"3rd Rosenwald Sheet", Pratesi 6/16, 12/16, now 1/17

Below is my attempt at a translation of Franco Pratesi's "Il terzo foglio Rosenwald", at http://www.naibi.net/A/516-ROSEN3-Z.pdf, dated June 27, 2016. Words in brackets are mine.

Added Dec. 23, 2016: On the bottom of p. 3 of this thread (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1105&start=20#p18369) is a translation of a more recent piece (dated Dec. 22, 2016) by Franco discussing an issue raised by participants in the thread, about another deck of around the same time, found in Assisi in 1993, which has some similarities to the first two Rosenwald sheets.

Added Jan. 7, 2017: On p. 4 of this thread (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1105&p=18565#p18565) is another follow-up (dated Jan. 5, 2017), this one combining material from the Rosenwald note, the Assisi note, and an old piece on Notturno Napolitano, with the addition of new material from various sources.

The Third Rosenwald Sheet

1. Introduction

Some time ago, I had the audacity to describe and discuss the fourth Rosenwald sheet 1; it was a sheet containing twenty-four cards, three rows of eight, as in the first three known sheets; connected with this page, however, there were at least two serious problems; the first and most important thing was that it was just a figment of my imagination, with no supporting document; to make matters worse, even if you accept the plausibility of a sheet of this kind, the purpose for which it was introduced was not demonstrated satisfactorily. The purpose was in fact to identify the most convenient way to produce a pack of minchiate by adding a similar sheet to the three already known for the Rosenwald series. In order for the attempt to be successful, it was necessary to introduce additional hypotheses: the first seemed quite plausible and supposed that the minchiate deck had been initially been formed from only (obviously, in a relative sense) ninety-six cards, one less than the standard known from packs of a later period. The second hypothesis was perhaps even more difficult to defend: using the three known sheets and the fourth, which was introduced using only the imagination, I arrived at a pack of ninety-six cards that was very close to that of minchiate but not quite identical. The main difficulty was that there was a female pope in addition and the omission of one queen: it had then also to be imagined that there were similar, but not identical, decks in which these little inconsistencies could properly be resolved.
1. http://trionfi.com/es03 (in English, 2011). Now also in Italian, in: F. Pratesi, Giochi di carte della repubblica fiorentina. Ariccia 2016.

2. The third Rosenwald sheet

It was thought at the time of my study that the three known Rosenwald sheets did not belong to a single pack of cards: Ross Caldwell and others had drawn attention to minor but secure differences between one sheet and

another, such as to lead to the conclusion that the corresponding packs were more than one, similar but not identical. For my purposes, I simply consider the Rosenwald sheets as if they belonged to the same pack, produced by the same card maker, but in fact those small differences identified may be useful to make my assumption of the ninety-six deck cards of minchiate more convincing. The 3x8 pattern of the composition of the blocks had become standardized, but between one form and another there could be small differences that would have permitted the production of that minchiate pack from just four forms.

On the first two Rosenwald sheets, preserved only in Washington, I have nothing to add, but for the third Rosenwald sheet it seems worth examining again and comparing it with the similar example preserved in the Deutsches Spielkartenmuseum of Leinfelden-Echterdingen, so as to identify any differences in detail. Through the courtesy of Dr. Annette Koger, director of the Museum, I had access to a copy at a sufficiently high resolution of their exemplar, for which I will use the designation "third Rosenwald-type sheet", or even simpler, "third Rosenwald sheet" 2. Of course the good quality of the reproduction cannot improve the readability of the original, which is notoriously already reduced to a poor condition; A restoration was made in 1958-60 and since then this sheet is unchanged.

The reproduction presented in Fig. 1 is of lower resolution, but I do not think that an increase of the resolution of the image can resolve ambiguities of definition or reading. As well as reconstructing the figures, there would in fact also be that of reading the overlapping numbers: they are Roman numerals, which require a lot of attention here and a little fantasy to be identified. At the moment, Lothar Teikemeier is trying to read this third Rosenwald sheet better, but we are both convinced that we can deduce something more and something different from what was reported in the Spielkartenmuseum by Pinder at the time and accepted by Hoffmann3. Research is under way and I can only anticipate with some brief notices, with the assistance of Lothar Teikemeier and Gianmarco Masini.
2. Spielkartenmuseum, email 18.05.2016 – 13.28.
3. D. Hoffmann, M. Dietrich, Tarot - Tarock - Tarocchi. Leinfelden-Echterdingen 1988.

[Original in English.]
Not all cards can be identified, some are too heavy destroyed to see anything, a greater part can be identified by small details only. Some cards are easily recognized. There is no remarkable difference with respect to the Washington sheet, if one takes into account that some sheets have been “printed the wrong way around”, as already indicated by Dummett4. Different from the Rosenwald sheet in Washington, which has wrong Roman numbers (for instance IV instead of VI, IIX instead of XII), the Leinfelden sheet should have correct numbers (which can however be confirmed only in very vague way). If two different woodblocks are involved (and the difference is not due to mistakes in the presentation of the images), since the Leinfelden sheet has the right orientation of the numbers, it should have been the older sheet, made from the older block5.

