3 Pisces, a Sun, and the element of Earth
I've been distracted looking at Minchiate cards and haven't gotten past the first 5 lines of Huck's post. And here is more:
This is the Pisces from the reproduction deck listed on WWPCM, described as:
"Al Leone" (Bologna, Italy)
deck "Minchiate Fiorentine" (97 cards), c.1790
reprint by "Edizioni del Prado"/Ediciones del Prado, Madrid, Spain:
deck "Minchiate Fiorentine Al Leone", 2004
dimension 60x105 mm.
And here is the Pisces from a website: Peter Endebrock's Playing-card Pages
( The link in WWPCM, to www.unics.uni-hannover.de/rrzn/endebroc ... s/i31.html
no longer works)
This is a Minchiate pack made presumably in the first half of the 18th century. The maker's name ('Al Mondo'), which is more of a brand name, is on the back. He was presumably working in Bologna. A possibility might be David e Fratelli from Bologna who worked in the 18th century using 'Al Mondo' - this would mean that the cards are earlier. Another maker using 'Al Mondo' was Antonio de Maria from Milano, he worked 1811 to 1817.
Endebrock's deck is a folded-over one, you can see how the folded paper covers part of the printing in the upper left corner. That alone tells us these are not images of the reproduction. The stenciling is obviously different than the reproduction, but I was unable to find a definite difference in the printing, although the Endebrock deck seems to have been printed on less-worn blocks.
And here is a card I posted earlier, from a deck at the Cooper Hewitt museum in New York, about which they provide no information at all, except when they were given it, 1909. This design museum organizes its collection by color. They have 35 cards, all of them trumps.
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/obj ... ge-166934/
This is not the same woodblock, although it has many points of similarity, to the Endebrock and the reproduction decks.
Another early Minchiate deck is known to me only from a picture of 16 cards laid on an orange background, crediting Bibat Museo Fournier de Naipes de Álava
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... t_019a.jpg
I think 8 of them are trumps:
Second row: 39 Mondo / 10 - Chariot, has X / 15 - Casa diavolo, I can't see the XV / 40 Fama, no number /
Third row: Fool, (I think) no number / 12 - Hanged man, has XII / 38 - Sun, three men, no number / 13 Death, with scythe, on a horse, has XIII
Fourth row, the second card might be Star but I think it's Queen of Cups
There is no Pisces.
These trumps resemble the Cooper Hewitt ones quite a lot. These cards have checkered borders, like another (but much fancier) reproduction deck, that of "Il Meneghello"
However the borders on the "orange background" cards look like they are folded over, showing a checkered replacement backing sheet. They may or may not have had borders on the fronts when first printed.
And finally WWPCM has a deck they call
"unknown" (Firenze, Italy) deck "Florence Minchiate"(97 cards), c.1700 (?)
This is not a reproduction deck, and WWPCM has only 14 trumps of it.
Here is the element of EARTH
Again, a folded-over deck, I think.
So we have a total of five decks, all more or less the same. The only complete one is the Endebrock one. But the Cooper Hewitt one is fairly complete for the trumps. The Cooper Hewitt deck, and the orange background cards, and WWPCM's "unknown" deck, may be quite a bit earlier than the Endebrock and "Minchiate Fiorentine Al Leone" decks, possibly the difference between c.1700 and c. 1790. These are the earliest Minchiate decks for which we have online images as far as I can find. The Cooper Hewitt deck is quite an addition to our set of images as early as this, if it is really among the early ones: I will look more and decide what I think.