I am sorry not to have been able to contribute to this interesting discussion, as until recently I have been focused on Andrea's iconological essays, or else Alain's. But Andrea and Alain are taking a break, and I have time at the moment. I was happy to see Sandy's playing with the idea of the Popess card as a replacement for Prudence--an idea that Dummett once had--and the celestials as replacing the theological virtues. I would suggest, however, that such a change would have happened not in the same city, going from a court milieu to a popular milieu, but in going from one city to another, in a popular milieu that did not even exist in the previous city.
My reasoning is that people of the court would have been interested in how the cards had spread to the people and have made it their business to inform the card makers of their errors. Given that Milan was an autocracy ruled by the probable sponsor of the court game, the card makers would have probably corrected themselves.
Nonetheless I can see a court game of the CY-type, made with women and girls in mind (given the female pages and knights), as spreading to one other group, namely the mercenary soldiers. They would have found the idea of female knights and pages ridiculous, and no one would have objected to their removal for that milieu. In fact we have the remains of just such a deck, the Brera-Brambilla. I would imagine that both types of decks existed simultaneously, in different milieus of the same city.
It cannot be concluded that with 14 cards per suit, the trumps would have reduced to 14. The problem is that it is hard to say which would have been eliminated, since all 16 appear later in Florence, in minchiate. Perhaps Ferrara had a 14 trump tarot, since it is there that we see the "14 figures" of New Year's 1441, apparently Leonello's gift to Bianca Maria, whatever they are, and the 70-card triumph decks of 1457, which could be 5x14, but also could be 4x48 + 22, as Pratesi suggests somewhere).
In 1436 Francesco Sforza left the employ of Filippo Maria Visconti, I assume taking his men with him, and went to work for the Florence of Cosimo de' Medici, whose lifelong friend he became. This would have been a perfectly good time for the cards to travel south, in their Brera-Brambilla form. Surely it is not too preposterous to hypothesize that the tarot existed in pre-1436 Milan, at least to a limited extent, if the great Dummett did so himself, both in his 1993 book and in his 2004 IPCS Journal article on the virtues (in which he also hypothesized an 18 trump tarot prior to the 21 trump version).
That the later minchiate had the four virtues lacking in the tarot is evidence of a weak sort that such an early tarot, with precisely those four virtues, existed in Florence at some point, perhaps influenced by Milan. The three theologicals conform in some details to those of the Cary-Yale, There is also the Chariot card, with its female charioteer (even if her nudity suggests that any connection to Pudicitia has been lost), and Love, with its kneeling lover like the bowing lover in the CY. This leads to the hypothesis, suggested weakly by Pratesi (http://pratesitranslations.blogspot.com ... ti-di.html
), that an early Florentine tarot contained precisely the same trumps as the Cary-Yale, although in the minchiate order, and that such a deck transformed itself into minchiate over the course of time (references to a game called minchiate or gemini appear at around 20 year intervals starting in 1466). At the same time--let us imagine--other card makers in Florence, perceiving that the presence of the theological virtues might interfere with the enjoyment of what was after all an illegal game condemned by evangelical preachers, may have transformed them into the celestials, for a tavern-centered milieu. So we have an early stage of both games, minchiate and the A order tarot, in Florence.
In Milan it would have been advisable to keep some similarity in pictorial resemblance when the cards changed from theologicals to celestials, so that players could recognize the old series in the new, i.e. a lady praying to something in the upper right corner (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Lu-6PwakMv0/S ... arSpes.jpg
), a lady holding something vaguely round (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Lu-6PwakMv0/S ... anItal.jpg
), a young child and something hot (fire, the sun) (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jkTzQnuyvSQ/T ... tySun4.jpg
In Florence and Bologna the cards produced for the celestials are different: we are dealing with a new milieu, served by new card makers, who want to satisfy both traditionalists, who see the educational value of the theologicals, and idlers who might want to use the imagery to justify their time in the taverns. So Hope becomes the Star of Bethlehem that we see in Bologna and probably Ferrara (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Lu-6PwakMv0/S ... othshl.jpg
), made more obvious in minchiate (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Lu-6PwakMv0/S ... peStar.jpg
), which by having the star in the corner manages to be something like Hope. Faith becomes the light that illuminates the darkness.albeit also studied by astronomers (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Lu-6PwakMv0/S ... othsch.jpg
), And Charity becomes that celestial body without which life would not exist, which gives its energy to plants and animals abundantly without any need for recompense (most memorably on one of the Ferrarese sheets, third from the left at http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Lu-6PwakMv0/S ... villel.JPG
. That Clotho is on the ChVI and Bolognese Sun card (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Lu-6PwakMv0/S ... eville.jpg
) brings out this fact: for she is the one who weaves the thread of life that the others measure and cut (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moirai
). The loving couple on the minchiate card similarly suggest progeny to come, life sustaining life. Moreover, notice that in minchiate the theologicals and prudence are placed exactly where in the tarot lists the celestials appear, immediately before whichever of the Angel and the World came first.
