Numbers on Tarot decks

#1
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: There are also numbers on the Catania and Este cards. The Catania numbers are consistent with the Charles VI, which is not surprising since it looks like the same workshop made them. The Este cards are consistent with both the B and A orders, since the Sun is numbered "18".
Well, the numbers at the d'Este cards ...

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This is 0 the Fool

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This is 1 the Magician

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This is 5 the Pope

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This is Temperance

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This is 16 the Star

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This is 17 the Moon

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This is 18 the Sun

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This is 21 the World

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The Ursino cards

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21 World ... nothing, understandable, if we assume an "unnumbered trump"

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Temperance ... nothing, although it should have a number

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11 Hermit ... the 11 seems very clear

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10 Chariot ... the 10, not as good recognizable in the same way, is marked at the same place

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Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Numbers on Tarot decks

#3
I've only the pictures of the Bibliotheque nationale ... the resolution is relative small. Perhaps somebody else has better pictures.

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Fool
nothing, might be cut off

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Emperor
(a sort of 4 ?)

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Pope
nothing, might be cut off

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Love
might be "V", so 5, but the otherwise used writing is broken

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VI Temperance
looks like 6 in comparison to 7 and 8

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Fortitudo
looks like 7 in comparison to 6 and 8

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VIII Justice
looks like 8 in comparison to 7 and 6

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X Chariot
A very strange 10, but a little bit similar to card 21

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XI Hermit
strange (11 ?)



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XII Hanging Man
The writing is at the bottom, perhaps a sign, that this additional later numbering was not done in Italy.
A 12 with difficulties

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XIII Death
A 13 (?), if seen in context 11, 12, 13

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XV Tower
one sees a "V", maybe the rest of a XV

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Moon
is shorter than at 19 sun

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Sun
is longer than at 18 moon

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Judgment
strange

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World
strange
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Numbers on Tarot decks

#5
The conclusions for the Charles VI and Catania cards are what we would expect from the iconography - they follow an A order.

The Este cards follow a B order, which is identified with Ferrara and the NE of Italy (Steele Sermon, Metropolitan/Budapest museums' sheets).

Neither of these is surprising.

The only mystery is what order the Visconti and Sforza cards followed. None of them, not even their copies, are numbered. We presume C, but which C? (the only significant differences would be the placement of the "Old Man" or Hermit, which Alciato puts just above the Wheel of Fortune (corresponding to A and B), and the placement of the Chariot, which Alciato puts just below the Wheel of Fortune).
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Re: Numbers on Tarot decks

#6
I daresay this has been settled before today, but I have to ask: Surely all of those numbers have been added at a date later than the creation of the cards? Except for the Chariot's 'cross', they look like ink rather than paint, and the artist would have integrated them properly into the design. How is it possible to tell when?

Pen
He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

Re: Numbers on Tarot decks

#7
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
Huck wrote:
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This is 21 the World
I can see how it could be read as "21" - never saw it before.

This would confirm it is the B order of Ferrara, as we might expect. Sun (18), Angel (19), Justice (20), World (21).

Thanks!
Yes, I saw this, too.

At card 16, star, a 16 might be identified, if we consider a later tackhole. The 6 of the 16 looks half destroyed.

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At the card of Temperance we see a rest writing above the tackhole, possibly the tackhole took the rest of the number.

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But all numberings are in the manner, that one might suspect the state of "later added". The most clear is the 10 + 11 at Alessandro Sforza, but the number at Temperance is missing.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Numbers on Tarot decks

#8
Huck wrote:
But all numberings are in the manner, that one might suspect the state of "later added". The most clear is the 10 + 11 at Alessandro Sforza, but the number at Temperance is missing.
I think they were added later. But they correspond to the order - A or B - of the provenance of the cards. This only confirms that when the numbers were written on, the cards were still in the region for which/in which they were made.

Sometimes wrong numbers were put on cards, like on the Alla Torre Bolognese cards of the 17th century in the Bibliothèque nationale. Somebody numbered all the cards as if they were in the Tarot de Marseille order.
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Re: Numbers on Tarot decks

#9
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: I think they were added later. But they correspond to the order - A or B - of the provenance of the cards. This only confirms that when the numbers were written on, the cards were still in the region for which/in which they were made.

Sometimes wrong numbers were put on cards, like on the Alla Torre Bolognese cards of the 17th century in the Bibliothèque nationale. Somebody numbered all the cards as if they were in the Tarot de Marseille order.
I'm not sure, that I'm right, but the circumstance, that the Hanging Man was numbered in a wrong way, might indicate, that the numbering was made in France. Florence had a strong influence in France, I don't have problems with the idea, that a French visitor in Florence gave information to the numbering.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Numbers on Tarot decks

#10
Huck wrote: I'm not sure, that I'm right, but the circumstance, that the Hanging Man was numbered in a wrong way, might indicate, that the numbering was made in France. Florence had a strong influence in France, I don't have problems with the idea, that a French visitor in Florence gave information to the numbering.
The Visconti-Sforza Hanged Man has tack-holes both top and bottom - the only card that has it that way. That means that at some point, somebody had it tacked upside-down.

I interpret it to mean that for both the Visconti-Sforza and Charles VI, somebody didn't like a hanged man. They wanted him standing.
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