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Huck  Huck is offline
Join Date: 02 Jul 2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,682

Part 5

well, I wouldn't be shocked, if the "Venti figure" of Naples 1585/1586 will explain in future research as something totally not related to 20-figures-games of 15th century and totally not related to Tarocco Siciliano ...
... but for the moment I take it this way.

... .-) ... and at least I know already, that this consideration leads to a not expected, but interesting correspondence, which I didn't saw mentioned in the considerations of Dummett and McLeod.


Milan 1465 and a journey to Naples

Now we have as the deciding social activity, which caused the 4x14+20 structure in the appearances of the 15th Trionfi game [according 5x14-theory], the wedding preparations of Ippolita Sforza in Milan in May 1465.
The bride Ippolita was dedicated to take her bride journey [a great triumphal action, which could usually endure weeks] from Milan to Naples (with - as one might expect it, if one follows the 5x14 theory and its developments - a Trionfi deck with 20 trumps in her pocket).
This journey, as history has it, turned out to become a major political scandal, cause Ferrante, king of Naples, killed Sforza's son-in-law Jacopo Piccinino in the mean-time. The bride cavalcade was halted and it caused major diplomatic activities to take the differences between Milan-Naples out of the world. This took months.

Finally Ippolita reached her destination and became quite an accepted member of the Naples court.

by "Maestro di Ippolita Sforza"

For Naples we now have, that Alfonso of Aragon, king of Naples from 1442 - 1458 (lived till a few years before Ippolita's journey), didn't like gambling and the use of playing cards ... as Bisticci described it.
"He strongly condemned gaming, denouncing it as pernicious. He used to tell how, being then 18 years old, he was in Barcelona during the feast of Nativity and, happening to play one evening, he lost some 5 thousand florins. After he had lost them he called one of his chamberlains and bade him to fetch some money. When he was brought he played again and began to win, so that in the end he won back all he had lost and likewise all the money of his fellow-gamesters. With this heap of florins before him, he bade everyone keep quiet, and then bade the chamberlain to fetch the little book of Our Lady, and this having brought, he opened it and then and there made oath, with both his hands on it, swearing and promising to God and the Virgin Mary that he would never play again; a promise, which he kept to the day of his death."
As an indirect confirmation for this anti-playing-cards feelings of Alfonso, we don't have Trionfi card or playing card notes from Naples during the time of Alfonso (at least I don't know them, if there are any).

We have Trionfi card notes from Naples for the years 1473 and 1474 (a few years later, after Ippolita had arrived there), which is just in the time, when Ferrante prepared marriages for two daughters and a niece:

1. Eleanore d'Aragon married Ercole d'Este in Ferrara (1473)
2. Camilla d'Aragon (niece) married Costanzo Sforza in Pesaro (1475)
3. Beatrice d'Aragon married Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary (1476)

If one assumes, that Trionfi cards were new in Naples in 1465 with the arrival of Ippolita (who - likely - had a deck with 4x14 + 20 structure), then naturally these later decks from 1473 and 1474 likely followed this model, somehow with "20 special figures".

Game "Venti figure", Naples 1586

We have then in 1586 - that's a really long time after Ippolita - a "venti figure" card game, which could be traced in the further development only in Naples, as the result of only a little research with not much energy. For the moment there is not much to this game ... it's just a hypothesis, that it might present another "Tarocchi name" (as "Minchiate" is somehow a "Tarocchi" game with another name).
In matters of politics, the kingdom of Naples disappeared 1501-1504 and with it the high society formed by Alfonso of Aragon's family and possibly also their internal court Trionfi games. Naples was ruled by Spain, and Spain in the older times never took really the Tarocchi cards (at least there is no evidence). It might well be, that in Naples Trionfi cards got out of fashion .. cause political conditions. A long time after (1586) the political conditions might have changed, social reality might have had become more liberal. Tarocchi cards were definitely allowed then (document 1586) and perhaps also an "older Naples Trionfi game", which in the modern times got then the name "Venti Figure".
As already said, just an hypothesis.

Dummett / McLeod to Tarocco Siciliano

Furthermore we have another rather intensive research of Michael Dummett (he had special favor for these cards) about a rather late Tarocchi development called Tarocco Siciliano. As it is well known, Sicily and Naples are connected by local nearness and often had the same political history. This deck has 22 special cardstrumps, but curiously - different to other Tarocchi versions - it takes two cards as unnumbered, one the "usual Fool" and the other called "Miseria" or "Poverta". So it happened, that the highest trump got the number 20.

usual Fool

"Miseria" or "Poverta"

I attempt to present the important Dummett/McLeod researches in short form from "A History of Games Played With the Tarot Pack: The Games of Trumps", p. 367 - 401,published in 2004. They are, as the authors note, partly dependent on some researches of Franco Pratesi.

