Whoever decided to call it a "carta da tarocchi" is making an unjustified assumption, of course, as none of the cards of the deck definitely indicate tarocchi (then called trionfi) as opposed to some predecessor game. Art historians, or their editors, are better at attributing artistic attributes than ludic ones. The commentary itself makes no such claim, and in fact notes the game of "VIII Emperors" as a possible candidate.
Here is the commentary, which is merely a summary of the literature (I have uploaded the actual physical page at https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cnOdTeAKGt8/ ... rimmed.jpg):
So while the cards used to be dated to the 1470s, they are more likely of the mid-1420s, as Fiorini noted (contra Caldwell, whose name is spelled right in the bibliography).Proveniente dalla collezione Remondini, famiglia di celebri ?) stampatori veneti, l'opera è realizzata direttamente a tempera su carta; il fondo oro è sottilmente ornato da punzonature che corrono anche sulla frangia della gualdrappa del cavallo e sull'elsa della spada impugnata dal cavaliere, proteso per colpire un drago. Come suggerito da Gheno e Lozzi, la carta faceva parte dei Trionfi Rothschild, mazzo incompleto già 189 x 90 nella collezione di Giacomo Durazzo (Fiorini 2006, p. 53), oggi al Département des Arts Graphiques du Musée du Louvre di Parigi. Giuliana Algeri (1987) ha evidenziato le stringenti affinità compositive e iconografiche che lo legano ai tarocchi di Castello Ursino a Catania, a quelli di Carlo VI della biblioteca centrale di Parigi, come pure ai Trionfi della Yale University Library di New Haven, quest'ultimi di sicura cornmittenza estense, forse realizzati per il matrimonio di Ercole I con Eleonora d'Aragona nel 1473. La studiosa rivendicava per tutti i mazzi una comune origine ferrarese, suggerita anche dal peculiare ordine dei Trionfi tipico della variante diffusasi a Ferrara, anche se le carte non mi pare mostrino legami specifici con la scena artistica estense di secondo Quattrocento. Non si può escludere, allora, che i Trionfi Rothschild, pur destinati a Ferrara, siano stati prodotti fuori città. Un caso simile è ricordato nel 1423, quando Parisina, moglie di Niccolò III d'Este, pagò il pittore fiorentino Giovanni della Gabella per «uno paro de carte da VIII Imperadori messe d'oro fino» (cfr. Franceschini 1993, p. 120). Più tardi lo stesso duca diede sette fiorini d'oro al cartaro fiorentino ser Ristoro per due mazzi inviati in città. In questo senso, rimangono ancora suggestivi i confronti proposti da Luciano Bellosi (1985) tra i profili appuntiti e le barbe increspate dell'Imperatore e del Mondo (?) delle carte parigine e gli anziani della predella con storie di santa Caterina nel Szépmtiveszeti Múzeum di Budapest dipinta da Giovanni dal Ponte nel 1421 per San Jacopo Soprarno a Firenze (Sbaraglio 2010; r. 4).
(From the collection of the Remondini, a famous family of Venetian printers, the work was done directly on paper with tempera; the gold foundation is subtly decorated with punching which also runs on the fringe of the trappings of the horse and the hilt of the sword grasped by the rider straining to hit a dragon. As suggested by Gheno and Lozzi, the card was part of the Rothschild Triumphs, an incomplete deck also 189 x 90 in the collection of Giacomo Durazzo (Fiorini 2006, p. 53), today at the Département des Arts Graphiques du Musée du Louvre in Paris. Giuliana Algeri (1987) emphasized the stringent compositional and iconographic affinities that tie it to the Castello Ursino tarot in Catania, that of Charles VI at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, as well as the Triumphs of Yale University Library in New Haven, the latter securely assigned to the d’Este, perhaps made for the marriage of Ercole I with Eleonora of Aragon in 1473. The scholar claimed for all the decks a common Ferrarese origin, also suggested by the peculiar order of Triumphs typical of the type diffused in Ferrara, although the cards do not seem to show specific links with the Estensi artistic environment in the second half of the 15th century. It is not inconceivable, then, that the Rothschild Triumphs, though destined for Ferrara, were produced outside that city. A similar case is mentioned in 1423, when Parisina, wife of Niccolo III d'Este, paid the Florentine painter Giovanni della Gabella for «uno paro de carte da VIII Imperadori messe d'oro fino» [a pack of cards of VIII Emperors made of fine gold] (cfr. Franceschini 1993, p. 120). Later the same duchess gave seven gold florins to the Florentine cardmaker ser Ristoro for two packs sent to the city. In this sense, there are also the striking comparisons proposed by Luciano Bellosi (1985) between the sharp profiles and ruffled beards of the Emperor and the World (?) Of the Paris cards and the elders of the predella with stories of Saint Catherine in the Szépmuveszeti Múzeum of Budapest painted by Giovanni dal Ponte in 1421 for San Jacopo Soprarno in Florence (Sbaraglio 2010; r. 4).)
