Re: The Pope with the donkey / "Oldest Tarot"

A "Fest of the Asses" (especially in France), which somehow correlates to the "Feast of Fools", was celebrated at various places and had as theme "the flight to Egypt" (holy family).
A Rouen manuscript of the 13th century exhibits twenty-eight prophets as taking part in the play.
The participation of 28 Prophets somehow remembers the nduring participation of prophets in lot book schemes.

Re: The Pope with the donkey / "Oldest Tarot"

The book ...
Gedruckte Bilder in handgeschriebenen Büchern:
zum Gebrauch von Druckgraphik im 15. Jahrhundert
by Peter Schmidt (2003) ... er&f=false

... is interesting in some aspects. It contains some notes to Bollstatter, who is involved in this thread, but also it has descriptions of handwritten works, which used pictures of playing cards as illustrations (type "spielkarten" in the book search)

One of the chapters (p. 202 ... not part of the preview) speaks of a picture exchange between Subiaco (a Benedictine installation) and a Benedictine abbey at the Tegernsee (this cloister seems to be a major topic in the book - the connected meta-chapter has more than 60 pages).
Subiaco - in the critical time - had been the place of the printers Sweynheim and Pannartz, before they went to Rome.
Here's a report of the abbey in Tegernsee ...
... "founded by monks of St Gall". St Gallen (near Bodensee) isn't too far from Tegernsee.

Inside the Mantegna Tarocchi discussion about the production of c. 1465 or c. 1475 there is the argument of 4 very similar cardinal virtues in a St. Gallen manuscript, datable to 1468, which formed the base for Hind's suggestion "c. 1465" for the Mantegna Tarocchi.
1. The presence of four examples from the E-series (Nos 34, 35, 36 and 37; editorial note: this are the four cardinal virtues, which are the theme of the book) inserted in a MS German translation in the library of St. Gallen (Cod. Vad. 484), which was completed on 28 November 1468. That the insertion goes back to the original period is established by the fact that the manuscript which surrounds the print sometimes passes over the margin of the impressions.
Sweynheim is suspected to have been involved in the production of the Mantegna Tarocchi, though not c. 1465, but c. 1475.

Re: The Pope with the donkey / "Oldest Tarot"

I made a very interesting find.

Cod. Pal. germ. 7
Wahrsagebuch (= lot book)
Bayern, 1. Hälfte 15. Jh. ... fc1c30dacc

A lot book based on 32 animals, each with 32 one-line-answers, 32 Prophets (+ 4 additional philosophs), 32 questions or themes.

All 22 animals of the Fränkische Losbuch are part of the 32 animals in this text. The row of the animals is confusing, not the same as in the Fränkische Losbuch, with the exception, that Wag = Libra is again the first sign.
10 animals are new, 7 of the them are birds.
The connecting system seems to be rather similar to the Fränkische Losbuch, but again, there are a lot of differences. But it's close enough to state, that both lot books existed not independent from each other.

That's the row (FL stands for Fränkische Losbuch with number of the already known motifs):

01 Wag (zodiac Waage/Libra, FL 1)
02 Gauch oder Guguck (cuckoo, new)
03 Esel (donkey, FL 22)
04 Falck (falcon, new)
05 Nachtigal (nightingale, FL 16)
06 Fuchs (fox, new)
07 Hierß (stag, FL 19)
08 Per (bear, new)
09 Hunt (dog, FL 20)
10 Krebs (zodiac Krebs/Cancer, FL 4)
11 Leb (zodiac Löwe/Leo, FL 5)
12 Junckfraw (zodiac Jungfrau/Virgo, FL 7)
13 Zwihling (zodiac Zwilling/Gemini, FL 10)
14 Visch (zodiac Fische/Pisces, FL 8)
15 Weßrer (zodiac Wassermann/Aquarius, FL 9)
16 Sperwer (sparrowhawk, new)
17 Schutz (zodiac Schütze/Sagitarius, FL 11)
18 Krannich (crane, FL 14)
19 Adler (eagle, FL 15)
20 Hann (cock, new)
21 Taube (pigeon, new)
22 Scorp (zodiac Scorpio, FL 12)
23 Einhorn (unicorn, zodiac Steinbock/Capricorn, FL 13)
24 Awle (Owl, new)
25 Rab (Raven, 13th zodiac sign, FL 6)
26 Wieder (zodiac Aries, FL 2)
27 Ochß (Einhorn, zodiac Taurus, FL 3)
28 Kamel (camel, FL 17)
29 Sitich (parrot, FL 18)
30 Haß (Hare FL 21)
31 Aglaster (bird, Elster = magpie ?, new)
32 Gaiß (goat, new)