It could be argued that we cannot say whether the celestials or the theologicals came first; in other words, Filippo may have been the one to make the change, from the celestials as they appeared in Florence to his theologicals in Milan. They may have started out as just the objects themselves, as in the Rosenwald, then changed to theologicals by Filippo, that change affecting the later, more elaborate designs of the ChVI, the Bolognese, and the "2nd artist" PMB celestials.
I do not find that argument very convincing; it is quite a leap from celestials to theologicals, more than between theologicals to celestials, as celestials habitually symbolize aspects of the sacred, but the theological virtues do not spring to mind when one is confronted with a star, a moon, and a sun. However it till may be true that Filippo removed the celestials in some existing sequence elsewhere and inserted theologicals, without seeing himself as changing one into the other.
There is also the fact that in the tarot the celestials always occur in the same order relative to each other. That suggests that unlike cards that vary within the groups, these cards, once invented, spread to cities where the distinctive parts of the orders had already been established: they came as a bloc, at a time when trade and mixing of regions was higher compared to earlier. If so, they would not have been a part of the first wave of the popular tarot (as opposed to the wave of the court and mercenary tarot), in which the order was uncertain except for the boundaries of Dummett's three groups and what went in them. But once the celestials had been developed they would have been exported to other centers.
The problem is that we don't know when that would have happened; it might have been before Filippo thought of the CY. What can be said, however, that the ChVI and Bolognese celestials, as opposed to those of the Rosenwald, look like they have been influenced by the theologicals of the CY-type. If so, we may suppose those celestials influencing those of Milan, when relations between Milan and those cities in the Florentine orbit (e.g. Bologna) improved (i.e. after 1450). The Milanese card makers would have had no trouble coming up with a version of the tarot in something resembling the Florentine order, although, influenced by previous Milan decks and the court, they would have had certain preferences, such as the order of the virtues (derived from Cicero and Aquinas as opposed to Plato's Republic) and mingling them with other cards (for which see more below) rather than having them all one after the other. And perhaps the theologicals were not removed right away, or for some other reason they wanted to keep some kind of correspondence between the earlier theologicals and the new celestials. So there are the visual resemlances I have already pointed out.
Pratesi in his discussion (the above plus http://pratesitranslations.blogspot.com/2016/02/
) favored the priority of Florence over Milan, even with exactly the same trumps, except in the minchiate order. However here, it seems to me, we have to acknowledge the preceding deck of the Marziano, whose deck had 16 triumphs, each assigned to a particular suit, 4 to a suit, and moreover chose the 16 in accord with an underlying commonality, the 12 Olympians plus 4 demigods, on which he imposed a hierarchy (see the table at http://trionfi.com/analyses-michelino-deck
On this basis it is possible to reconstruct the CY precisely. For the four suits, in place of Marziano's Virtues, Riches, Virginities, and Pleasures, we have the four cardinal virtues. More precisely, we may observe that Justice has a sword, that Fortitude was often shown with a spear (e.g. by Giotto), that Temperance has cups, and that Prudence was depicted holding a looking=glass, whose roundness is the same as that of a coin. Indeed in 1551 one writer, Innocento Ringhieri, made precisely those associations, in describing the suits of a so called "Game of the King" (Kaplan Encyclopedia vol. 1, p. 30): Justice to swords, Fortitude to "columns" (like the spear, associated with that virtue), Temperance to cups, and Prudence to "mirrors" (no doubt round ones).