Figure 1 – Third sheet, Rosenwald type, Inv. Nr. B 1006.
(Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Deutsches Spielkartenmuseum)

A first comparison test, with the image of the Washington sheet flipped from right to left, leads to the following table, in which an illegible card is shown with a 0, and one with uncertain lineaments with a ?;
4. M. Dummett, The Game of Tarot, London 1980, p. 76.
5. L. Teikemeier, email 24.06.2016.

only figures marked with an exclamation point are to be considered sufficiently secure. The recognition of the cards will hopefully improve, thanks to the efforts of Lothar Teikemeier and other experts. Unfortunately, the cards we are most interested in are on the bottom line, the most damaged. In short, for now my fourth sheet continues to await possible confirmation. Fortunately, there are other documents to be studied, which have led to more information.

3. The printed pages

A few hours after sending the photo, Annette Koger was kind enough to let me have a copy of the sheets of paper stored along with the sheet of the Rosenwald type, which had been found with precisely these sheets: "The Tarot sheet has been found within these printed sheets" [original in English]6. They are two sheets of printed pages from a volume of legal opinions in folio. This entire category of books is very common and would have beens reprinted several times, which is understandable because there were not a few people who dealt professionally with the law and who would benefit from volumes of its kind kept at hand.

Fig. 2 shows one of the four pages in question, for the two sheets presented; the other page differs from this one only by
6 Spielkartenmuseum, email 18.05.2016 – 17.22.

its different state of preservation, but they were identical in origin; as identical to each other, as were the other two pages not reproduced here.


Figure 2 – Inv. Nr. B 1006 Lat. Foliantenseiten 3.
(Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Deutsches Spielkartenmuseum)

Even before examining the text, it seems useful to discuss the pair of sheets as such. Their presence together immediately excludes the hypothesis that they are pages torn from a book, because if the source had been such, the two sheets would have contained pages succeeding each other, whereas here the two pages are repeated. The immediate inference is that they are typography leftovers, folios that for some defect or pagination error were not included in the pages used in the final binding of the book. The German museum has several other useful pieces of information: the size of these pages

are 43.65x28.45 cm, the sheets do not show glue residues, as are obvious on the Rosenwald sheet, but more damage by moisture and insects can be observed.

4. Investigation of the edition

It is the remainder from making a legal work, one of many of this same type that have reached us from the sixteenth century. To locate the book in question was soon possible, thanks to Google-Books: inserting some terms chosen from the printed text reveals a definite correspondence with the first volume of a weighty treatise by Pier Filippo Corneo.

Volumen primum.
Nunc recèns non mediocri cura & diligentia excusum, & à mendis repurgatum.
Cum Summarijs, & indice lucupletissimo.
Apud Nicolaum Beuilacquam, & Socios

However, the match is not perfect: the book is certainly that one, but the edition is different. A major difficulty for the continuation of the investigation is the fact that many editions of this work were printed. From an initial search of OPAC7 there are fifty entries; even reducing them to those containing the first book of the work there are many; plus a few unreported reprints, some editions are possibly entered twice for slight differences in the relevant bibliography, and vice versa, several editions are possibly reported here under one heading. A summary list, which is probably not complete, includes a dozen editions: Perugia 1501-02; Trino 1512-13, with two reprints in 1521; France in 1531; Venice 1534-35 and 1543; Lyon 1544; Venice 1572, 1582.
7. http://www.sbn.it/opacsbn/opac/iccu/antico.jsp.

Probably within a few years, a number of these editions will be on the web and then will be able to be checked with immediacy, but for now I have not found others: the lucky case of one of those editions available on-line, which has led to the identification of the source, seems for now the only one, and the other editions can be inspected in paper. A first idea to continue the research was then to speak to all the libraries who have a copy of the book to ask if the Leinfelden page corresponds (or less) to their edition. In fact, I immediately started to move in that direction, by writing to the University Library of Pisa, where the French edition of 1531 is preserved. The prompt response was that the edition did not correspond 8. There thus remained to inspect especially editions in various Italian cities, in order of time Perugia, Trino and Venice.

Then came a pause for reflection, before continuing to disturb the librarians. I paused in particular in front of a kind of cost-benefit analysis. The reasoning was this: suppose that in a few months we can identify the edition: What can it tell us exactly about the dating and the origin of the Rosenwald sheet? No one can guarantee that the sheet and the pages came from the same typography, or that they were even printed in the same town and even in the same year. Of course, between an edition of 1501 and 1582 - the two end dates for the editions listed - the difference is very large, but here we are probably dealing with an edition within the first and second quarters of the century, and thud any hypothesis indicating the origin of the cards would perhaps derive rather from that city and date; at first glance it seems that the choice will be between the latest editions of Perugia and the first of Trino.