Here is the other list (from Fränkische Losbuch)
1. Ob ains an Wirdigkeit mag komen (question)
If one gets honors (translation of question)
Prophet David (Prophet)
King Franckreich (France) (King)
Animal: Wag - Zodiac: Libra (Animal ... in this case a zodiac sign)
Further attributions: Mercury / North

2. Ob ains gedancken vollend mugen werden
If one's ideas reach their goal
Prophet Daniel
King Engelland (England)
Animal: Wider - Zodiac: Aries
Further attributions: Mercury / West

3. Ob es gut sey wider feynd kriegen
If it is good to fight against an enemy
Prophet Zacharias
King Schottenland (Scotland)
Animal: Ochs - Zodiac: Taurus
Further attributions: Jupiter / East

4. Von frawen haymlichkeit
About "Hamlichkeit" of the woman
Prophet Isaias
King Ungern (Hungary)
Animal: Krebs - Zodiac: Cancer
Further attributions: Jupiter / North

5. Von gottes huld und gnaden
About god's grace
Prophet Abacuck
King Marroch (Marocco)
Animal: Leb - Zodiac: Leo
Further attributions: Mercury / East

6. Von manne haymlickeit
About "Haymlichkeit" of the man
Prophet Jonas
King Cecilien (Sicilia ?)
Animal: Rab - Crow
Further attributions: Mercury / South

7. Von gtrewn Lewten
About loyal persons
Prophet Malachias
King Römischer König (Rome)
Animal Jungfraw - Zodiac: Virgo
Further attributions: Jupiter / South

8. Von vil frawen
About many women
Prophet Jeremias
King Morenland (land of the Moors)
Animal Fisch - Zodiac: Pisces
Further attributions: Venus / East

9. Von reichtum
about richness
Prophet Gedeon
King Armenien (Armenia)
Animal Wassertrager - Zodiac: Aquarius
Further attributions: Mars / North

10. Von langem leben
About long life
Prophet Nabuchodonnsor
King Schweden (Sweden)
Animal Zwyling - Zodiac: Gemini
Further attributions: Jupiter / West

11. Von deinem frewnde
About a male friend
Prophet Ismahelite
King Turcken (Turkey)
Animal Schutz - Zodiac: Sagitarius
Further attributions: Mars / South

12. Von deiner Frewndin
About a female friend
Prophet Theodosius
King Spangen (Spain)
Animal: Scorpion Zodiac: Scorpio
Further attributions: Mars / West

13. Ob es gut sej wallen
If it good to "wallen" (? to wander or to make a pilgrim's journey ?)
Prophet Putifar
King Indian (India)
Animal Einhorn - Zodiac: unicorn/capricorn
Further attributions: Mars / East

14. Ob es gut sey zu Ee greffen
If it good to marry
Prophet Olibrius
King Capodocia (central Turkey, Anatolia)
Animal: Kranch (crane)
Further attributions: Venus / North

15. Ob eins sein schuld vergelten mag
If something is paid back
Prophet Moyses
King Tartern (land of the Tartars ? Mongolia ?)
Animal: Arr (eagle)
Further attributions: Sun /NorthEast

16. Von weisheit und thorheit
About wisdom and stupidity
Prophet Isaac
King Lilio (?)
Animal: Nachtigall (nightingale)
Further attributions: Venus / South

17. Von herren lone
About salary of a master
Prophet Abraham
King Nobie (Nubia)
Animal: Kamelthyer (camel)
Further attributions: Venus / West

18. Von sorgen
About sorrows
Prophet Joseph
King Cypern (Cyprus)
Animal Syttich (parrot)
Further attributions: Moon / SouthEast

19. Ob eins verloren ding wider finde
If a lost object is found again
Prophet Samuel
King Arragon (Aragon)
Animal: Hyrs (stag)
Further attributions: Saturn / West

20. Von hoffnung
About hope
Prophet Israhel
King Babylonien (Babylon)
Animal: Hundt (dog)
Further attributions: Saturn / East

21. Ob ein gefangener erlöst mug werden
If a prisoner will be released
Prophet Nathan
King - Emperor
Animal: Has (Hare)
Further attributions: Saturn / North

22. Von der libe
About love
Prophet Jacob
King - Pope
Animal: Esel (donkey)
Further attributions: Saturn / South
I took some snapshots:

Two of the animals (animal pages with small animal and 32 lines of text):



4 outside philosophs:


Some of the Prophets:


Technical pages (at one I added the 7 connected planets):