Sardinia questions

#1
One of Dummett's unsolved problems involves the type of game played in Sardinia. On page 10 of "A History of Games...", he wrote that a single deck "intended for Sardinia" is the only known example of a Spanish-suited tarot deck. He did not provide any details or sources for this statement. Does anyone know what deck he was referring to? Sardinia had been under a long stretch of Aragonese and Spanish rule so it's no surprise that the deck was adapted to local tastes like in Naples and Sicily. Any details or sources about it would be helpful.

Re: Sardinia questions

#2
Good eye, Ludophone. Looking in Game of Tarot of 1980, Sardinia is not listed. However on pp. 406-7 of Il Mondo e l'Angelo, 1993, Dummett writes:
Infine, da Oneglia nella Liguria viene l’unico esempio a me noto di un mazzo di tarocchi con semi spagnoli. E opera di Giacomo Recchi, il cui nome e città appaiono su un pannello dell’Asso di Denari; un esemplare è nella collezione di Stuart Kaplan, che lo data verso il 1820 a causa del bollo di tassa del regno di Sardegna, usato dal 1815. Il mazzo, inciso su rame, è di settantotto carte a una testa. I trionfi sono stati adattati dalla prima versione del Tarocco piemontese; le loro scritte, come quelle delle figure dei semi, sono in francese. Ci sono numeri romani in un pannello in cima alle carte dei trionfi e ai lati delle carte numerali. La Morte (XIII) è priva di scritta; il Diavolo (XV) ha un volto sullo stomaco, e non indossa un cap- [start 407] pello. Le carte dei semi sono adattate dai disegni del celebre mazzo del 1810, an eh’esso inciso su rame, di Clemente Roxas di Madrid. Poiché quel mazzo è il prototipo dell’attuale modello standard del mazzo normale in Sardegna, è quasi certo che il mazzo di Recchi fosse destinato a quell’isola, dove si gioca ancora oggi ai Tarocchi.
My translation:
Finally, from Oneglia in Liguria is the only example known to me of a tarot deck with Spanish suits. It is by Giacomo Recchi, whose name and city appear on a panel of the Ace of Coins; a specimen is in the collection of Stuart Kaplan, who dates it to 1820 because of the stamp tax of the kingdom of Sardinia, used since 1815. A pack engraved on copper, it is seventy-eight one-headed cards. The triumphs were adapted from the first version of the Piedmontese Tarot; their inscriptions, like those of the figures of the suits, are in French. There are Roman numerals in panels on the top of the trump cards and the sides of the pip cards. Death (XIII) is devoid of writing; the Devil (XV) has a face on its stomach, and does not wear a little cap; [start 407] the suit cards are adapted from the designs of the famous deck of 1810, which was engraved on copper, by Clemente Roxas of Madrid. Since the deck is the prototype of the standard model today of the normal deck in Sardinia, it is almost certain that the Recchi deck was destined for that island, where the Tarot is still played today.
I hope that helps.

Re: Sardinia questions

#3
mikeh wrote:
27 Aug 2017, 01:58
Finally, from Oneglia in Liguria is the only example known to me of a tarot deck with Spanish suits. It is by Giacomo Recchi, whose name and city appear on a panel of the Ace of Coins; a specimen is in the collection of Stuart Kaplan, who dates it to 1820 because of the stamp tax of the kingdom of Sardinia, used since 1815. A pack engraved on copper, it is seventy-eight one-headed cards. The triumphs were adapted from the first version of the Piedmontese Tarot; their inscriptions, like those of the figures of the suits, are in French. There are Roman numerals in panels on the top of the trump cards and the sides of the pip cards. Death (XIII) is devoid of writing; the Devil (XV) has a face on its stomach, and does not wear a little cap; [start 407] the suit cards are adapted from the designs of the famous deck of 1810, which was engraved on copper, by Clemente Roxas of Madrid. Since the deck is the prototype of the standard model today of the normal deck in Sardinia, it is almost certain that the Recchi deck was destined for that island, where the Tarot is still played today.
Thanks for the find. If this deck dates to 1820, then it may be too recent to be considered the Sardinians' standard deck as the suit cards were designed just 10 years earlier. I own a standard 40-card Sardinian deck but apparently it once came in 48-card format (with 8s and 9s) according to https://i-p-c-s.org/pattern/ps-26.html. Since Dummett wrote that the tarot deck is a full 78-card pack, then it must also contain 10s and queens. What do the queens look like and who designed them as it is likely Roxas was not involved with this deck? Did Kaplan publish anything about this in one of the volumes of his encyclopedia?
where the Tarot is still played today.
This is a surprise as Dummett never hinted at the survival of the game in Sardinia in any of his other works. If he is right, then what deck do they use in the present? I suspect the Piedmontese pack just like in Calatafimi in Sicily. The Recchi deck's use of Piedmontese trumps leaves me with the impression that the Tarocco Piemontese already had a foothold on the island which may have displaced an even earlier pre-18th century pattern(s) of which all knowledge may be forever lost to us. Sardinia and Piedmont were both under Savoyard rule from 1720 so it is no surprise there is Piedmontese influence on Sardinia. Perhaps by 1999, when Dummett made Sardinian tarot games a millennium challenge question, he was too weary to do more field work.

Re: Sardinia questions

#6
Ludophone wrote:
28 Aug 2017, 09:39
Did he describe the queens? Were they taken from another pattern?
Sorry, I forgot about your question. No mention of the queens in particular. Here is what he says:
Giacomo Recchi Tarot, circa 1820. A tarot pack was made circa 1820 by Giacomo Recchi of Oneglia, a town in northwest Italy. The cards are printed from engravings and stencil colored by hand. The name of the cardmaker appears in a panel on the ace of coins, FA. DI GIACOMO RECCHI D'ONEGLIA (made by Giacomo Recchi of Oneglia). The name Recchi also appears inside the right border of all sixteen court cards. The ace of coins contains the French text: desiné e Grave par Arghinenti (designed and engraved by Arghinenti). The Major Arcana have full length figures and French titles. The Minor Arcana feature Spanish suits. The four of each suit depicts a couple in the middle of the card and the suit symbols in the four corners. The Major Arcana and the pip cards ten through two in each suit have Roman numbers. Each card in this pack contains a tax stamp, positioned in the center of the card and printed in light brown. The stamp is readily seen on XII LE PENDU and XIII Death. The round stamp shows a crown at the top of a shield, which is draped on both sides. The shield is quartered with the simple ornamentation of a bold circle in each section. The stamp, used in the Regno di Sardegna (Kingdom of Sardinia - Piedmont, Savoy and Liguria), was initiated in 1815. The deck can be further dated by the figure on the ace of coins, who is probably Vittorio Emanuele I, king of Sardinia around 1820. The back design is a freely drawn pattern of wavy red and blue lines on a white field.
It is possible that Kaplan has more to say in vol. 4, which is a supplement to the other three. I don't own it. The next time I am near the main library in town (which may be a couple of weeks) I will stop in and check. They have a library-only copy.

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