüpflein, als wären sie musiert, besprengt. Tabernaemontanus 881;
trugen ein keul neben den schwertern,
oder ein scharfe zimmeraxt,
künstlich musiert mit buntem wachs. froschm. Vv 4a (3, 2, 3).
Another more common word seems to be "gesprenkelt", for which the translator suggests
dappled adj. gesprenkelt
dotted adj. gesprenkelt
flecked adj. gesprenkelt
speckled adj. gesprenkelt
spotted adj. gesprenkelt
stained adj. gesprenkelt
mottled adj. [geol.] gesprenkelt
disseminated adj. gesprenkelt
scattered adj. gesprenkelt
spotty adj.
The words "musivisch" or "Mosaik" are connected, somehow in the background are likely the "9 Muses". Who had expected that?

2.

Image


"Raßler" was a word, which I didn't know: people, which make much noise, often used in connection to gamblers or appearing with gamblers.
They had the names "ungeheftetes Buch" (not bound book) or "Buch der Könige" (book of kings) as expression or the playing card decks.

3.

This very interesting passage tells forms of translations for the expressions for French suits. It starts with the question about the 4 highest cards in the Trumpfspiel:

Image


The highest trumps are:

hearts ace = Hertz Aß
diamonds king = Stein-König (king of Stones [= from "Eckstein" for Carreaux])
spades queen = Schauffel-Fraw (woman of "Schauffel" = engl. spades; Schaufel is another word for germ. Spaten)
clubs jack = Kleen-Bub (Klee-Jack = engl. "Clover (Trifolium), or trefoil")

or

hearts two = Hertz Saw (female pig of hearts = two of hearts; German decks mostly hadn't an ace)
diamonds king = Rauten-König (Raute - another word for Carreaux)
spades queen = Spaden-Frau (from Spaten)
clubs jack = Kleber-Bub (Kleber = another word for Klee)

4.

Rules of the Trumpfspiel:
The dealer is chosen by luck, the lowest card determines the dealer.
It's not told, how many players; it's not told, how much cards and which cards.
Everybody gets 9 cards.
From the remaining cards the highest is turned and determines trump (it's not said, if the "highest cards" are also trump, but likely they are). If the turned card is an ace, the dealer can exchange this to a worthless card, if other cards follow from the trump suit, then these he may exchange also. It's not said, if the other players may exchange anything.
The game is won by the highest points.
Ace has 4 points.
King has 3 points.
Frau-Queen has 2 points.
Jack-Bub has 1 point.
(this should make 40 points totally)
If somebody gets all tricks, the win is doubled.

It may happen, that nobody wants to play ... which demands a bidding process or something like this. This is not described in the source.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Daniel Martin 1637, "Trumpfspiel"

#3
Huck wrote,
Image


The word "tarautees", by some suspected to be the origin for the word Tarot or Tarocchi, is in German translated with "musirt".
Indeed I find in this text from 1835 ...
https://books.google.de/books?id=uLubCo ... rt&f=false
... a lot about the production of playing cards, and these Spielkarten are either "musiert" or "gemarmelt" (which are alternatives and not the same), in any case it seems to be about the decoration of the backside of the cards. So it's a very specific technical terminus in the playing card production, at least since 1637 (Martin) till early 19th century.

Grimm's Wörterbuch knows the term since medieval times for similar decorations:
MUSIEREN, verb. musivisch verzieren, bunt einlegen oder färben, ein schon im mittelalter als muosieren (Lexer wb. 1, 2241), md. mûsieren, übernommener kunstausdruck: gemusiertes pflaster, gemusierte arbeit. Birlinger 339a; auch als mosieren: eine blau mosierte corporaltaschen. ebenda; mosieren, musieren Schm. 1, 1674 Fromm.; zu seinen bundschuhen worden aufgebracht vierhundert sechs ballen getruckten sammat auf leder musiert. Garg. 115b; bonen mit mancherlei farben, mit schwarzen tüpflein, als wären sie musiert, besprengt. Tabernaemontanus 881;
trugen ein keul neben den schwertern,
oder ein scharfe zimmeraxt,
künstlich musiert mit buntem wachs. froschm. Vv 4a (3, 2, 3).
Another more common word seems to be "gesprenkelt", for which the translator suggests
dappled adj. gesprenkelt
dotted adj. gesprenkelt
flecked adj. gesprenkelt
speckled adj. gesprenkelt
spotted adj. gesprenkelt
stained adj. gesprenkelt
mottled adj. [geol.] gesprenkelt
disseminated adj. gesprenkelt
scattered adj. gesprenkelt
spotty adj.
The words "musivisch" or "Mosaik" are connected, somehow in the background are likely the "9 Muses". Who had expected that?
Can you say more about this term "Tarautée/Tarotée" in relation to the German explanations? Does it mean "dotted", or what? What are the reasonable possibilities?