Bibliografa: Gheno 1890; Lozzi 1890; Puppi 1959, pp. 247-250; Bellosi 1985, pp. 27-35; Algeri 1987, p. 38 (with preceding bibliography); Fiorini 2006; Caldweel [sic] 2007.
Lorenzo Sparaglio, cited in the literature review, is one of the editors of the catalog; his 2010 work is "L'origine dei cassoni istoriati nella pittura fiorentina", in Virtù d'amore ed. Claudio Paolini, Daniela Parenti, Ludovica Sebregondi, pp. 105-113. I have requested it from Interlibrary Loan.
We know "ser Ristoro" and his two packs of cards ordered by Parisina, viewtopic.php?f=11&t=950&p=15419&hilit=Ristoro#p15419. I am not sure when these were. Huck in the above says 1434 for something, but the trionfi.com note on Parisina (http://trionfi.com/parisina-playing-cards) has no 1434, only a 1424. Perhaps they are different occasions. It would be good to know what and when the document is and what it says. Please comment, Huck.
Also of interest are the dates this new catalog assign to the various works which Bellosi in 1985 judged similar to the cards but did not date.
The St. George and the Dragon, very similar to the Rothschild Knight of Batons, is dated by them 1415-1420 (p. 190). In contrast, the Columbia Museum of Art, which has the painting, dates it to 1425-1426 (https://www.columbiamuseum.org/collecti ... hen-george).
The predella with the martyred elders and St. Catherine, with straggly beards similar to those on the Emperor, is that already mentioned as dated to 1421. They cite an inscription on the painting that says "...XI adi XIV di lulglio" (p. 186). A good reproduction of the scene is number 11 at https://supernaut.info/2015/01/szepmuve ... -1250-1800.
The "Two youths" is dated by them 1425-1430 (p. 218). Bellosi, whom I quoted in an earlier post, noticed peculiarities in the drawing of the male figure common to this drawing and the Rothschild Knight of Batons.
The Saint Anthony Abbot is dated "1425-1430 ca." (p. 185).
Otherwise, there are many other works in the catalog that are stylistically very reminiscent of dal Ponte and his workshop, especially the hair; pp. 93, 95, 97, 99, 100, 101, 105, 106, 109, 11, 112, 116, 119, 121, 123, 126, 131, 139, 147,152. For works dated after 1430, the similarity to the cards is less evident.
There is also the type of hat that the Emperor wears: pp. 166, 219 (c. 1430).
Compare to some of the cards, from Fiorini's article:
Here are comparable examples of how dal Ponte draws hair:
This is characteristic of his style before around 1430. Compare to the cards above. Here is the relevant detail in the Emperor card, which contrasts with the CVI's way of drawing hair (for the whole cards see https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MOI0k1DQwNM/ ... hVIEmp.jpg):
Finally, one of his late works was a cassone panel with all seven virtues. Here is an earlier rendition of the three theologicals:
I give this only to show that, with halos, the virtues were a theme for dal Ponte. It is true that these are standard ways of depicting these virtues. (Added later: in fact Italian Wikipedia, https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pietro_Co ... orenzo.JPG, in 2009 gave this painting to Lorenzo di Bicci, who died in 1427. The Cardinal died in 1403. I do not know what to think.) Likewise I don't know how standard dal Ponte's way of drawing hair and hats was at the time.
The essays that introduce the catalog don't say anything about the Rothschild cards. The only mention of cards is in a comment about the area where dal Ponte's father Marco di Giovanni--a painter primarily of fabrics--settled after moving to Florence from Venice, that it was one noted for the production of cassoni and playing cards (Annamarie Bernacchioni, "Giovanni di Marco e la sua bottega: Clientele e produzione artistica," pp. 42-51 of catalog, on p. 44):
Marco di Giovanni is first documented in the city in 1385, registered in the "Arte dei Arte dei medici e speziali" (doctors and apothecaries). His son Giovanni di Marco, later known as Giovanni dal Ponte, is first documented in 1410 in the same registry.Probabilmente Marco era giunto nella città gigliata attraverso i mercanti di stoffe fiorentini attivi a Venezia, stabilendosi in borgo Santi Apostoli, che a quel tempo si presentava come una zona della città ad alta concentrazione di botteghe artistiche, dedite alla pittura di forzieri e carte da gioco.
(Marco probably arrived in the lilied city [i.e. Florence] through the merchants of Florentine fabrics active in Venice, settling in the Holy Apostles district, which at that time was an area of the city with a high concentration of artistic workshops devoted to the painting of chests and playing cards.)
It is becoming increasingly evident that the Rothschild cards should be dated before 1430. How that might affect the dating of the very similar (although clearly a tarot, unlike the Rothschild) so-called "Alessandro Sforza" cards (compare the Palermo Empress, https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8NWi7gr6-Gc/ ... atania.jpg, with the Rothschild Emperor) is an issue for further discussion.