According Dummett/McLeod the major source for our knowledge about Tarocco Siciliano had been a text inside of 25 volumes of manuscript diaries and 48 manuscript volumes "Opusculi" with aspects of Sicilian life, made by ...

Francesco Maria Emanuele e Gaetani, Marchese di Villabianca

... The manuscripts are housed in the Bibliotheca Communale in Palermo. One of the Opusculi is about games. In this there is information about Tarocco Siciliano and about "Gallerini", which is the Sicilian name for Minchiate (Minchiate in Sicily is understood as an obscene expression and likely for this reason wasn't used in Sicily).
The Tarocco Sicilano (with less cards and trumps, but with two cards similar to Fool) was occasionally addressed as "little Gallerini".
The author Villabianca (lived 1720-1802) wrote the game-chapter likely in 1786. He played himself only till 1766 because of "deterioting eyesight". The author thinks, that the game Gallerini became rare at the end of the century. The Tarocco game was mainly played with four hands, a 3-player version reduced the cards and was called Tarocchini. Dummett/Mcleod assume for this reason, that the reduced version with 63 or 64 cards was a later popular production mode, which caused the far spread production of 63-card-versions. They have information from other sources, which say, that till 1862 the 63-cards-deck had been the standard form. After this time the ace of coins (missing in the 63-card-deck as all other aces, all 2s, all 3s and three of the 4s) was generally used in all type of decks to carry a tax-stamp - so also in the Tarocco Siciliano (although it wasn't used in this game).

My note to this: There was a "Kingdom of the Two Sicilies" ...

... which was established after the Napoleonic wars at the congress of Vienna in 1816 and endured till 1861, when it was overcome by the fights of Garibaldi. One likely has to conclude, that the new tax system of 1862 has a natural relation to the new state Italy in 1861.

Francesco Caetani, who brought the Tarocco Siciliano to Sicily

Villabianca gives the information, that the Tarocco Siciliano was imported in 1662 or 1663 by ...

******* (from my own researches now)

Francesco Caetani, 8th duke of Sermoneta, (living 11 March 1613 - says Wikipedia; likely better sources say 1594 - till 9 October 1683)
- "gentilhomme of the Sanish king" active in Rome
- Governor in Milan as representative of Spain from 1660-62
- Viceroy of Sicily from September 1662 to April 1667

He appears especially interested in his garden, and this already in 1620 ...

He appears variously in the text of cardinal Harrach presented in ...

Die Diarien und Tagzettel des Kardinals Ernst Adalbert von Harrach (1598-1667)

.. for the years 1644, 1655 and 1677, when Harrach met Francesco Caetani in Rome.

The text is of some importance for general research of games, cause Harrach plays himself rather often. According the introduction (not from Harrach) a list of examples for card games is mentioned: "Krimpe, Primera, Reversina, Lurtschen, Piccetti, La Bassette, Truccho, l'Hombre, Gänslrupfen, Höllfahren, Baziga, Quindeci, Passadieci, in den Turm, Trik-Track" ... nothing of this is similar to Tarocchi, Harrach naturally had more relations to games played in Germany/Austria.
The text uses partly Italian or older German dialect.

Caetani is mentioned (but also elsewhere in the book) for July 1667, a time, when he had given up his engagement as Viceroy of Sicily (which happened April 1667).

Harrach meets Fancesco Caetani, who had been occupied with a game (in isn't told, which sort of game). Although already 74 years old, Caetani looks good.

Here we hear from the second wife of Francesco Caetani, Leonor Mencia Caetani, who asks cardinal Harrach, which festivities he planned for the birthday (12th of July) of the Austrian Empress (17 years old, daughter of the Spanish king, empress since 1666). The cardinal is surprised and doesn't know anything of the birthday and festivities. But he promises to illuminate his house for this occasion.

Margarita Teresa of Spain as child

in 1667
Margarita Teresa of Spain, Holy Roman Empress, in 1667

The suspicion exists, that Francesco Caetani might become ambassador for the German emperor. Harrach doesn't know anything about it.