Looking at http://artflsrv02.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/ ... arot%C3%A9, I see
Dictionnaire de l'Académie française, 1st Edition (1694)

Taroté, [tarot]ée. adj. Il n'a d'usage qu'en cette phrase, Des cartes tarotées, Qui signifie, Des cartes marquées, imprimées de rayes noires par dessus.
And:
Dictionnaire de l'Académie française, 4th Edition (1762)

TAROTÉ, ÉE. adj. Il n'est d'usage qu'en cette phrase, Des cartes marquées & imprimées sur le dos de grisaille en compartimens.
Which means:
It has usage only in this phrase, Des cartes tarotées. Which means, Cards marked, printed black with black lines over [or, on the backs]

There is only the usage in this phrase, Des cartes tarotées, cards marked & printed on the back with grisaille compartments.

"Grisaille" means with "gray" or "colorless" tones (http://www.wordreference.com/fren/grisaille). "Rayes" in modern French is spelled "raies" and means "lines" (http://www.wordreference.com/fren/raie). Lines (French) and dots (German) are quite different.

The word is of interest also because of the Adrian Goldwetter's thread at viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1044. For both you and him, it seems to apply to the backs. He seems to think it has to do with a crisscross pattern found there, and also on the fronts of some of the early cards, but I am guessing, as he never says, that I can find.

I somehow acquired the idea that the word had to do with the checkered pattern on some of the earlier decks, with very small checks that are similar to dots, e.g. in the Sforza Castle collection and in the Tarot de Paris. This pattern was on the backs of the cards and also formed the borders of the fronts; the borders were simply parts of the backs folded over to make the double layer of paper secure. Marco posted some Sforza Castle examples at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=753#p10753.

Re: Daniel Martin 1637, "Trumpfspiel"

#4
http://www.pagat.com/couillon/couillon.html

... has formed a group of games, which are similar to that which is described by Daniel Martin.
Couillon is a popular Belgian card game. Versions of it are also played in the southern Dutch province of Limburg and on the border of Luxembourg and Germany. The name "couillon" almost certainly derives from the Walloon word coyon (=testicle), which refers to the circles or balls that were traditionally used as part of the method of keeping score. However, in Flanders and Luxembourg, the name has been modified to the similar sounding Kwajongen and Kujong respectively. In the Netherlands it is known as Troeven (trumps), which makes it likely that it is related to the old game Trümpfspiel recorded in Strasbourg in 1637, which had the same card values.
The page links to
* Couillon (Basic game)
* Couillon Forcé
* Couillon with the Mit' - Deal - Play - Scoring - Tournament Rules - Dame de Make - Six Players - Eight Players - Other Variants
* Kwajongen
* Kujong
* Troeven - Three Players - Two Players

There's a Durch game server, where one can play Troeven.
http://www.toepenplus.eu/CGame302/Troef.php
Dutch language.

There's a description of
http://www.jeux-de-cartes.com/jeux-de-cartes/couillon/
Historique
Le couillon est un jeu de cartes très facile. Relativement récent par rapport aux autres jeux de cartes (apparu vers la fin du XIXe siècle), le couillon est pratiqué un peu partout en Europe. Mais c’est surtout la Belgique, tant en Flandre qu’en Wallonie, qui connaît son plus grand lot d’adeptes.
Le couillon se joue à quatre. Sa convivialité et son attrait reposent sur un fait très ludique : quand le déclarant ne réussit pas son contrat et entraîne son coéquipier dans le fond ! D’où le nom évocateur du jeu : couillon !
... exists since end of 19th century.

All these games have in common, that ...

Ace = 4
King = 3
Queen = 2
Jack = 1

... as in the game of Strassburg 1637.
The region seem to be mostly Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, also Western border of Germany, often connected to Alsace in playing card matters, possibly cause of older Burgundian connections.

The special rule of Strassburg 1637, that ...

ace of hearts, king of diamonds, queen of spades, jack of clubs have some special function

... isn't in these games, beside something special about the queen of spades.