We also cannot overlook that assigning four cards to each of the four suits is entirely supported by the suit assignments given on the Beinecke website for these cards. Whenever they were done, it is a reasonable set of assignments. (In favor of their being original, consider that assignments of trumps to suits otherwise were only made once in the history of the tarot, before Moakley's speculations in the 1950s, in precisely the Marziano, and the latter lay unnoticed in one archive or another until 1898, when a summary was published that did not mention suit assignments. These were not mentioned until Pratesi in 1989, and the Beinecke curator assures me by email that his library did not make them up. They are different from Moakley's, too. But as I say, wherever they come from they are reasonable assignments.)
I want to make clear what this reconstruction into 16 cards is that I am talking about. It is derived from the 11 surviving cards, including their order in the sequence, on the Beinecke website (but adding the usual titles for World and Angel), plus inserting the missing 3 virtues and 2 other cards, Time (from Petrarch) and the Wheel (from Boccaccio). Notice especially that the order of the theologicals is the same as in minchiate, Hope, Faith, Charity, as opposed to what we might expect, the Faith, Hope, and Charity of St. Paul. And there is also the Angel put after World, which no one before or since has ever associated with Milan:
Empress, Emperor, Love, and - somewhere in the group - Justice
Fortitude, Hope, Faith, and - somewhere in the group -Wheel
: Charity, Chariot, Death and - somewhere in the group -Temperance.
World, Angel, and - somewhere in the group - Prudence
I also want to make it clear that the Petrarchan/Boccaccian analysis of the 7 relevant cards only applies to the CY (and perhaps the BB). If women are on other Chariots, that is not to suggest that they represent Chastity, but rather that the CY is not an isolated case, and one may derive from another. "Fame" of course has the trumpet and the famous knight, Francesco. Time has the card seen in the Catania, ChVI, and the PMB,, the first of these surely fairly early (1445?). And yes, the image of Time, the Old Man, is derived from Saturn, usually depicted as an old man with a scythe much like the Old Man's staff; but it is by way of the Greek pun Chronos/Cronos, the addition of the hourglass, and the removal of the scythe's defining blade. As for the Last Judgment, it is referred to explicitly by Petrarch in his "Triumph of Eternity". However in general it is not from Petrarch's poems that the subjects on the cards derive, but merely their titles, adapted to the occasion of a Visconti-Sforza marriage (of 1441) or its first progeny (of 1444).
As I have said, Pratesi favored a Florentine origin for these 16, in the order they appear in minchiate. It seems to me that the idea that these precise 16, so nicely fitting the Marziano structure (so that the same game could be played with either), could accidentally have arisen in Florence first, is too improbable to be believed (here again see Pratesi's note, in which my contribution is incorporated, http://pratesitranslations.blogspot.com ... ti-di.html
). Only if Marziano himself had devised both versions in Florence when he was there, one undoing the elegance of the other, where only the inelegant one became popular, could the coincidence be accounted for. If so, that would have been before 1418, when he moved to Milan for good. If so, not a trace remains of such an improbable event, while Marziano's game in Milan is in not one but two sources, the other being Decembrio (http://trionfi.com/decembrio-filippo-maria-visconti
It might be argued that no such improbable coincidence need to be assumed, that Filippo or one of his court humanists simply selected, from a trump suit developed elsewhere, perhaps even in Florence, those that fit a Marziano-type structure, discarding the unwanted ones and substituting new ones of his choosing.
In favor of such an idea, there is the game of Karnoffel, the earliest trick-taking game on record. related to Kaiserspiel (yes, suspiciously like "Imperatori"). In it some cards of one suit randomly chosen act as trumps. The Knave of trumps acts like an Emperor, superior to all the other cards, including the four kings, while the 7 of trumps, called the Devil, if it was led, came next, and the 6, called Pope, came after that, after which came the lowly 2, then the 3, 4, and 5. This, it seems to me, is most likely the game Filippo railed against in 1420 (for the documentation, see Ross at viewtopic.php?f=12&t=334&p=5187&hilit=foras#p5187
), when he legislated against (any games of cards, if not done according to the correct and ancient system", ("qualsiasi giuoco delle carte, quando non fosse secondo il retto e antico sistem"), which system was that of "throwing forth the figures and other signs according to such a sign and such a figure" (iactando foras figuras et alia signa pro tali signo et tali figura"), i.e. following rank (as Ross interprets the phrase) or perhaps suit (as Berti reads it). I do not think that he would have seen the practice of making the Ace high as objectionable, any more than he would the practice of awarding a "1st prize" as opposed to calling it "10th prize", if there were 10 in all. It is more likely something like Karnoffel, in which the trump suit, one of the four picked at random, did not follow the established ranking and did not always obey the rule about following suit. He may have developed tarot as a worthy alternative; then others after him sneaked in the Devil and the Pope in spite of his efforts. So all that Filippo's tarot owed to that game would, indirectly (via Marziano), have been the idea of a trump suit.
