Re: Dummett's Game of Tarot, 1980, a few chapters

#11
The deck of John of Rheinfelden (1377), the Mantova deck 1388 and the Michelino deck (1418 -1425) have the advantage, that they are mentioed in contemporary documents before 1427 (Stuttgart). The deck or decks of Valentina are only objects of hypothesis. But you're right with a statement (if you made this statement ?), that there were in historic reality probably more luxury decks than only those, which are noted in contemporary documents. For instance those Bohemian decks, which found their ways to Milan in 1395, which naturally are also only based on hypothesis.
As far I remember, I reacted on ...
"...luxury decks had to exist before Filippo would likely come to love playing them...and the earliest luxury deck I'm aware of is a German deck with a hunting theme from 1430".
This gave the impression, that you had forgotten about the deck of John of Rheinfelden and the Mantova deck.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dummett's Game of Tarot, 1980, a few chapters

#12
Huck wrote:
07 Jun 2020, 07:25
The deck of John of Rheinfelden (1377), the Mantova deck 1388 and the Michelino deck (1418 -1425) have the advantage, that they are mentioed in contemporary documents before 1427 (Stuttgart). The deck or decks of Valentina are only objects of hypothesis.
I'm not sure I'm following you here - Duchess Valentina's inventoried 'Lombard' and 'Saracen' decks are not "hypothetical" - or do you mean the Gonzaga connection is hypothetical (which it is, but which hardly matters - she owned 'Saracen' cards before 1408, likely as early as 1389)? Duchess Valentina didn't acquire the decks at her death - she could easily have had them as wedding gifts, from her own father or other princes such as the Gonzaga, but the Gonzaga could have been made aware of the Visconti interest in cards via their own intermarriage.

At all events, no solid card evidence pre-dates 1365 and the taking of Mamluk Alexandria. The Visconti placed a queen in Cyprus (the older Valentina, daughter of Bernarbo), married into the Lusignan dynasty that lead the raid on Alexandria. The "crusade"/looting of Alexandria hypothetically resulted in providing numerous Mamluk decks as spoils that found there way back into Europe via the international collection of knights who joined this crusade. What else more adequately, explains the sudden and widespread appearance of playing cards in Europe within a decade?

If Mamluk cards were obtained via normal mercantile relations why didn't they appear earlier in Europe and notice of them more sporadic than all of sudden c. 1377 (which allows a good 12 years for diffusion, adaptation and European production)? At this point I'll stick with the hypothesis that previously there was no market for the cards as the Europeans didn't know them until they acquired a cache of them in the loot from Alexandria in 1365. No European house than the Visconti was better positioned to acquire Mamluk decks via their contacts with the Lusignan, both before the crusade - when the older Valentina marriage was arranged - and after when she became queen. Given this hypothesis, Marziano was working in a court that had Mamluk decks and had adapted them into 'Lombard' decks, of which we know nothing, but I'd assume it was the simple step of depicting royals on the court cards instead of just Muslim geometric symbols.

What is truly novel is Marziano's all suits as birds....and with that there is the possibility of German influence. The first appearance of that novelty, it has been speculated, was sparked by the translation into German of Albertus Magnus' De animalibus, a Latin treatise on hunting, for Elector of the Palatine Ludwig III in 1404: "Perhaps it was during this period, when hunting became an obsession with the nobility of Swabia and southwestern Germany, that suit symbols related to the hunt were introduced" (Husband, 16). German luxury decks then may have been tied to the introduction of hunting themes. That makes sense as hawking and certain types of hunting were restricted to the nobility, often depicted with a hawk to note they are of the "first estate." For instance, in Pizan's Epistre d'Othea, when Othea/Prudence gives her letter to Hector he is depicted with a hawk:

Image
Othea-Hector, Stuttgart suit of hawks.JPG
(259.18 KiB) Not downloaded yet

Phaeded

Re: Dummett's Game of Tarot, 1980, a few chapters

#13
Phaeded ...
I'm not sure I'm following you here - Duchess Valentina's inventoried 'Lombard' and 'Saracen' decks are not "hypothetical" - or do you mean the Gonzaga connection is hypothetical (which it is, but which hardly matters - she owned 'Saracen' cards before 1408, likely as early as 1389)? Duchess Valentina didn't acquire the decks at her death - she could easily have had them as wedding gifts, from her own father or other princes such as the Gonzaga, but the Gonzaga could have been made aware of the Visconti interest in cards via their own intermarriage.
In the case of the Valentina cards we've no info about the value of the 2 decks, as far I know. This makes the case doubtful. Well, it was you, who stated, there were no luxury cards before 1430. So I gave examples, where you could recognize, that there were some ... without doubt, whithout helping hypothesis. I don't mind, that Valentina's decks were probably luxury cards. Actually one could add the deck in Ferrara, which had the prize of 40 ducats (1422/23), possibly also the Imperatorii cards, which also weren't cheap.