This appears in "Couillon with the Mit" in a very special form - a player, who has the queen of spades, can declare "Mit" at the begin of the game and then the queen of spades becomes 2nd highest trump. However, the risk exist, that the opposite team can now declare "Kontra" and this increases the game value and possibly the loss of the party. This rule is - occasionally - used also in other games of this family, sometimes slightly modified.

Changed trump row, if "Mit" is declared:
heartA-spadeQ-heartK-heartQ-heartJ-heart10-heart9

**********

I see another relationship between these games and the game, which has my own special favor, "Doppelkopf".

These games are mostly played with 4x6=24 cards (Ace, king, queen, jack, 10, 9), Doppelkopf is played with 2x24 cards (or 2x20; without 9s).

Doppelkopf is played usually with 4 players, these games also.

The final counting of Doppelkopf is similar (few points only) to that of these games (also few points only). Kontra and Re are handled in a similar way (though in Doppelkopf not connected to the Queen of Spades).

In a sidepath variant of Doppelkopf, called "Schwarze Sau", the Queen of Spades gets a special function. The player, who gets the second Queen of Spades (it appears as all other cards twice) in the game has to declare a Solo after this trick and plays alone against the 3 others and has only limited chances to win the game.
Armut
Die folgenden Varianten werden gespielt, wenn der von der Armut betroffene Spieler nicht mitgenommen wird.

Variante 1 (Schwarze Sau)
Hier wird unterstellt, dass mindestens ein Spieler ein gutes Blatt besitzen muss, da der Spieler mit der Armut ja kaum Trümpfe besitzt. Schwarze Sau soll diesen Spieler „bestrafen“. Es ist jedoch ohne weiteres möglich, eine Schwarze Sau zu gewinnen.

Ablauf:
Jeder spielt für sich alleine, bis die zweite Pik-Dame (die Schwarze Sau) fällt.
Der Spieler, der den Stich mit der zweiten Pik-Dame bekommt, spielt ab diesem Zeitpunkt ein Solo, das er sofort bestimmen muss.
Abgerechnet wird wie bei einem normalen Solo, wobei die verbliebenen drei Spieler ihre Stiche natürlich zusammenlegen.
Strategien:
Entweder versuchen die Spieler die Pik-Dame loszuwerden, wenn sie kein Solo spielen wollen oder können.
Oder ein, bisweilen auch zwei Spieler, versuchen die Pik-Dame zu bekommen, um dann mit ihren verbliebenen Karten – und bereits vorhandenen Stichen – ein Solo zu gewinnen.
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doppelkopf-Sonderregeln

I'm puzzled, if this Doppelkopf variant had developed from the Dutch playing custom with the MIT.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Daniel Martin 1637, "Trumpfspiel"

#5
http://tarot-de-marseille-heritage.com/ ... llery.html
A lot of backs. Some are "gesprenkelt" (= musirt), as I understand this word.

It seems clear, that it refers to the backs, likely as an attempt to make it difficult to recognize cards by markers made on the backside.
The German text about playing card production knows many decks, which are "musirt". It can't have been a rare appearance even in these later times, and it wasn't limited to Tarot cards.
Daniel Martin in 1637 had the opinion, that the word in question meant "musirt".

At p. 228 in the German text ...
https://books.google.de/books?id=uLubCo1dcGsC&pg=PA228
... the term "Musierung" is explained (and it refers to the backside), but it means not only "gesprenkelt", but could use also forms.
Well, the expression might have changed its meaning with the time.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Daniel Martin 1637, "Trumpfspiel"

#6
So what do you think "musiert" looked like? What in particular makes it difficult to make marks on the backs of cards? To answer my question: it seems that what would work best would be lots of random-looking marks. Bu I don't know any cards that do that. It would look ugly. Otherwise, then a bunch of small dots, triangles, or quadrilaterals so small that no one could put a mark on it that could be recognized easily. In other words, the Sforza Castle type of pattern (although putting mythological figures in the middle of the backs doesn't help). Large compartments or crisscrossing lines would be easy to put marks in.

Re: Daniel Martin 1637, "Trumpfspiel"

#7
As I said, page 228 of the mentioned German text talks about "Musierung" ...

Image


In "blue" the author says, what Musierungen might look like: "Schnörkeleien" (decorations) like stars, dices or cubes, flames or "Geäder".

In the words Hinterbogen, Rückenformen, Rückseite, Rückenbogen the author refers to the backside of the cards, with Vorderbogen and Vorformen he refers to the front of the cards (marked in red).