Reflecting on it again, my thought, however, returned to the loose pages: While a book can be put anywhere and at any time in the mistreatment of vandalism leading to torn pages and used for various purposes, the pages in our case you can not logically be too removed from the place and date of issue. the problem will always remain uncertain pairing with Rosenwald sheet, but at least the printed pages should be localized with a reasonable accuracy. Therefore I have taken up the matter and loosened the brakes that prevented me from disturbing the librarians too; thus I sent
8. G. A. Pulitanò, email 20.05.2016.

various mails to other libraries. One answer was negative, but another has resolved the matter.

The identification of the copy is due to Dr. Margaret Alfi of the Antique Section of the Public Library Augusta of Perugia, which provided me the scan of Fig. 3 with comments following.


Figure 3 – Book of 1501. Same page as Fig. 2.
(Perugia, Biblioteca Comunale Augusta, I B 399) .
La pagina del primo libro dei Consiliorum di Pier Filippo Corneo appartiene all’edizione di Perugia 1501-1502: Primum [-quartum] volumen consiliorum d. Petri Philippi Cornei … - (Impresse Perusii : sumptibus et impensis Petripauli ac Iulij Cesaris Petriphilippi filiorum : cura et diligentia Francisci Baldasaris bibliopole de Perusio, 1501-1502). Invio in allegato la scansione

della suddetta pagina. Mi spiace non poter inviare copia del frontespizio in quanto è mancante nel nostro esemplare.9

[The page of the first book of the Consiliorum of Pier Filippo Corneo belongs to the edition of Perugia 1501-1502: Primum [-quartum] volumen consiliorum d. Petri Philippi Cornei ... - (Impresse Perusii: sumptibus et impensis Petripauli ac Iulij Cesaris Petriphilippi filiorum: cura et diligentia Francisci Baldasaris Bibliopole de Perusio, 1501-1502). Please find enclosed the scan
of that page. I regret not being able to send a copy of the title as it is missing in our exemplar.]9
As we see, Perugia has won in every sense: from there come the pages in question, again from there is now confirmation of the place and date of origin. More could not be expected: the place is interesting and the date is the oldest among all the possible ones. In this regard, it will inevitably have to add something to the discussion.

5. Notes on the author

If it is considered useful, besides tracing the precise edition of this book, to also obtain some information about its author, it is not difficult to gather information. It so happens that this author was very much appreciated in the legal environment as a writer and teacher, and was not only known for this; in fact he belonged to one of the most important families of Perugia and with his brothers played a leading role in city politics. We can begin with the study of "Pier Filippo of Cornia” by Pier Luigi Falaschi, present in the Treccani Biographical Dictionary10. Here let me extract some information among that reported there or in studies mentioned in their bibliography.

Pier Filippo Corneo (or Cornia, Perugia 1419-1420 to 1492) revealed prematurely extraordinary intelligence and soon from a law student became a teacher in the same Perugia university, where, in precisely the legal field, there were active prestigious masters. His reputation as a teacher grew to the point that he was called to give lectures in Ferrara and then in the studio [university] of Pisa. We obtain various notices of the jealousies between academics (more frequent, before as well as after), but even among cities, with the pope having to intervene several times to quell disputes between Perugia and other university locations, fated to be victorious for our author as a teacher.

As a teacher, it has been handed down that he was much appreciated despite his small stature and weak voice. As an author, it seems that for his numerous works he never used the assistance of a
9. M. Alfi, email 21.06.2016.
10. http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/del ... a-fico%29/

scribe, preferring to write in his own hand. As an influential citizen, we can remember a number of ambassadorial positions to the pope and other cities. Of note are various interventions more pugnacious in city politics, along with his brothers, especially in support of the Baglioni, both in internal strife in the family, as well as against the Oddi family, their common adversary and the last obstacle to the Baglioni on the threshold of lordship. Thanks to his reputation, one could easily go on: there is in fact a lot of information about his life and works, more than is useful for our purposes, for which it will be more useful to turn to the family of the publisher. A useful reference work contains pages on both families11

6. The edition and the publisher

More than the author of the text, we are interested in the edition and the publisher. Typography in Perugia had developed before many other Italian cities, with the production of several incunabula, coming also to meet the demands of the local universities. At the time, the studio in Perugia could be considered one of the most important in Europe and the large number of students, including foreigners, is above all directed especially to the legal disciplines. On the Perugia incunabula numerous studies have been published, especially in the nineteenth century, with some controversy among scholars conerning them. Among the most important contributions, besides that inserted by Tiraboschi in his History12, we can mention those of Giovan Battista Vermiglioli, who resumed his major work already cited, and the polemical reaction of Peter Brandolese13. Of little use is the next small book, the Annals of Antonio Brizi14, because his anthology begins in 1550, and in the last few pages of the Chronological Prospect of Perugian typography does not provide information besides the names of the printers, among whom we find that Bianchino Leone already met for the comedy by Nottorno Napoletano15.
11. G. B. Vermiglioli, Biografia degli scrittori perugini e notizie delle opere loro, Vol. 1. [Biographies of Perugian writers and information about their works.] Perugia 1829 (reprinted Bologna 1973), pp. 350-359 on Pier Filippo Corneo.
12. G. Tiraboschi, Storia della letteratura italiana [History of Italian Literature], Milao 1824, VI, pp. 768 ff.
13. La tipografia perugina del sec. 15. illustrata dal signor Vermiglioli e presa in esame da Pietro Brandolese [Perugian Typography of the 15th century, illustrated by Mr. Vermiglioli and taken into consideration by Pietro Brandolese]. Padua 1807.
14. A. Brizi, Annali tipografici di Perugia dall'origine della stampa ad oggi. [Typographical annals of Perugia from the beginning of printing to today.] Bologna 1888.
15. F. Pratesi, The Playing-Card, 17 No. 1 (1988) 23-33.