[Note added Aug. 2: in the above I have modified what I wrote originally, at which time the "search" function for this forum was not working, at least not on my computer; later it did work, so I could read Ross's post about Filippo in 1420, and I modified the point about 1420 accordingly.]
But if Karnoffel, as may be, spread to other cities, there is nothing to stop them from developing a trump suit of their own, perhaps with an Emperor, Pope, and Devil. Against this alternative I have no definitive answer. All I can say with confidence, is that the Marziano by itself is sufficient, given, for the subjects, Petrarch's poem, the pervasiveness of the 7 virtues, and the idea of an Emperor superior to all the kings, to generate something close to the tarot deck of later fame.
There is another approach to the question that occurs to me; how fruitful it is I'm not sure: that is to proceed by a process of elimination. If Karnoffel were turned into a trump suit, the trumps would be an Emperor, a Devil, a Pope and some number cards, probably with the 2 high. What other trumps might be suggested by such a series? Some German decks had female and male Fools, so we can add them. In the same spirit, entertainers of both sexes, a Hecate, goddess of witchcraft to go with the Devil, and of course a Popess and an Empress. Maybe a beggar, too, a strongman (physical rather than moral Strength), and a sexy lady riding beautiful horses. I know they didn't have circuses then, but that's what comes to mind. Where this series is headed, however, will not yield us the tarot as we know it. All Karnoffel can do is suggest some of the oddball characters and off-beat interpretions, not the grand plan. That is what the CY provides. The Petrarchan/Boccaccians and the virtues provide the major challenges of life, from early adulthood to beyond the grave. even the celestials are included, in that they represent Petrarch's Cosmic Time, once the Old Man has been reclassified as Human Time and put before Death. In that grand plan a few oddballs (Bagatella and Fool) and difficult situations (Hanged Man, Tower) testify to human freedom of choice, while the Pope (position 5) battles it out with the Devil (at 15, 3 times more powerful). These may well be the contribution of Karnoffel-type thinking.
The Marziano is sufficient to provide the structure of the CY, and the CY's subjects can come easily enough from the seven virtues, the seven Petrarchan/Boccaccian triumphs, and the idea of Imperials being superior to Kings and Queens. These four sources would seem to be the mainstay of the finished tarot, of which it would seem, from all the evidence, that Filippo Maria Visconti or someone in his employ deserves the main credit for bringing together. But from outside Milan there is also Karnoffel's, or its spirit's, raising up of the despised, so that the Devil is three times more powerful than a Pope (not to mention an Emperor), and a card synonymous with trifles and worse beats every king and is one of the main point-getters, along with a Fool, of the game. Such a combination is bound to be popular, in fact more popular than Filippo's stuffy and somewhat hypocritical virtue alone.
What do we end up with? Essentially, that the CY, besides being a failed experiment, because it is too stuffy, also provides the chief impetus and organizing principles for the tarot we know it. It is not everything, but it is the scaffolding of that multi-faceted structure.
There are also two more specific conclusions. One is that nor only do the celestials of the PMB "2nd artist" cards replace CY's theologicals, but the celestials in the ChVI and Bologna do so as well. The other is that Pratezi's suggestion is probably wrong, that the trumps in Florence, if they were exactly the same as in my reconstructed CY, might have preceded those in Milan. That they would fit the needs of a Marziano-type structure so well is just too much of a coincidence. So, given also the similarity of certain minchiate cards (theologicals, Prudence, Love, Chariot) to the CY rather than to the Florentine tarot, the development of minchiate as a separate game is likely the result of influence from Milan and the type of deck that the CY exemplifies. In a short time it produced two games, both of which were played for centuries (and one of which still is) rather than one.
a few hours after posting, I rewrote the first three of the last four paragraphs. What I had went nowhere, and now I see where it needed to go, in the direction of thinking through Karnoffel.