The Musierung is clearly related to the backside.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Daniel Martin 1637, "Trumpfspiel"

#8
Persecuting the theme "Queen of spades" and its special rules we have in "Hearts" (very popular at least since the invention of the computer) the very bad role of the Queen of Spades (13 bad points you get from it, and each heart has 1 bad point; in a variation the jack of diamonds has 10 good points; 100 bad points in a series make you lose the game).

A similar trick taking game is "Black Lady" ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Lady
This again is based on the suits Pique and Hearts, which have negative points.

It's somehow interesting, that two deciding cards - hearts ace as top card of the hearts suit and queen of spades - appear in the list of the most important cards in the Strassburger Trumpfspiel.

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

John McLeod had organized at pagat.com a classification of trick-taking games.

http://www.pagat.com/class/trick.html
* Plain trick games
* Point trick games
* Quasi trick-taking games
The group of our interest are the "Point trick games", as in the Strassburg game of 1637 Aces have 4 points, Kings 3, Queens 2, Jacks 1.
I comment in "red"
* Tarot games: the pack contains a special series of cards that are permanent trumps. The counting cards are the highest and lowest trumps and the picture cards in the suits.
# no special series of cards

* Manille group: the highest card in each suit is the nine (in Spain) or the ten (in Belgium and France), worth 5 points. This is followed by the ace (4), king (3), queen or knight (2) and jack (1).
# this is of interest cause ace (4), king (3), queen or knight (2) and jack (1) as in the Strassburg

* Couillon group: the highest four cards in each suit are the ace (4 points), king (3), queen (2) and jack (1). Other cards have no value.
# of interest, I talked already about it.

* Trappola group: an almost obsolete group of games which originated in 16th century Venice and was played with a special 36 card pack. The highest cards in each suit are the ace (6), king (5), knight (4) and jack (3). There is a special bonus for winning a trick (especially the last) with the lowest card of a suit (originally the two).
# not of interest cause the wrong points ace (6), king (5), knight (4) and jack (3)

All Fours group: so called because there were originally four points for highest trump, lowest trump, jack of trumps and game. The card values (used in deciding who wins the game point) ace ace=4, king=3, queen=2, jack=1, ten=10. Later games of this group introduce bidding and extra points.
# right points with ace=4, king=3, queen=2, jack=1 (similar to the Manille group) but it's history is of a later date. So not interesting, the distribution went from England to Southern America.

*Ace-ten games: The ace and ten of each suit are valuable cards - often with values ace=11 and ten=10. Typically, the king, queen and jack are worth 4, 3 and 2 respectively. Often the ten is the second highest card of the suit, above the king. In Mediterranean countries, the ten is usually replaced by the three. There are several subgroups:
# The Strassburg game isn't an Ace-Ten-game
*** Schafkopf group: ace-ten games in which some or all of the queens and jacks are permanent high trumps. Among jacks or queens, the order of suits from high to is always clubs (acorns), spades (leaves), hearts, diamonds (bells).

***Marriage group: ace-ten games in which there is a bonus for declaring a holding of king and queen of a suit, often worth 40 in trumps and 20 in other suits. Some of these games have additional scoring combinations, such as sequences or fours of a kind.

*** Jass group: an important subgroup of the marriage group in which the jack (20 points) and nine (14 points) are promoted to be the highest trumps, above the ace.

*** Sedma group: an unusual group of games in which each trick is won by the last card played that is equal in rank to the card led; the most valuable cards are aces and tens.
* Tressette group: the cards of each suit rank from high to low: 3, 2, ace, king, queen, jack, 7, 6, 5, 4. Aces are worth one point and threes, twos and pictures are worth one third of a point each. Other cards have no value.
# not the numbers of the Strassburg game

* King-ten-five group: in a standard 52 card pack, ranking with aces high, kings and tens are worth 10 points each and fives are worth 5, for a total of 100 in the pack. Many games with this valuation are found in China, but it is also known in other places. In some non-Chinese games it is the ace rather than the king that is worth 10 points.
Picture group: a group of games, probably of Japanese origin and found especially in Japan and Korea, in which the ace, king, queen, jack and (usually) ten are worth 1 point each, so that there are 20 points in the pack.
# too foreign, not the right numbers

*Reverse games: the objective is to avoid winning tricks containing high value cards.
# From these Reversis is of interest, which is an old game and uses Ace(4) etc.

