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Carojulie  Carojulie is offline
Join Date: 06 Jan 2017
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Hello Nemia, thank you very much for your input and interesting information !

I have no idea at all if what I expose here is "right" or not.
I know that I have read in tarot material (in french) that Wands (Batons) were related to Carreau (diamonds) and that Pentacles (Deniers) were related to Trèfle (clubs), and that makes perfect sense for me.
But I also read the contrary many times ! Including in wikipedia. So I do not know.

Here is my personal hypothesis :

1st step :
Marseille decks being the offsprings of Italian decks, and french playing cards being the offsprings of Marseille decks, I think that it appeared in this way (in France, at least) :
Wands (Batons) - Diamonds (carreau)
Pentacles (Deniers) - Clubs (trèfle)

2d step :
RWS being a product of english-speaking culture, and being, for a part, the offspring of Marseille decks, I suppose that is when the twist between Wands and Pentacles happened. It makes more sense, for an english speaking person, to link pentacles with diamonds.
RWS and Thoth are decks born of the english speaking world; and their influence have taken over the tarot world at some point.

But historically I am not sure this it makes sense. Deniers (pentacles) were more associated with the merchant community, and they might have been dealing with coins, but rarely with diamonds. The nobility which might have had access to gems, is historically represented by spades (épées).

My hypothesis seems to be supported by Huson (I did not know of his book before you mentioned it today in your post, so thank you !) if he considers, as you say, that

Mamluk Coins = Italian Danari = old French Clover = Modern French clover leaves (Clubs)
Mamluk polo sticks = Italian batons = old French tiles (carreaux) = Modern French diamonds

That is how I see it personally.
But, once again, it is just a personal understanding, I have no way of knowing wich is right or not, just my intuition and my french culture !

Originally Posted by Nemia View Post

But if you look at the historical development, I think there is no doubt that Coins/Tiles (carreau) become Pentacles, Hearts are Cups, Piques are Swords and Batons are Wands.
In your description here, clubs (trèfles) are absent. Batons and Wands are the same, none is the modern french symbol.

And I think that on the contrary there is doubt concerning the transformation of Coins in french Carreau. I think historically there is a lot of reasons why Coins would become the french Trèfle.
i also see historical reasons why it would become Carreau, but a lot less.

Please remember, it is just my opinion and my understanding here. I have not studied the historical development, I am just wondering..though Huson seems to be going my way, while many other sources go the other way.

But the info you share on german suits is very interesting.
It could be an other reason for twisting around wands and pents : the closeness between english and german. The round bell symbol could look like a pentacle, and the more elongated kreuz could look more like a wand. That would support Wand = Clubs and Pents = Diamonds (the contrary of my own feeling)

Depending on how you see it, the relations between italian and german symbols can either clash or relate to the relation between italian and modern french symbols.

This is all very interesting !
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