The edition of our interest occupies a unique niche in both Perugian typography in general, and in the production of this exceptional Perugia family of typographers, the Cartolari. As for Perugia publishing, it should be noted that the exceptional Venetian publishing flowering in the last quarter of the fifteenth century had shot dead many typographic initiatives that were taking a slow start in the smaller locations, including Perugia: After the important activities especially of the decade in 1470, Perugia publishing was interrupted, with a final edition of 1482.

It was precisely Francesco Baldassare who took up Perugiam typographic activities again, after a printing test done in Venice in 1499-1500. To make this restart of typography in Perugia possible was Domenico da Gorgonzola, a typography expert that our Francesco managed to transfer from Venice to Perugia as his collaborator. The edition of our interest was the first in which the two engaged in Perugia. Since this is a quite challenging work, even the first volume (which is what interests us) took a couple of years to complete (and perhaps a few more months more).

About circumstances that were at the origin of the edition and episodes connected to it, we have several interesting pieces of information. Of one study that seems to bring a very significant contribution16 I am not able to find a copy, and I could only use as much as had been extracted by more recent authors, and especially Andrea Capaccioni17.

Limiting ourselves to the essentials, the edition was made at the expense of Pier Paolo and Giulio Cesare della Cornia (or Corgna as we read more often for them). In older studies, the two are referred to as grandchildren of Pier Filippo; in the more recent ones as children, also in accordance with the same appellation; the difference may be very important, but not for our purposes. In the edition in question, an introduction, "the author's life" was written by Francis Maturanzio, "who had instructed in letters the two grandsons of Pier Filippo"18.
16. A. Rossi, L'arte tipografica in Perugia durante il secolo XV e la prima meta` del XVI. [The Typographic Art in Perugia During the 15th and First Half of the 16th Century.] Perugia 1868.
17. A. Capaccioni, Lineamenti di storia dell’editoria umbra: il Quattrocento ed il Cinquecento. [Outlines of the history of Umbrian publishing: the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.] Perugia 1996.
18. G. B. Vermiglioli, op. cit. p. 286.

The two grandsons, or sons, we find later in court for their contracts precisely for the printing of this edition that Francesco Cartolari effectuated without respecting the terms of the signed contract with them. There were several judicial repercussions, which ended in 1515 with the imprisonment of Francesco and the closing of his shop. In 1516 Francesco was able to resume the printing business for one last job and "died
probably in the first half of 1518"19. His heirs were to pursue the business.

7. Background of the Cartolari family

We have seen the essentials about the edition of our interest and what happened next. But there is something prior which overall could be considered secondary and of little interest, but which may prove fundamental precisely for us who are interested in the third Rosenwald sheet. Meanwhile the name of the Cartolari family is already important. Scholars are not unanimous, but the majority believe (including the cited Peter Brandolese) that the name of the Cartolari family originated with Francesco, son of Baldassare, a cartolaio [card or paper maker or seller]. That is, cartolaio would have been only the name of the profession of Baldassare di Francesco, the founder of this family, to whom was appointed, besides a first name and patronymic, also that "professional" attribution. Only his son Francesco would begin to use Cartolari as family name.-

With regard to persons, activities and products that precede our edition of 1501, it can be very useful for us also to get acquainted with the father of our bookseller [libraio] Francesco. Baldassare came from Papiano, a village not far from Deruta, about twenty kilometers south of Perugia, and moved to the capital so as to carry out his card-making activities. In 1467 he obtained Perugian citizenship and later rented a shop in the city center and a "field of battle", presumably out of town, for his business of cartalaio.

Here it needs to be understood who was meant then as a cartolaio. The paper [carta], as we understand it today, certainly was not then
19 A. Capaccioni, op. cit., p. 39.

produced in Perugia; possibly, it was resold by cartolari [variant plural of cartolaio?] after being bought from Fabriano, or other cities equipped with paper mills, who also sent as payment in kind rags collected in the city. Instead, the paper produced by these cartolari was parchment, produced from tanning and traded. Apparently Baldassare never went beyond this practice of the cartolaio's craft, but the son Francesco diversified the business and made a sufficient fortune, enough, as we have seen, to engage, as a result, in the revival of typography in Perugia.