*Miscellaneous point-trick games: collection of point-trick games which do not fit well into any of the above groups.
# From these only Gleek might be interesting, but the the 17th century reconstruction of Parlett isn't ...
http://www.davidparlett.co.uk/histocs/gleek.html
There was an earlier game Glic, but it is not enough known about it.
In the summary I come to the opinion, that only Reversis (the oldest), the Manille group and the Couillon group are relevant to be compared with the Strassburg game.

From Manille is known an origin during 18th century. The Couillon group seems to be younger. Manille is a terminus, which appeared before in the L'Ombre game, which swept through Europe during 2nd half of 17th century. Manille was the name of the second highest trump in l'Ombre, which depended on the choice of the trump suit. either it was the 2 of a red color (hearts or diamonds) or a 7 of a black color (clubs or spades). In all cases it would have the "lowest trump" of all 4 suits, if it wouldn't have been elevated to the second highest trump, cause

Lombre was played with 40 cards, from the number cards only 2-7 were used beside the Aces, which were high.
The hierarchy of red suits (without Aces) had been running king-queen-jack-7-6-5-4-3-2.
The hierarchy of black suits was king-queen-jack-2-3-4-5-6-7

So the "Manille" somehow had the role of the Pagat ("lowest trump") in the L'Ombre game. The high trumps in L'Ombre are ...
Rank of cards

The rank of the cards in the game depends on whether it is black or red suit. The basic ranking of numerals is reversed in red, being 7 low, and a red suit is always one card longer than a black one of the same status, whether trump or plain.

The black Aces are permanent trumps, and the top three trumps are called matadors:

A ♠ (Spadille)
Black 2 or Red 7 (Manille)
A ♣ (Basto)
The fourth highest trump is the A ♥, or A ♦, called "Punto", but it does not have the status of a matador.

If the trump suit is black: Spadille, 2, Basto, K Q J 7 6 5 4 3
If the trump suit is red: Spadille, 7, Basto, Punto, K Q J 2 3 4 5 6
In a plain black suit: K Q J 7 6 5 4 3 2
In a plain red suit: K Q J A 2 3 4 5 6 7
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ombre

In the L'Ombre version Tresillo, which McLeod presents as likely the oldest, the name for Manille was Mala.
http://www.pagat.com/lhombre/tresillo.html

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

From all this I come to the rough line of development ...

Reversis ... 16th century (?)
Strassburg game 1637
'L'Hombre (only tricks-counting), second part 17th century outside of Spain
Manille 18th century
Couillon group 19th century

Couillon group and Manille group seem to have a center in Belgium.

Once I wrote ...
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=755&p=14926&hilit=reversis#p14926
I found at ...
Leber, Catalogue des livres imprimés, manuscrits, estampes, dessins et ..., Band 1
page 241
http://books.google.de/books?id=1lAVAAA ... navlinks_s
.. the following passage ...

Image


... according which Jack Volay already had been already active in the time of 1575 . For the game of Reversi, which according ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reversis
... ("The game of Reversis was first mentioned in France in 1601, under the name Reversin, played with a 52-card pack.") Leber's note is of interest, cause he knows Reversi already for the time of Francois I. Well, I've no idea, how Leber recognized, that these were Reversi cards.
***************

Well, I didn't found a game, which is similar to the Strassburg game in the manner, that Ace of Hearts, King of Diamonds, Queen of Spades and Jack of Clubs were the best cards.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Daniel Martin 1637, "Trumpfspiel"

#9
Huck wrote
In "blue" the author says, what Musierungen might look like: "Schnörkeleien" (decorations) like stars, dices or cubes, flames or "Geäder".
Thanks for saying in English what the designs on the backs looked like, Huck. In the online German-English dictionaries, many of the words are not there, as apparently archaic or now spelled differently; so I gave up looking. I still don't know what "musierung" and "musiert" mean.

Huck wrote,
Well, I didn't found a game, which is similar to the Strassburg game in the manner, that Ace of Hearts, King of Diamonds, Queen of Spades and Jack of Clubs were the best cards.
The game of Hearts, even though not very old, is of interest because the cards chosen for penalty-points seem to have an allegorical reason for being so. Spades is historically a suit of war and combat, and so suitable for penalty points. A combative woman is especially to be condemned, as it goes against the life-nourishing role of women. If nothing else, if married to a warrior she is more likely to be a widow sooner than later. On the other hand, in a combative game Spades might be a positive suit. Hearts are also negative in the sense of being liable to lead one astray by clouding the judgment, and in this regard the court cards would be the worst. But again, in a combative game it might be otherwise.

