Re: News and Updates

New book:
Franco Pratesi: Playing-Card Production in Florence (2018), 151 pages, 20 Euro, ISBN 978-88-27824-79-5 ... some pictures to playing cards unknown to me are included, from the Crippa collection, Milan

Franco writes in the introduction ...
"A large part of the content of this book has first appeared in 2013, as individual notes in the web pages of ..."
The material, that Franco presented in 2013, was very much (let's call it gigantic) and was dedicated mainly to the development of Minchiate through the centuries. This new book seems to present an overview for the material by giving references to the links of the webpages, it doesn't focus Minchiate, but playing cards generally (Minchiate is included). Some new material, which I don't recognize, seems to be inserted.
Well, I got the book yesterday and had not much time with it.

1. Florentine Cardmakers and Concession holders (1477-1751)
2. 1775-87: Playing Card Production in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany
3. 1791: Production and Sale of Playing Cards in Tuscany
4. 1801-07: Playing Card Production in the Etruria Kingdom
5. 1815-1861: The Production of Playing Cards in Tuscany
6. 1814-1862: Additional Evidence on Card Production in Tuscany
7. 1821-1829 Minchiate by Giuseppe Berretari
8. 1839-1841: Florentine Playing Card Production
9. Control on Playing Cards in Florence Around 1880
10. Data on Three Factories in the End of the 19th Century

Re: News and Updates

383 got the following mail ...
I would like to introduce myself. My name is Martin Jarvis and I have been a collector of playing cards for nearly 30 years. During that time I was a member of both the IPCS and the EPCS. I have recently taken the very difficult decision to sell my collection and it will be at Stroud Auctions, Gloucestershire, England on 8th May 2019 at 10.00 am. See and

There are over 250 lots and the collection is mainly pre-1900 and of course predominantly English. However, nearly one third of the lots are from other countries around the world, the largest sections being France and Germany and a smaller section on Italian cards. To give you an idea of some of the cards in the Italian section: Chiari, Florence pattern c1840; Fabbrica Perfezionata di A.G.D.R., Bologna c1860; Fabbricatore Felice Rossi, Milan Lombardy tarot pack c1815; etc.

Please have a look at the catalogue and forward my email to playing card collectors who may be interested. The catalogue is online with full colour photographs and the auctioneers welcome live online bidding, live telephone bidding or alternatively commission bids and also offer an in-house packing and postage service, very useful for distant bidders.
Many thanks for your help.
Best wishes,

Martin Jarvis
My note: Likely one has to fill the search field with "playing cards" , if one wants to see the catalogue.
I found it that way. I didn't see Tarot cards, but some objects are interesting. Lot 60 captured my interest. The prices are moderate.

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I detected a used 1-Euro book in a shop for antiques (all books take 1 Euro there). "Das geheime Abendmahl", original is Spanish "La cena secreta" (2004) and English "The Secret Supper" (2006). The English version seems to have been a big success, the text is said to have been translated to many languages

I'm at 2/3 of it and find the German version boring. The story plays in 1497 in Milan at the burial of the young Beatrice d'Este, wife of Lodovico Sforza, at the court of Milan.
Somehow the Tarot card Papessa (Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo deck) is involved in cases of murder, which happen around the production of the "The Last supper" by Leonardo da Vinci.

The Spanish book (2004) appeared one year after Dan Brown "The Da Vinci Code" (2003).
This book had some connection to "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" (1982). ... Holy_Grail
This book knew Leonardo da Vinci as one of many leaders of the Prieuré de Sion (the list of leaders is believed to be a modern fabrication of Piere Plantard).

Re: News and Updates

Huck wrote: 30 Mar 2017, 18:26 The Budapest sheets have their interesting points. Here is one ...

reference sheet: Kaplan II. p. 276, clearly from a Tarocchi sheet (Group 2, according Kaplan)
... it seems to be a musician, and the upper part is a riddle, not recognizable

reference sheet: Kaplan II. p 277, not clear, if it is a Tarocchi sheet (Group 3, the card has other other neighbors on the sheet). The size seems to be different.
... it is a musician and he drinks from a cup. It is the page of cups.
from another sheet (group 3), now with more colors
Those are extremely odd "page of cups" if that's really what those are. The Bologna Fool, for example, also plays a wind instrument (a singular pipe vs bagpipes) but also plays a drum (a stock image from the time) , to connote revelry - drinking from a large goblet would simply to be a variation on that theme. And also note the Sola Busca Fool also plays the bagpipes:

I also find that large goblet held up by the head quite similar to the Alessandro Sforza "Temperance" card (the tooled outline of the goblet is barely discernible):


Random thoughts here....


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"Zu Straßburg sind alle Spielkarten, auf welchen Könige stehen, verboten worden, desgleichen auch alle Calender, welche nicht die jetzige französische Zeitrechnung haben."
In Straßburg all playing cards decks which contain cards with Kings are prohibited, also all calendars, which present not the modern French time counting system (from 1793)
in "Augsburgische Ordinari Postzeitung von Staats-, gelehrten, historisch- u. ökonomischen Neuigkeiten: 1793" ... en&f=false

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Important text about Master of the Playing Cards

Das älteste gestochene deutsche Kartenspiel vom Meister der Spielkarten (vor 1446). : Mit 68 Abbildungen in Lichtdruck
by Geisberg, Max
Publication date 1905

68 pictures at the end of the text since n57 ... ... J/page/n57

Another text ...