The passage as catolaio from tanner to printer was not as sudden as it might seem. The parchment produced could immediately form a basis with which to prepare and sell books. These books could be of various kinds: at the beginning, finished books, also bound ones, but also books not completely written; book-manuscripts copied by the cartolaio on the basis of specimens in their possession or provided by the customer; books whose cartalaio attended to their decoration with ornamentation and miniatures; Then, books that used rag paper; then, books made to print from a printer at his own expense; then, books printed in the shop itself. Obviously, the last step was the most challenging and it was this innovation that took place in the workshop of Cartolari at the turn of the century, thanks to Francesco.

8. Hypotheses and discussion

We have found that which allows us to speculate about a possible reconstruction of the facts. Unfortunately it will take us to hypotheses that cannot be confirmed by other information or documents. The starting point was the pages of equal pairs. Now we know the city, Perugia, and the year, 1501. It seems unlikely that these pages remained available for long after printing. The publishing business was based on a limited number of copies and the unused sheets of paper were immediately required for the most varied applications, even as paper to wrap up cargo. In short, having found 1501 as a practical date for the source, it also corresponds roughly to the date of utilization. The same applies for the town; it is unthinkable that these sheets discarded in printing would have traveled a distance before being used; this would have been possible for the pages of a finished book, but not for residues from processing; thus the sheets were stuck to the third Rosenwald sheet near to the time and

place of production, Perugia 1501. Based on what we have learned about the fate of this edition, we can also assume that these leftovers from processing were held in reserve for the production of additional copies of the book that because of legal matters were then not fated to be completed; in this case, the related date could extend until 1515; what is certain is that the date could not be earlier than 1501 except possibly by a few months, required to complete the layout of the book.

Now the question arises whether the third Rosenwald sheet could have the same origin as the pages, as regards location and time. In the reconstruction we should probably avoid the extremes: one extreme would be that the sheet of cards was also printed right in Perugia and in that same year 1501; the other extreme is that the sheet might come from some other location and a date not only later, but in this case also earlier. As we have said for the date of the book pages, it would seem to exclude a third Rosenwald sheet coming from later times, except possibly a few years. This already appears as a firm point. It has left open for the playing cards the possibility of earlier dates and different locations. However, also for sheets of cards it is not easy to believe in a long time without being used, or transporting over considerable distances. On the sheet of playing cards we can think of two different attributions, either an intermediate stage of processing, before the individual cards were cut, or a sheet left permanently so because it contained some error or defect, but in both cases a long storage would not be planned.

It so happens that to find a possible production of playing cards, we do not have to go far from Perugia. We know that Baldassare, father of Francesco, produced parchment, but as a cartolaio most likely traded or manufactured also playing cards; if he did not do so, this activity might have been of interest to his son Francesco in his orientation toward the diversification of the father's manufactured products. Even in the event that Cartolari did not produce a card game, it is unlikely that he did not attend to buying and selling it. In the end, I cannot imagine a better combination than that of goods in the same family workshop. In conclusion, we cannot say with certainty that the third Rosenwald sheet comes from Perugia and was printed in a year near 1501; we have already said that we should avoid extremes in the

reconstruction; but the "golden mean" we are looking for cannot be far from that source.

9. Conclusion

In a previous study we had suggested that a fourth Rosenwald sheet can serve to produce a pack of minchiate made up of ninety-six cards. To sustain such a situation we had to assume that there were slight differences between one pack and another in the same series, in order to overcome some difficulties that arose in the reconstruction. In this study the third Rosenwald sheet has been reviewed, from the Leinfelden-Echterdingen Museum; Lothar Teikemeier has confirmed that between this and the similar model stored in Washington there are perceptible differences.

Along with the card sheet of cards, two pages were studied deriving from the printing of a legal treatise that has been recognized as originally printed in Perugia in 1501/02. The related discussion leads to the conclusion that the third Rosenwald sheet could not have a very different origin from that of the printed pages, and that, as a plausible limit of probability, it could have come from the same Perugian workshop of Cartolari.

Franco Pratesi – 27.06.2016
Last edited by mikeh on 08 Jan 2017, 00:01, edited 7 times in total.

Re: Pratesi June 2016, "The Third Rosenwald Sheet"

In conclusion, we cannot say with certainty that the third Rosenwald sheet comes from Perugia and was printed in a year near 1501; we have already said that we should avoid extremes in the reconstruction; but the "golden mean" we are looking for cannot be far from that source.
Although, as indicated by Franco, the context isn't totally sure, the dating "c. 1501" and the location "Perugia" have some probability, and it naturally should influence our expectations about the Rosenwald and the Leinfelden sheet.

That's a big progress.
The earlier article to the Rosenwald ...
... must be reconsidered. Especially the passage, in which Franco Pratesi referred to information about the Pinder research (subtitled "Comparison between the two copies of Sheet 3"), which finished with ...
"I trust in Pinder’s study and feel certain that observing now the Leinfelden sheet with naked eyes cannot bring further useful information. I am only wondering whether in the labs of restoration of art works, or even of some police departments they have got more powerful tools in the meantime."
... must be corrected. Pinder - so I would assume - didn't know the Rosenwald sheet, when he analyzed the deck. So his interpretation wasn't useful, but misleading.

It's plausible by the situation to assume, that the Leinfelden sheet is older, since it should have had the correct orientation of the Roman numerals (the Rosenwald - for instance - has IV instead of VI and IIX instead of XII). For this reason the woodblock used for the Rosenwald (with engraver number error) should be younger than the Leinfelden, although this also isn't totally sure ... cause also the possibility exist, that the engraver might have produced the first block with wrong numbers, noted the error with a text printing, and corrected himself either by the production of a second block or repairing the block (In what manner this is possible, I don't know, but I can imagine some solutions. The Rosenwald sheet looks, as if the numbers have more than one error. The number VIII (written as IIIV) appears twice, additionally cards on which we would expect a number, have no number (hanging man, death, devil). Actually the sheet looks, as if the engraver was interrupted in the numbering process and detected his error, a condition, which led to the earlier assumption, that the numbers possibly were later added by handwriting. This latter possibility, however, looks not probable in comparison to the Leinfelden sheet. One doesn't detect much of the numbers on the Leinfelden, but from the few (I counted 5) places, at which something like numbers appears on the heavy destructed sheet (only 2 numbers are clearly perceived), the numbers have more or less the same writing form and the same position as at the Rosenfeld, but .... They doesn't look as "added by handwriting", but .... I get doubts after a second view.
The total situation looks, as if the Rosenwald was a test printing made to discover what went wrong with the numbers. That just this "error printing" should be still existing, and that the finished cards are nearly not there (beside the Leinfelden sheet), would be actually against all probability, but it isn't impossible. It just depends on the finding situation of the Rosenwald sheet, which we don't know. If the sheet was once found in in a book cover, where it was used as filling material, a not usable print might have survived.

The story of the Leinfelden sheet together with book pages from Perugia also looks like a book-cover finding.

A further look:

I attempted to modify the Leinwalden sheet to the position of the Rosenwald sheet by photoshop-technology (actually I used GIMP). I flipped the picture horizontally and used methods to get the cards as upright rectangle. I gave both cards the same size (these methods surely don't get a 100% identity, but roughly it should be okay).

Here is the love card. I added a frame to the wrong number "IV" (actually it was VI finally).


Here a little bit enlarged the numbers region:


The Rosenwald number looks larger and the position of the number looks altered. Naturally there might be differences caused by the destructions of the Leinfelden sheet and also caused by my not perfect methods. But it looks like a difference.

A difference caused by "written numbers" or by a repaired block or by two different blocks. Just a difference. I think I've research the other numbers, too.
Last edited by Huck on 14 Jul 2016, 20:57, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Pratesi June 2016, "The Third Rosenwald Sheet"

VII (IIV) Temperance


The differences are small, if any.


The distance of the IIV to the borderline at the Rosenfeld card looks closer than on the Leinfelden sheet. Maybe an error cause of not perfect methods, perhaps. But I tend to think, that it is indeed closer (naturally I can easily enlarge the pictures and have a better optical view than on this picture shown here).


X Chariot


The "X" at the Rosenfeld is closer to the left recognizable border and the X also seems to be larger



II Popess


Too insecure to say too much


XII (IIX) Hermit


Again, too insecure to say too much
But I'm really puzzled myself, why I see at the Leinfelden sheet a bottom line of the card, which I don't see at the Rosenwald sheet. Somehow my methods seems to have a failure there.


The argument, that there is a difference, is not in all cases suggestive. But in some it seems to be. If one would have a scan of the Leinfelden sheet instead of a photo, perhaps things would become clearer.
Last edited by Huck on 14 Jul 2016, 20:59, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Pratesi June 2016, "The Third Rosenwald Sheet"

Huck wrote (with the part I want to address in particular in bold)
The Rosenwald sheet looks, as if the numbers have more than one error. The number VIII (written as IIIV) appears twice, additionally cards on which we would expect a number, have no number (hanging man, death, devil). Actually the sheet looks, as if the engraver was interrupted in the numbering process and detected his error, a condition, which led to the earlier assumption, that the numbers possibly were later added by handwriting. This latter possibility, however, looks not probable in comparison to the Leinfelden sheet. One doesn't detect much of the numbers on the Leinfelden, but from the few (I counted 5) places, at which something like numbers appears on the heavy destructed sheet (only 2 numbers are clearly perceived), the numbers have more or less the same writing form and the same position as at the Rosenfeld, but .... They doesn't look as "added by handwriting", but .... I get doubts after a second view.
Type A decks typically do not have numbers after a certain point. In Bologna, XVII the Star is the last numbered card. In Minchiate, considering just those cards in common with the tarot, the ones after XVI are not numbered. It is not inconceivable to me that in the case of the Rosenwald/Leinfelden, the numbering stopped at XII, so as to avoid the number XIII and its association, by then, with Death, something that could not be achieved in a deck where all four of II-V are present and the Bagat has the number I. It also avoids denying the traditional association of the Hanged Man with the number 12, although not avoiding the assignation of the number to the one before, the Old Man.