Francesco's second wife, the "Pimentella"

The second wife of Francesco Caetani since c. 1661 (in earlier full name "Leonor Mencia Pimentel Moscosa y Toledo") appears in the text of Harrach as "Pimentella" and Harrach is rather interested to have her favor, as she seems to be of some importance for the Empress Maria Anna (1606 - 1646, Empress since 1637, but already married to her husband since 1631; a Spanish king's daughter). Harrach notes the Pimentlla for being present in the Austrian region 1636-39 (then leaving to Spain), then again he meets her in Austrian regions 1446 (in this year the empress died), then again in 1648-49, likey with the function to accompany an Austrian princess to Spain to become the next Queen of Spain. She served as a court lady, and, as it seems, not in low function.

The Empress and the Spanish Queen

For the conditions of the family we see the genealogy ...
Don Francesco Caetani IV (* Napoli 11-3-1594 + Roma 9-10-1683),
8° Duca di Sermoneta,
4° Marchese di Cisterna, Signore di Bassiano, Ninfa, Norma e San Donato dal 1614 e Patrizio Napoletano;
Gentiluomo di Camera del Re di Spagna Filippo IV, compera (7-1641) il ducato di San Marco (confermato Duca 1-8-1641)
Cavaliere dell’Ordine del Toson d’Oro dal 27-12-1659, Vicerè di Valenza nel 1660,
rinuncia al ducato di Sermoneta in favore del nipote Gaetano Francesco nel 1660 (?),
Vicerè e Governatore del Ducato di Milano 3-1660/9-1662,
Vicerè del Regno di Sicilia 24-9-1662/9-4-1667.

a) = (contratto: 23-6-1618) Caserta 3-12-1618 Donna Anna Acquaviva d’Aragona
3° Principessa di Caserta dal 1635, figlia ed erede del Principe Don Andrea
Matteo e di Isabella Caracciolo dei Conti di Sant’Angelo (* 1596 + Ariccia

b) = 1661 (?) dona Leonor Mencia Pimentel Moscosa y Toledo, figlia di don
Antonio Marchese di Navarra e ministro del Re Filippo IV di Spagna (* 22-10-
1613 + in Spagna 14-1-1685).

Son of first marriage:

Don Filippo II (* Caserta 29-5-1620 + Sermonta 4-12-1687), ebbe
Caivano dalla madre il 6-6-1638, Principe di Caserta dal 1659; Patrizio Napoletano.t

a) = 1-4-1642 Donna Cornelia d’Aquino 3° Principessa di Castiglione e
Contessa di Nicastro, figlia del Principe Don Cesare e di Donna Laura
d’Aquino Principessa di Castiglione (* Nicastro 18-11-1629 + Roma

b) = 1646 Donna Francesca de’ Medici, figlia di Don Ottaviano Principe di
Ottaiano e di Donna Diana Caracciolo dei Principi di Avellino (vedi/see)

c) = Palermo 9-1652 Donna Topazia Gaetani, figlia di Don Pietro Marchese di
Sortino e Principe di Cassaro e di Antonia Saccano Naselli (* 30-5-1620
+ Cisterna 8-10-1672) (vedi/see), già vedova di Don Giovanni Francesco Fardella
Principe di Paceco.
Observing the biography, it seems, that the late marriage to the Pimantella (she 48, himself 67) were part of his promotion to the posts as governor of Valenza (Piedmont; 1660), then governor of Milan (1660-1662) and then as viceroy in Sicily (1662-1667).

Tarocco Siciliano - not from Naples ?

Back to Dummett and McLeod: They see from their source (which I don't know, perhaps there's a detail in this text, which is not reported), that the Tarocco Siciliano was NOT FROM NAPLES, but from Rome or Milan. But perhaps they only looked for the "duke of Sermoneta" and Sermoneta indeed is located on the territory of the Chiesa, not on territory of the kingdom of Naples. But about Francesco Caitani it is written, that he was born in Napoli and was Patrizio Napoletano as his father was. And, anyway, he had strong relations to the Spanish court.
And for Naples ..

Naples was the most populated city in Italy, and third in Europe and, according to many official sources, it was the 7th or 4th most populated city in the world prior to the 19th century. Naples was also the city with the highest amount of typographies in Italy and also had the highest number of theaters and music schools.
It's difficult to imagine a Duke of Sermoneta with a rather long life (living in 70 km distance to Rome and 160 km distance to Naples) and not taking notice of the cultural life in Naples nearby a least specially when there were good relations to the ruling Spanish kingdom.


... Part 5 proceeds with next post
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