Lehrs, Max [Hrsg.]
Geschichte und kritischer Katalog des deutschen, niederländischen und französischen Kupferstichs im XV. Jahrhundert (1): [Die Primitiven] — Wien, 1908
... with material to Master of the playing cards without pictures ... 082/thumbs

Re: News and Updates

Tarocho in 1502 by Depaulis in 2008
At ... ... a Wiki-article I once started myself, I remember
... I found the following sentence:

The earliest known appearance of the word "Tarocho" as the new name for the game is in Brescia around 1502. Footnote 12
Footnote 12: Depaulis, Thierry (2008). "Entre farsa et barzelletta: jeux de cartes italiens autours de 1500". The Playing-Card. 37 (2): 89–102.

Actually I had the source, but I overlooked the article.

The text of Depaulis is online: ... _p._89-102

An earlier text to the theme ...
(Italian Cards - New Discoveries 7.) Franco Pratesi – 17.06.1988 ... Footnote 1 in the Depaulis text

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Oldest Note of the Game Kaisern or Keyserspiel in Switzerland

Der Geschichtsfreund : Mitteilungen des Historischen Vereins Zentralschweiz, Band 139 (1986)
Artikel: Die drei ältesten Innerschweizer Kartenspiele und ihre Regeln : Kultur im Kartenspiel
by Dr. Peter F. Kopp, Solothurn (23-46) ... 139::25#25

Kopp stated in 1986 the point, that a suggested oldest report about the Keyserspiel in Switzerland (Zürich 1450, suggested by Schreiber) had been an error and that the new oldest report should be from 1572 by the council of Nidwalden. A general game prohibition was given at May 4, but at September 29 three games were allowed: Tarot/Tarock as "Troggen", Munteren (unknown game) and Kaisern as "keysseren". Kopp adds further notes to the game Kaisern , also to the game Troggen, which is played with Tarot cards.


Footnote 4 (comment to the earlier error in Zürich 1450)

I don't know about more progress by others in the question of the oldest Swiss Kaiserspiel (1986 is rather long ago, easily there might have been some improvement). Some years (2012) ago I detected an old Swiss note about "Nöffel, Keiser, Kartenspiel". I was then interested only in the Karnöffelgame, so I didn't realize its meaning for the Swiss Kaiser game.


The text is a collection of items (fashions and objects), which were new in the past 10 years in the city of Bern. As the text was written in 1503/1504, one can assume, that the Keyserspiel appeared 1493/94 - 1503/04 in Bern, possibly accompanied by the Karnöffel. Or both appeared independently.
1503/04 - Nöffel and Keiser appear in Chronicle Bern by Valerius Anshelm

Valerius Anshelm's, genannt Rüd, Berner-Chronik von Anfang der Stadt Bern bis 1526, Band 3
Valerius Anshelm, Rudolf Emanuel Stierlin, Johann Rudolf Wyss
bey L.A. Haller, 1827 ... en&f=false

The year number 1503 appears at page 210, the entry "Nöffel, Keiser" at page 248, the year 1505 appears at page 271 (year 1504 is missing ?)

Valerius Anshelm

"Nöffel" (Karnöffel) and "Keiser" (otherwise Kaisern, Keyzerspiel) are noted as new games in Bern in the last 10 years. Dryschlahen is another old game. "Troggen" or another old name of Tarot isn't mentioned.
Karnöffel and Keiserspiel are taken by Geiler von Kaisersberg as the same game (1496), in Bern 1502 they are considered as the same game.

Re: News and Updates


I stumbled about the 2 following pictures, from which one might have some relation to the phenomena "Justice as Fame (with knight in the background)", which had appeared in PMB-1 with its 14 pictures.


The pictures appeared at p. 107/108 in "I libri di Filarete" by ULRICH PFISTERER ...

Related is also the article ...
Ulrich Pfisterer: INGENIUM UND INVENTION BEI FILARETE (published 2002)
Pfisterer gives here the description of the picture with the 3 pairs of scales. " Laut Text nämlich seien darauf die Personifikationen von Ragione und Voluntà zu sehen gewesen, wie sie an anderer Stelle nochmals erwähnt und in der dortigen Illustration korrekt dargestellt werden: zwei nackte Frauen, die eine auf einem Herzen sitzend, Waage und Zügel haltend, mit bleiernen Sandalen und drei Gesichtern, die andere stehend, den Kopf voller Augen, mit Flügeln, Rad, Erdscheibe und nochmals zwei Waagen (Footnote 4)."
According this the head of the left figure has a lot of eyes (what one discovers not, when looking at the picture).
Footnote 4 :
FILARETE, Trattato (siehe oben Anm. 1), Bd. 1, S. 266f. und Bd. 2, Tf. 44 (f. 69v). - Die Parallelität von Antike und Moderne erweist sich auch daran, daß Filarete
dem Fürsten noch vor Auffindung des ‚goldenen Buches‘ ein libro di bronzo als Erinnerungsträger für die Stadtgründung anzulegen empfiehlt, auf dem ebenfalls virtù und vizio nach Filaretes Erfindung dargestellt werden sollten, FILARETE, Trattato (siehe oben Anm. 1), Bd. 1, S. 103f. – Vgl. auch Paolo COEN, "Il problema della ragione e della volontà: il contributo di un´allegoria nel Trattato di Filarete" - Arte
Lombarda 128 (2000), S. 17-26.
Wikipedia gives some basic info to Filarete and Sforzinda ...

The ideal city Sforzinda had 8 corners ...


3 double scales are on the picture with the 2 allegories, somehow presenting 2^3 = 8. In the later Milanese Tarot development the motif "Justice" was connected to the number 8.