In the Strasbourg game, Diamonds as a suit of wealth, and so its King, can also be positive or negative. I am not sure why the Ace of Hearts and Jack of Clubs are singled out.

The game of Hearts does not have trumps. Also, the game from which Hearts is derived, namely, Reversis, besides not having trumps does not have the same special particular cards that Hearts singles out. (All it has is the "great and small quinola", the Jack (great) and Queen of Hearts (small), and the Ace of Diamonds). So Hearts has either invented its particular special cards or borrowed them from other games. One of Hearts' predecessors is Conquimbert, Wikipedia says (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reversis), but I can find out nothing about that game.

So the question for me is, how old is the custom of singling out those particular cards for special positive or negative points, either the cards so treated in Hearts or in the Strasbourg game, including in games without trumps?

Re: Daniel Martin 1637, "Trumpfspiel"

#10
mikeh wrote:Huck wrote
In "blue" the author says, what Musierungen might look like: "Schnörkeleien" (decorations) like stars, dices or cubes, flames or "Geäder".
Thanks for saying in English what the designs on the backs looked like, Huck. In the online German-English dictionaries, many of the words are not there, as apparently archaic or now spelled differently; so I gave up looking. I still don't know what "musierung" and "musiert" mean.
Just "decoration", not figurative, but seriell, in the earlier time used for mosaics. I didn't know the expression in my usual language.

Huck wrote,
Well, I didn't found a game, which is similar to the Strassburg game in the manner, that Ace of Hearts, King of Diamonds, Queen of Spades and Jack of Clubs were the best cards.
...

In the Strasbourg game, Diamonds as a suit of wealth, and so its King, can also be positive or negative. I am not sure why the Ace of Hearts and Jack of Clubs are singled out.
The composition is so arranged, that 4 different kind of cards are used in 4 suits. Perhaps this was part of the intention. In some card producer traditions, the clubs-Jack carried the producer name (in Tarot it's usually the 2 of coins, which is for graphical reasons a good place for it).

Some cards were prefered cause they were chosen to carry the local tax stamps.

... :-) ...
... in this dramatic piece of early 19th century ...


discussed at
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=475&hilit=rolichon#p6198

... there are 3 of the 4 special Strassburg cards used in the center: Queen of Spades likely in love to King of Diamonds in the middle and the card maker Rolichon as Jack of Clubs at the bottom.
Well, the back Lady loves the man with the money, possibly this was the idea. Or the black suit family marries to the red suit (left are the blacks, and right are the reds).
The game of Hearts does not have trumps. Also, the game from which Hearts is derived, namely, Reversis, besides not having trumps does not have the same special particular cards that Hearts singles out. (All it has is the "great and small quinola", the Jack (great) and Queen of Hearts (small), and the Ace of Diamonds). So Hearts has either invented its particular special cards or borrowed them from other games. One of Hearts' predecessors is Conquimbert, Wikipedia says (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reversis), but I can find out nothing about that game.

So the question for me is, how old is the custom of singling out those particular cards for special positive or negative points, either the cards so treated in Hearts or in the Strasbourg game, including in games without trumps?
I don't know, where you got the "Queen of Hearts" in Reversi from ... I know only about Jack of hearts and the Ace of Diamonds.
Well, we have the naming of court cards in French court cards very early. But it's difficult to develop so many figures in one card game alone. Doppelkopf (24 double figures) has 4 characters : die "Dullen" (heart of 10, highest trumps), die "Alten" (Queen of Clubs, decide the partnership, 2nd highest trump), Charlie Müller or similar (Jacks of Clubs, get an additional point, when he makes the last trick) and the "Fuchs" (the "fox"; Ace of diamonds, lose a point if captured; gets two points, if he captures the last trick).
"Schwarz Sau" (Queen of spades, 3rd highest trump) exists only in sidepath variants, also a modern figure (Genscher = Kings of Diamonds).
Karnöffel and its specifications Pope, Devil, Emperor, Karnöffel are definitely old, and also the figures of Tarot, of course. It seems plausible, that during 15th century, when not so much games were known, the individualisation of game roles with names was more interesting than later, when too much games existed and logically it was prefered to use technical terms like King of Spades etc. in communication.
Well, in Germany and in other European countries we still have names for streets. US-America - more modern - prefers mostly numbers, which is practical, if streets are organised like a chess-board.
Huck
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