Thanks for the detailed presentations of the four cards in the two sheets. Could we see the rest with such magnification? Maybe someone else besides you can spot something. I am especially interested in the Wheel, where there should be the number XI. If so, there would be 12 cards with numbers, and 9 or 10 (depending on whether there is a Fool on another sheet). If there is a separate Fool on another sheet, unnumbered, this division between numbered and unnumbered would tend to support Alain's division into groups, with the Fool at the end making 10 in the last group (see viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1102). It would be on a sheet with the 10s and one Queen, either on a small block (as Franco considers elsewhere: http://trionfi.com/rosenwald-tarocchi-sheet) or, more likely, quadrupled, a solution probably used with 52 card decks (in that case, 3 sheets of 16 + 1 sheet of 4 cards four times). (This solution of course excludes the Rosenwald's being a minchiate, a more difficult hypothesis. Even assuming a minchiate without a Fool, his proposed 4th Queen clearly has the number III, which a Queen would not, and is in the wrong place for a Queen, which would normally be next to the others.)

Also, could you address the differences between Pinder's account and yours. Franco in the earlier piece had given a quiet different layout of cards, based on Pinder. Pinder saw "2/3" for where you have X the Chariot, shown rather clearly. And Pinder didn't find a number on the card between III and I, whereas you clearly did find the II. You are very convincing.

Where the Rosenwald has the World, Pinder saw something else, I assume the Fool, since it is numbered "0?" in Franco's chart for the Leinfelden. Also, where the Devil is on the Rosenwald, he saw "11/0?" on the Leinfelden. What do you see for those cards?

Re: Pratesi June 2016, "The Third Rosenwald Sheet"

All trumps - beside the Tower, Emperor, Empress, Pope - are recognizable, some by very small details only. All of these are in these details recognizable as the Rosenwald sheet (though in a mirrored way, in other words "flipped on a vertical axis").

For the 3 Queens, Emperor, Empress, Pope ... they looked a little bit hopeless, so I left these aside for a later research.

Pinder got so much errors, that it is only imaginable, that he didn't know the Rosenwald sheet in his time (probably 1955). Franco got limited material in his first request (which became the base for the article at Trionfi.com) and a somehow difficult German article (difficult to read for somebody, who has only a limited German) and somehow he misinterpreted also something. So Franco's representation of the diagram isn't that, what Pinder wrote.
... :-) ... that's enough about the painful errors. Reality is more interesting.

World has only small recognizable details at the left side.
Death: the horse-head can be recognized, also a line which leads down from this horsehead
Devil: two vertical lines from the lower legs, the right line connected to a horizontal line of the feet
Amore: the left wing, the number IV, parts of the girl
Fortune: the bend arm of the standing figure at the right
Popess: left upper corner sign, number II (very weak), the left shoulder, a part of the clothes (with points) at the same left shoulder
Magician: I remember to have seen some parts of the table, I can't control it at the moment
Tower ... destroyed

But that only makes sense, if it is presented by pictures. I feel limited to use the sheet for more ... in the moment, sorry.
Central questions are the position of numbers and if there are indeed small differences beside the one big difference, that the Rosenwald is a mirrored sheet.

A scan (instead of a photo) of the Leinfelden sheet would help, but perhaps the condition of the sheet is so bad today, that it doesn't help today.
Also it would be nice, if we get a security, that the mirrored pictures at the Rosenwald weren't done by a photographic error.

For the suggestion to the numbers 1-12: we have a double IIIV,a missing 9 and a missing 11 at the Rosenwald ... so that also looks "disturbed" and caused by an engraver error.


An interesting detail at the sheet:


This picture is "flipped on a vertical axis" by myself. It was found on the Leinfelden sheet, it seems, the printing color of another paper with printed script has gone to the sheet. Likely from one of the 4 papers, which were attached to the sheet (Franco had presented one). Somehow an indication, that the papers indeed were found in a book cover as filling material.
Last edited by Huck on 14 Jul 2016, 20:59, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Pratesi June 2016, "The Third Rosenwald Sheet"

I took a view on the rest:

pope ... nothing
emperor ... nothing
empress ... a few lines of the body
popess ... as already shown, with number II
magician ... right lower arm, left elbow (earlier I spoke of the table, but this should be a memory error)
the 3 queens ... very small and weak (somehow insecure) details, for each only one or two.

Generally for all 8 figures of the lower part: very bad condition, the popess is the best of them (most details)

Re: Pratesi June 2016, "The Third Rosenwald Sheet"

Just thinking ...

The Leinfelden deck date "1501 Perugia" drops in the time of condottiero Giampolo (also Gian Paolo) Baglioni (or Baglione), who seems to have ruled there at this time.
http://www.condottieridiventura.it/inde ... o-baglioni
July 1500: Active as condottiero already some time, relatives attempted to kill him in his sleep. He escaped with the help of foreign students, gathered quickly an army, returned back and conquered the city connected to a larger massacre. He worked then as condottiero for Cesare Borgia.
After a condottieri rebellion Cesare himself reduced his enemies (earlier his condottieri) in bloody actions, Giampaolo escaped. After the death of Pope Alexander he returned. In 1506 Pope Julius attacked Perugia. Giampolo resigned and entered the army of Julius, who proceeded to attack Bologna.

That's roughly the story of him, as far these years are concerned. Perugia was seldom a peaceful place during 15th century. Giampaolo's actions were often rather cruel.


Francesco Cartolari (mentioned by Franco Pratesi)
http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/fra ... ografico)/


My own suggestion, that the wrong numbers are handwritten additional notes in the Rosenwald, was stupid, as I note now (this took a long time to clear my error ...:-) ) ... why should somebody write wrong Roman numbers on a sheet of cards?
What is then condition of the strange numbers of the Rosenwald sheet? The engraver error?

The Rosenwald sheet is also damaged, the card Fortune is destructed. If this damage occurred before the numbers were written (by hand, not by print), the sheet was already worthless. Not completely, cause one could use it to repair other decks which also have damages at one or some cards. A second use might be, that you could use for a copy of the design of a sheet for another woodblock.
I imagine this use: Attach the sheet to the empty woodblock and cut with a knife beside the black lines from both sides through, leaving a recognizable cut in the wood. Maybe you will need more than one sheet for this work, but finally you've an orientation on the block, where you have to remove the unnecessary wood. Only the numbers or text will create problems, it doesn't really hurt, if the figures look to the right or to the left.
An alternate use might be to transform the sheet to a stencil (again, likely one will need more than one sheet) and work with colours or chalk.
I've actually no practical experience with woodcut, I just think about it.

So sheets without numbers have some advantage.


I remember to have read, that bookbinding and printing took place often at different locations ... likely buyers often wished to make the binding according their own taste? The bookbinding caused, that the Perugia book pages were found together in a book binding (in the case that the assumption of the book cover finding is a correct hypothesis).
Under this condition we indeed have no guarantee, that the deck was made in Perugia.

Re: Pratesi June 2016, "The Third Rosenwald Sheet"

It seems to me that it is important to see if there is any trace of a number on the Leinsfeldt Empress and Fortune. While it is clear that two VIII/IIIV's is an engraver's error, it is not clear that the lack of an XI/IX on Fortune is an engraver's error if we can't tell one way or the other. And the Empress is the card that Franco posits as a Queen. A definite lack of a number would support that hypothesis. Can you show us those two images from the Leinfelden?

It does seem that the two third sheets do have perceptible differences, even such as to suggest that the two sheets were made from different blocks. For one thing, if I understand your tortured English, the Leinfelden numbers aren't reversed (Is that right? I know they still look reversed in your presentation, but you said that you had flipped the Leinfelden images, I assume horizontally rather than, as you said, vertically--in other words turned them around. Also the numbers are placed somewhat differently, in the samples you showed.) Maybe there are bigger differences, so far undetected.

Re: Pratesi June 2016, "The Third Rosenwald Sheet"

Fortune is very much damaged (as I said, one can see just an elbow of the persons at the side). As the Rosenwald doesn't have the number of it, one cannot predict the place. Pinder noted the card as "destroyed".




Generally the interest was given to have the numbers at the top region (everywhere), and to have it at the left (of Rosenwald sheet, in one case different, the double number IIIV). This runs into difficulties already with the not numbered Hanged Man, possibly also with the following Fortune.


The whole looks, as if the numbers were added on a sheet without numbers, and the designer considered, where he should add the numbers. He did run in problems, he started to think and stopped. The sheet was thrown in the waste basket.
Perhaps this was the reason, why the Minchiate finally left some numbers out (16-20) ... :-) ... cause older Minchiate versions without numbers didn't have a place for numbers.
Last edited by Huck on 14 Jul 2016, 21:00, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Pratesi June 2016, "The Third Rosenwald Sheet"

It looks to me that the cards above Death were designed not to have numbers. It is easy enough to design a card so that there is room for numbers, especially ones like the Star, Moon, and Sun, which just have one thing on them. In fact, I'd say that the meaningless ornamentation added to these cards is just to fill up space that would otherwise have a number. On the Tower card, all you have to do is make the sun smaller. The Hanged Man, below Death, is also easy to design in a way that allows the number. I cannot believe that these designs were made for the first time in Perugia of 1501-1515, and that the designer just didn't think about where the numbers would go above Death. This was probably a standard Florentine pattern. If they'd wanted numbers, they would have adjusted the designs long before, so as to make room for them. The Budapest/Metropolitan cards manage to put in all the numbers, for example (http://cards.old.no/t/budapest/). There was a tradition for not having numbers on some of the type A cards, as we see in Florentine minchiate and later in Bologna. The problem with the sheet, the one we can see more of, is that one of the numbers is wrong. The carver just made a mistake and carved the wrong number on one of the cards. It would have been easy to correct--just clean the block, add a I to a VIII, and go back to printing. He might also have forgotten to reverse his numbers, but we don't know for sure. He might have gotten the number on the Wheel card wrong, too, but we don't know.

It is too bad that the place where the number would go on the Wheel--and does go in the early minchiate--is destroyed in both sheets, namely the area just above the upright figure on the right. Thanks for enlarging the image and showing us the features that identify the card.