Phaeded ...
At all events, no solid card evidence pre-dates 1365 and the taking of Mamluk Alexandria. The Visconti placed a queen in Cyprus (the older Valentina, daughter of Bernarbo), married into the Lusignan dynasty that lead the raid on Alexandria. The "crusade"/looting of Alexandria hypothetically resulted in providing numerous Mamluk decks as spoils that found there way back into Europe via the international collection of knights who joined this crusade. What else more adequately, explains the sudden and widespread appearance of playing cards in Europe within a decade?

Congratulation, that's a new suggestion, at least I haven't heard or read before of this.
The Bohemian hypothesis has the assistance of a lot of not totally sure documents, and this new suggestion has no assistance of a lot of not sure documents. This is a difference and creates an advantage for the Bohemian hypothesis.
German wiki ...
Valentina Visconti († 1393) ⚭ 1378 Peter II., König von Zypern († 1382)

Valentina Visconti married Peter II in 1378, one year, after the text of John of Rheinfelden was written. And Bernarbo had many daughters, which were given in all directions, Valentina was likely not of very big importance.
Alexandria was taken at 9th of October 1365, a massaker was done and a lot of prisoners were taken. 3 days later a Mamluk army approached the city and the crusaders escaped with their ships, prisoners and some booty. I can't imagine, that the value of the Mamluk playing cards was detected in such a short time (3 days full of massakers, prisoner taking etc) , especially as there were a lot of other items, which were also of interest.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dummett's Game of Tarot, 1980, a few chapters

#14
Huck wrote:
Valentina Visconti († 1393) ⚭ 1378 Peter II., König von Zypern († 1382)

Valentina Visconti married Peter II in 1378, one year, after the text of John of Rheinfelden was written. And Bernarbo had many daughters, which were given in all directions, Valentina was likely not of very big importance.
Alexandria was taken at 9th of October 1365, a massaker was done and a lot of prisoners were taken. 3 days later a Mamluk army approached the city and the crusaders escaped with their ships, prisoners and some booty. I can't imagine, that the value of the Mamluk playing cards was detected in such a short time (3 days full of massakers, prisoner taking etc) , especially as there were a lot of other items, which were also of interest.
Huck,
If playing cards were hand-painted with lapis lazuli and gilt they would have been quickly deemed as valuable, and again, were easily transportable. Alexandria was the richest Mamluk city and its palaces were ransacked - no question that expensive playing decks for elites would have been available as loot. Again, what else explains the simultaneous record of playing cards in Florence, Siena, Basel/Freiburg in 1377, and even in Catalonia in 1380 (Trevor Denning, The Playing-cards of Spain: A Guide for Historians and Collectors, 2003: 15-17) - the 1365 looting of multiple Alexandrian decks by knights from all over Europe allows for their widespread reproduction over the next dozen years to the point that they then get regulated or discussed in a treatise. And again, the fact that they were via a crusade would have given the Mamluk decks a special fetishistic value - Pierre I of Lusignan's deeds were lauded in poetry by France's top court poets (anything connected to Pierre, and in turn, his loot from Alexandria, would have been a prized possession).

A lot of data flying around here, so to clarify these two points:
* Early Luxury decks: We have no criteria of what constitutes one other than price (which we seldom have early) and few details on what the early decks were made of so I don't think we can answer this definitively. My primary interest is this question: what would Marziano have been exposed to? I think a deck with some form of lapis lazuli pigment as described in the Gonzaga document - a precious material carefully meted out to artists - suggests "luxury", but by the same token, was this just for the replication of a Mamluk deck such as that one held in the Topkapi museum? My main point is there is no definitive description of a luxury deck before 1412, the date Ross is proposing for Marziano's deck. It is also worth noting decks described by a French courtier in 1408 as "Saracen" (obviously Mamluk) were still in circulation as of that date (per the Duchess of Orleans' inventory at her death at the bequest of her son, so this important act of accounting of his inheritance was presumably done by someone in his entourage).

* Valentina Visconti of Cyprus interests me for explaining where the later Valentina, Duchess of Orleans, acquired a Mamluk deck. I'm not using the Cypriot Valentina as an explanation of card playing diffusion in general, which I already linked to the international nature of Pierre I's crusade, but rather how the Visconti were more than likely to have acquired original Mamluk decks at a still very early date. Wiki on Valentina of Cyprus is absolute junk - use this link instead, that quotes primary documents: http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/MILAN.htm#_ftn237

Finally, I am curious of your opinion of this point that you did not address:

What is truly novel is Marziano's designating all suits as birds....and with that there is the possibility of German influence. The first appearance of that novelty, it has been speculated, was sparked by the translation into German of Albertus Magnus' De animalibus, a Latin treatise on hunting, for Elector of the Palatine Ludwig III in 1404: "Perhaps it was during this period, when hunting became an obsession with the nobility of Swabia and southwestern Germany, that suit symbols related to the hunt were introduced" (Timothy B. Husband, The World in Play - Luxury Cards, 1430-1540, 2016: 16).

1404 to 1412 allows 8 years for German luxury hunting deck production and for one of them to make its way to Milan. Marziano uniquely makes all the suits birds, but a hunting deck surely planted the idea. There are no birds in Mamluk decks. Your thoughts?

Phaeded

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron