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Petit Oracles de les dames, c. 1807

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck View Post
... :-)
20 Juno is Juno ... there is no Popess. See Belgian Tarot.
19 There is no Emperor or Empress. Instead there is ...
If you check Etteilla, he equates the Marriage (not Love) card with the Pope who is marrying the two people. The Dames added the de Gébelin idea of the Two Paths (Choice between Vice and Virtue) as a separate card.

Jupiter and Juno could be either the Papess-Pope or Emperor-Empress in the Dames (they seem more like secular royalty to me).

The new image of "Law & Faith" seems pretty obvious as the Popess - book and all - as well as its general position in the sequence.

Yes, there's all kinds of social commentary in the deck and a focus on love and marriage.

But, my point is that the cards numbered 1 through 21 are a set that includes equivalents for the 21 Trumps plus the Fool. The few that do not appear obvious at first are made clear by reading the texts in de Gébelin and de Mellet where they often refer to the exact images or phrases.

This is more of a de Gébelin/Mellet deck than an Etteilla one.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
If you check Etteilla, he equates the Marriage (not Love) card with the Pope who is marrying the two people. The Dames added the de Gébelin idea of the Two Paths (Choice between Vice and Virtue) as a separate card.
The Petit Oracle de Dames isn't the Etteilla-deck. The Petit Oracle took influences of the Etteilla, that's right, but there are indeed lots of differences. And the pope usually doesn't have wings and arrows ... as the Eros-angel at the marriage card has.

Quote:
Jupiter and Juno could be either the Papess-Pope or Emperor-Empress in the Dames (they seem more like secular royalty to me).
The French had executed their king and queen surely NOT in the hope to get an emperor. ... :-) ... funny, as it is, they got one.

Quote:
The new image of "Law & Faith" seems pretty obvious as the Popess - book and all - as well as its general position in the sequence.

Yes, there's all kinds of social commentary in the deck and a focus on love and marriage.

But, my point is that the cards numbered 1 through 21 are a set that includes equivalents for the 21 Trumps plus the Fool.
Agreed ... there are equivalents. ... :-) ... but you cannot research an object without looking at it. And the card Pope, that your backwards-row-idea (which was already mentioned by Kwaw c. 50 or more posts ago in another thread ... actually Kwaw's remark was that, what made me interested in this deck) sorts to the marriage card, simply offers not a pope motif ... and instead the usual Amor and this appears commonly at the love card. If you would detect the same motif in another context outside of Tarot and you would declare: "I see a pope", I would imagine, that 99 % of listening persons would react rather surprised.

Actually this mix of equivalents and variations away from that, what some declared as the only one and true standard-Tarot, makes the deck interesting.

Quote:
The few that do not appear obvious at first are made clear by reading the texts in de Gébelin and de Mellet where they often refer to the exact images or phrases.

This is more of a de Gébelin/Mellet deck than an Etteilla one.
I don't know these texts good enough. If you see there something interesting, that would be fine.
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Alright ... here's the text.
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt...lliette.langEN

And it's about Love and not the Pope. But it's indeed strange, what byway the author jumped to.



That's the description, not very long.
.. it jumps into the eyes: the author refers to persons. I looked for the mentioned male person and I found this in a book of 1722 about some archeological finding, old Roman urns.
books.google.de/books?id=yREqB97cKVEC&pg=PT172&lpg=PT172&dq=fundan ius+eromenus&source=bl&ots=5uY4ZEUtvR&sig=w_NwUhrJ liqNtCOc-ahfizoQrII&hl=en&sa=X&ei=JLVVT5D9K6LA0QW11u3bCQ&re dir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=fundanius%20eromenus&f=false

Text:


Footnote:


Presented picture:


The male name does not have much results at Google. One jumps into the eyes: Court de Gebelin.

Gebelin-text
http://books.google.de/books?id=BHET...omenus&f=false



This seems to be clearly a Gebelin-part, not from Mellet.
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The Dames deck clearly has material from Etteilla (Chaos, the Consultant and many of the exact images - Prudence, Force Majeur, etc.). So the question is - where is it the same and where different?

It is striking that there is a card for the "Choice between Vice and Virtue"—not found in Etteilla, but which is typical of the Marseille Lovers image.


Etteilla, himself, gives a list of equivalencies for his cards with the Marseille deck. His Marriage card is listed as the equivalent of the Marseille Pope (who would, of course, not appear in a Revolutionary period deck). Papus also notes this in his Tarot Divinatoire.

I'm not saying that this card represents the Pope in the Dames - but that the authors of the Dames are filling that <space> with Etteilla's image. The text even says that "Love serves as their priest." The Dames designers are consciously keeping to a 22 Trump system with recognizable equivalencies - even if the correspondences aren't exact.



What we have is a set of 5 Dames cards that include: Law & Faith, Juno, Jupiter, Marriage, Choice. They are consciously chosen to stand in for 5 Marseille cards: Papess, Empress, Emperor, Pope, Lovers - in whatever equivalencies (or not) we choose to give them.

The divinatory meanings are whatever works for the image - although they draw, when relevant, from specific texts from any of the 3 authors to whom this part of the deck is alluding.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
The Dames deck clearly has material from Etteilla (Chaos, the Consultant and many of the exact images - Prudence, Force Majeur, etc.). So the question is - where is it the same and where different?
Yes, that's a better position.
As I wrote earlier, there's a divination deck with 66 cards of 1790, from which DDD declared, that it also influenced the Petit Oracle des Dames. Depaulis shall have presented it in a catalog in 1989. DDD p. 144, footnote 4, reference at p. 294, if you're interested. Likely it's necessary to get a better view on it.

Quote:
It is striking that there is a card for the "Choice between Vice and Virtue"—not found in Etteilla, but which is typical of the Marseille Lovers image.

...
Etteilla, himself, gives a list of equivalencies for his cards with the Marseille deck. His Marriage card is listed as the equivalent of the Marseille Pope (who would, of course, not appear in a Revolutionary period deck). Papus also notes this in his Tarot Divinatoire.

I'm not saying that this card represents the Pope in the Dames - but that the authors of the Dames are filling that <space> with Etteilla's image. The text even says that "Love serves as their priest." The Dames designers are consciously keeping to a 22 Trump system with recognizable equivalencies - even if the correspondences aren't exact.

..

What we have is a set of 5 Dames cards that include: Law & Faith, Juno, Jupiter, Marriage, Choice. They are consciously chosen to stand in for 5 Marseille cards: Papess, Empress, Emperor, Pope, Lovers - in whatever equivalencies (or not) we choose to give them.

The divinatory meanings are whatever works for the image - although they draw, when relevant, from specific texts from any of the 3 authors to whom this part of the deck is alluding.


Let's see the problem a little more global.

We have 3 Poilly deck variations ...
http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=170889
... with 22, 41 and 42 trumps, all made from the same pictures, just moving the numbers.
The basis deck likely was made c. 1660.

This was very "creative". He partly used the motifs of the Minchiate, but with "much" - otherwise unknown - "freedom" and with NO RESPECT for much of the older row of the Minchiate cards, nonetheless partly imitating some of the earlier arrangements inside Minchiate.
Then we have the studies of Gebelin, who detected the game more or less "as from Switzerland", and he imitated this, something, which was similar to the so-called Tarot des Marseilles.
Etteilla came and made his modifications. STRONG MODIFICATIONS. And this major changes somehow have "Poilly style", once, that he used "Chaos" (also used by Poilly) at a central place, but also with not much respect for earlier rows and motifs.
Parallel to this we have a larger number of other wild occupations (not countable Animal Tarots and similar stuff in high numbers and great variation) of the Tarot game, so Etteilla just was swimming at the wave of his time, which didn't care much for the orthodox game ("orthodox" in the manner, as many perceive the "old Tarot", often in contradiction to that, what somehow was the "real Tarot" which knew a lot of experimentation).

Then the Petit Oracle des Dames developed with 42 cards (as one of the Poilly decks had also 42 cards), but composed of Etteilla developments and - if we can trust DDD in this - of this unknown 66-card-divination deck from c. 1790. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THIS 66 CARDS DECK (... or any other available information about it).
What I've seen from my researches about advertisements, the Petit Oracle des Dames might have been rather important between 1800-1840 in the high time of early French cartomancy, perhaps even the most important cartomancy deck in this time. It seems more often advertised than anything of Etteilla.
DDD generally states, that the usual standard Tarot didn't play a role in French cartomancy in this time. It was - then - a deck used for card playing.

This whole is a very specific French style creativity with Tarot/Minchiate motifs, which we don't find elsewhere.
Well, we have similar motif jumps in Italy in 15th century: Sola Busca Tarocchi, Boiardo poem. But in this more or less everything is changed, and similarities to the usual Tarot of Trionfi systems is spurious in both. Beside the structure (78 cards) very much is different ... it are just other motifs. So as the "Animal Tarot" has just other motifs.

From a global perspective I would see three major groups.

1. Decks imitated from Italian motifs, which lead to a monoculture of similar-to-Tarot-des-Marseilles decks. This is a long time only used for card playing and then started to influence the cartomancy scene ... with Eliphas Levi.

2. Decks created with greater freedom, but still with use of Italian motifs .... from this develops cartomancy with all its variants or - at least - the cartomancy deck development is influenced by it. This starts - to our eyes - with the Poilly decks, so (if I'm and an anonymous playing card dealer is right with it) c 1660

3. Tarot decks "outside of the standard" used for playing Tarot (animal Tarot etc.). These "wild compositions" likely started c. 1750, when Tarot became a generally European phenomenon and especially was taken by Germany.

***********

Well ... the really disputable point in Tarot history research is the begin of the development from the group of point 1 ... "Decks imitated from Italian motifs, which led to a monoculture of similar-to-Tarot-des-Marseilles decks - in France, of course." And the second point is the "How much" and "Where" and "When" question.
Some very great optimists put the begin of the Marseille pattern in 12th or 13th century. There were likely not many playing cards in Europe around this time. In 15th century we've now likely more than 100 notes about Trionfi cards, for the moment I counted 56 (inclusive only a very few entries with some insecurity) alone between 1440-1464. From these notes only 2-3 refer to that, what is nowadays France, actually 2 of these weren't France in 15th century. The rest is from Italy.
The Taroch note of Avignon in 1505 actually also wasn't really France, it was a papal state likely with Italian influences. Another series of notes around ...
Philibert of Chalon 1527 and 1530
... , refers to somebody, who fought for Charles V, German emperor, in Italy, and his own country didn't belong to France. It's difficult to call this a French Tarot note. The Rabelais note about "Tarau" (1534) is also rather rather vague ... Rabelais visited Italy and perhaps he saw the game there. A note of 1538 (insecure), which I found (and nobody showed interest to know it) speaks of a ...
Spanish artist Juan d'Alman
... , who made cards for the French king Francis I in Paris (in the course of a peace agreement between France and Habsburg, which didn't endure very long).

The simple truth likely will be, that France in this time identified, that there were Emperor and Empress in the Tarot deck, and that the French king had war with just this same emperor, and so there were no reason given to allow Emperor-propaganda material in France.
Curiously as it is, we seem to have in France between 1490-1550 more literary evidence for the game Cucù (with the name malcontent, mécontent or maucontent) than for the whole Tarot genre.

We've evidence for a French Tarot deck with 1557 Catelyn Geofroy in Lyon. One shouldn't overlook: This is at least half a German production, as the number and court cards were filled in their suits with animal made by the German artist Vigil Solis.

Recently I developed a complex theory to the Tarot de Paris, which is usually given to the year 1600 or later. I think, that it was done in the 1559 ... this is (my opinion) recognizable by some heraldic elements at the suit of coins. But the probable commissioners are not French persons, but two young Italian men in military service for France out of the houses Strozzi and Gonzaga.
Tarot de Paris 1559

Generally I made an attempt to sort and improve the material receivable for the period 1500-1659 ... well, this was started and there was some progress, though finally this collection stopped unfinished.
Please help ... French Tarot dates 1500 - 1659

Generally it seems, that French Tarot interests jumped high c. 1578 in a period with a new king (1574) and a new general French interests in Italian renaissance and Italian customs. Then it is described as very high c. 1620 (actually I would love to see the full evidence for this "high"), but going down c. 1660.

Generally we have as a French queen (1547-59) and later 3-fold King's mother (1559-1589) Katharina de Medici (naturally from Italy), who in the begin had only weak influence, but she became stronger after 1559 and perhaps in her late years. From 1600 on we have Maria de Medici (from Italy) as Queen and since 1611 also as regent. In this "Italian" period "Tarot is strong". The young king Louis XIII is not lucky with the Italian court of his mother. The relations mother to son turn bad, and Maria de Medici had to leave France. This naturally should have had its consequences on the popularity of this Italian game. After the son, Louis XIII, died in 1443, France got an Italian chancellor, Mazarin.
This might have saved the Tarot use for some time, but with 1660 and Mazarin's death in 1661 the popularity of Tarot had gone down. The strong decrease of Tarot use in France is a judgment of older Tarot history, Depaulis and Dummett had stated this (I don't know, if they related it to the general political conditions of this time; but I do).

Voices in France of 1655 (the court physician of Louis XIV) and 1704 (Menestrier) declare, that Tarot was a game from Germany. Gebelin 1781 says, that he found the game in Switzerland. Etteilla worked and lived some time in Strasbourg (very near to Germany).
But if one searches for roots of Tarot in Germany (in the borders of nowadays) before 1700, one finds not much. One Tarot version, Cego, is played in Baden-Würtemberg, near Strasbourg, at the South-Western corner. It's different, if we look on the borders of the year 1700:



There we have the Franche-Compté with its capital Besancon.
Quote:
It had been a territory of the County of Burgundy from 888, the province becoming subject to the Holy Roman Empire in 1034. It was definitively separated from the neighboring Duchy of Burgundy upon the latter's incorporation into France in 1477. That year at the Battle of Nancy during the Burgundian Wars, the last duke Charles the Bold was killed in battle. It was transferred to Austria in 1481 and to [color=yellow]Spain in 1556[/yellow]. Franche-Comté was captured by France in 1668 but returned under the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. It was conquered a second time in 1674, and was finally ceded to France in the Treaty of Nijmegen (1678).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franche-Comt%C3%A9

Well, we know, that there was something like a "Tarot de Becancon." The surviving examples of this deck form are "later than the Tarot de Marseille type", but we have reliable information, that Tarot was played in Switzerland (bordering the Franche-Comté) at least in the second half of 16th century. And earlier (not surviving) Besancon Tarot might well have come from Switzerland. The map shows, that Milan / Franche Compté / Belgium were controlled by Spain, though "real Spanish people" should have been rare there. The actual political reality was the reign of Habsburg, which had an Austrian and a Spanish branch. A French speaker likely would have addressed Milan, Franche Comté and Belgium likely as "Germany".
We know, that Milan (controlled by Spain) had Tarot very early, and that Franche-Compte and Belgium had with security later Tarot and that these later forms from Besancon and Belgium have similarities to the Tarot des Marseilles. Dummett and others expressed their curiosity, that in Belgian documents exist, which speak of Switzerland cards in context of Tarot, although their theory suggest, that they should have been influenced by the Tarot des Marseilles.

The following is an overview, in which regions of France Tarot is most actively played, just following the distribution of French Tarot clubs.



That's the region near to the Franche Comte, near to Switzerland, near to Strasbourg, near to Baden-Würtemberg. And Lyon, the big playing card producing city, is not far. The first known French Tarot deck (Catelin Geofroy) came from Lyon.

The oldest cards similar to the Tarot des Marseilles are the Vievil and the Noblet. The Vievil has clearly more similarities to the Belgian Tarot than to the Tarot des Marseille. The name of the cardmaker, "Vieville", indicates, that this person likely came from the region French border / Belgian border (nowadays).

Similarities of the Vievil to Belgian Tarot ... from an earlier post
Quote:
Here are motifs, which have much similarity to each other, but not to the Tarot de Marseille



Hermit is turned to his left , and in the Marseille-Tarot the Hermit is turned to his right.




upside-down-change




Another devil



A tree instead a Tower



A star with astronom



A special moon



a man on horse instead twins




I've no Fool for the Bodet, but other Fools of Belgian Tarots are similar. The tables of the Magicians are turned left-right




The world is different ... in this the Vievil goes to the Tarot de Marseille.
Distribution of the name Vievielle according a statistic from c. 1900



I've modified the statistical result to show the nearness to the Guise family and to the Gonzaga, who had the possession Rethel from 1565-1659. Especially the French Gonzaga, which also had the region Nevers, had likely stronger influence on the distribution of Tarot in France, the Guise family were close relatives. Both families were of special importance in the time of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day (1572).

A longer research to these points is here.

In short: I think, that the orientation, that the Tarot des Marseilles influenced Tarot de Besancon and the Belgian Tarot, might be wrong, but that alternatively an earlier Swiss/Franche-Comté deck (which might have been similar to the Noblet deck) and an earlier French/Belgian deck (similar to the Vieville; likely also descended from this earlier Swiss version) influenced the Tarot des Marseilles.

Fixing the existing "true" Tarot des Marseilles versions before 1700 is attempted, but disputed. It's clear, that the Tarot des Marseilles type became very successful after 1700, but generally

In the great European politic we have a big cut and change in 1700. The Spanish Habsburg monarchy became extinct and as follower developed the grandson of Louis XIV and with it the begin of Bourbon dynasty in Spain. This didn't went through without dispute. A long War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) followed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_...ish_Succession

Well, the Franche-Compté was taken in two steps 1668-1678. The people in this region played Tarot, a game with Emperor and Empress, and it seems, that the mighty Louis XIV as the most successful monarch of Europe in his time couldn't tolerate this. So perhaps there were direct or indirect prohibitions and it developed that, what Depaulis and Dummett observed. Tarot lost its popularity.
In 1700 - with the French approach to the Spanish throne - now the possibilities of the French crown increased rapidly. The next French monarch might have reigned in Spain and France, possibly approaching a situation, in which Spain-France might claim the title Emperor themselves. But much opposition raised to these plans and it was likely political nonsense to force more opposition with playing card law details. The Tarot des Marseilles might have been a political compromise, just an attempt to adapt "Foreign Propaganda" (playing cards were used for political propaganda) for the own (French) interests.

... :-) Somehow rather successful. Finally a lot of people believed, that the Tarot des Marseilles had been the begin of all and everything in matters of Tarot.

***************

I've not enough knowledge about the details of French playing card development in 17th century to be in any way sure about it. It's just a suspicion.
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Huck -
Your last post is really several topics in one. I get it now that the Chaos card comes from the 1660 or 1730 Poilly I or II Minchiati Franchesi decks. Important find!

The 2nd part of your post should really be written up as an article. It definitely gives a whole different feeling to the development of the Tarot and the Belgian designs and puts it all in such an important historical context. Thank you for the maps. We tend to forget how Europe was divided up into different territories with rulerships that changed with great regularity - and how terms like 'Emperor' and 'Empress' could be so politically charged - to the point that all Tarot decks might be thrown out by their owners and so the game would disappear for a period. Also, it makes sense that when Italian queens were on the French throne there might be an upsurge in playing the game of Tarot.

Please do a more formal article on this! I really appreciate the way you make us aware of the historical and political underpinnings.
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The 1806-1811 Neoclassical by Di Gumppenberg Card VI has a curious design


One thing that is interesting in the Petit Oracle de les Dames c. 1807 is there a very similar design of almost a similar motif...of the opposite sex in the Lovers/Love card of the contemporary 1806-11 Neoclassical Tarot by Ferdinando di Gumppenberg - the design is a gowned woman between a soldier and another youth under a cupid and it is plain she is choosing between the two. The gaming card design of Card VI to me mimics or imitates the allegorical theme of the Petit Oracle, but chooses a pretty woman between the soldier and noble youth. (images from Mark Filipas site: Pasteboard Masquerade - Gli Amanti)


Perhaps in comparison of card designs of French Tarots to Oracles from 1806-1811, the Napoleonic design influence also is helpful?

(As an aside for folkloric tarot motifs, I also have at home the reproduction of the Bolognese Tarocchino by di Gumppenberg-his publishing house at one time was the "Cardmaker of the State" for the French, even though he was in Milan, as Milan was under Napoleonic control. The Bolognese Tarocchino di Gumppenberg has the doublesided images of many of the majors of the Neoclassical and also motifs of Mercury/Hermes and characters of the Opera from the Magic Flute by Mozart...)

I wonder---as the gaming tarocchi pack would be used by men, usually, for playing a game--whether the choice of a pretty woman choosing between two men would be a case of the opposite gender being interested in the image of the young woman.

Therefore, for a game for young women (Jeu des Dames), having the image of a maleyouth choosing between two women might be more interesting and appropriate for how they play the game--telling fortunes and finding out about possible suitors?

The Young Man between Vice and Virtue in the Petit Oracle is almost like the "Fables of Fontaine" illustrated cards or the educational packs . The Neoclassical or Tarrocchi di Guppenberg 1806-1811 mix of romansque and Neoclassical costume are close in my eyes to the Petit Oracles des Dames 1807.

It might be a small side note to mention this, but that what struck me.

Best,

Cerulean


Quote:
Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
The Dames deck clearly has material from Etteilla (Chaos, the Consultant and many of the exact images - Prudence, Force Majeur, etc.). So the question is - where is it the same and where different?

It is striking that there is a card for the "Choice between Vice and Virtue"—not found in Etteilla, but which is typical of the Marseille Lovers image.


Etteilla, himself, gives a list of equivalencies for his cards with the Marseille deck. His Marriage card is listed as the equivalent of the Marseille Pope (who would, of course, not appear in a Revolutionary period deck). Papus also notes this in his Tarot Divinatoire.

I'm not saying that this card represents the Pope in the Dames - but that the authors of the Dames are filling that <space> with Etteilla's image. The text even says that "Love serves as their priest." The Dames designers are consciously keeping to a 22 Trump system with recognizable equivalencies - even if the correspondences aren't exact.



What we have is a set of 5 Dames cards that include: Law & Faith, Juno, Jupiter, Marriage, Choice. They are consciously chosen to stand in for 5 Marseille cards: Papess, Empress, Emperor, Pope, Lovers - in whatever equivalencies (or not) we choose to give them.

The divinatory meanings are whatever works for the image - although they draw, when relevant, from specific texts from any of the 3 authors to whom this part of the deck is alluding.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
Huck -
Your last post is really several topics in one. I get it now that the Chaos card comes from the 1660 or 1730 Poilly I or II Minchiati Franchesi decks. Important find!

The 2nd part of your post should really be written up as an article. It definitely gives a whole different feeling to the development of the Tarot and the Belgian designs and puts it all in such an important historical context. Thank you for the maps. We tend to forget how Europe was divided up into different territories with rulerships that changed with great regularity - and how terms like 'Emperor' and 'Empress' could be so politically charged - to the point that all Tarot decks might be thrown out by their owners and so the game would disappear for a period. Also, it makes sense that when Italian queens were on the French throne there might be an upsurge in playing the game of Tarot.

Please do a more formal article on this! I really appreciate the way you make us aware of the historical and political underpinnings.
Thanks, Mary ...

Well, when I saw just the mere fact, that Chaos appeared in the Minchiate Francesi (at first place), and I realized, that the same first place was given to it by Etteilla, I more or less understood, that THIS couldn't be accident. Etteilla should have known the Poilly deck experiment ... well, Etteilla worked some time as an engraving trader in Strasbourg and we know, that Strasbourg was home of some contemporary Tarot decks.
With the Poilly deck we have know, that it is rare ... there seem to be not very much findings. "Rare" means usually "not distributed in high numbers", which occasionally means "too expensive for the common market". Or "exotic" for other reasons.
Now there seems to be evidence, that the Poilly family distributed versions in a period of at least c. 100 years. The later Poilly generations naturally were the heirs of their more accepted ancestors, which were great men at the court of Louis XIV and this development started in the 1650s.
For various reasons it has to be assumed, that the deck was from the earlier Francois Poilly ... I talked about it in the Poilly thread.
http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=170889

Poilly likely worked on the graphic made for the Ovid "Metamorphoses" edition of Marolles, 1655. The Ovid edition started with "Chaos" ... cause Ovid told this story at the begin. From this Poilly took "Chaos" at the begin of his Minchiate.

Marolles is not a "nobody" in matters of Tarot. Already his father played Tarot, Marolles describes himself as "not so enthusiastic" about the game (1657, in his autobiography). But he describes a scene, in which a Gonzaga-Nevers princess gave him the commission to write something about the Tarot rules, and this in the sense, that these rules would be better than those played elsewhere. As I understood it, these rules were published also 1655, but the "commission" was given in the year 1637. These are running as "the first written rules of Tarot", although there are some indications, that also earlier some information was given by others.
In his autobiography 1657 (which contains the information about his Tarot playing father and the activities of the Gonzaga Nevers princess) I found the description of a ballet, and in the description Tarot cards have a fight with usual French playing cards !!!!!!. And the usual playing cards take the better part of it.

Well, it's not clear if this ballet proposal of Marolles ever became a real ballet (as I understand it). It seems to have been just a "suggestion".

Depaulis should have seen this text (the autobiography), but I didn't found any note about the ballet from him (though I really can't say, that I've read all and everything from him).
I assume (for the moment), that this ballet was overlooked.
I wrote about it ...
Tarot Ballet of Marolles (1657)
and
=11]here
and here ...
http://tarotforum.net/search.php?searchid=3528333

Well ... it's a crucial element, as it somehow presents evidence of an antipathy against Tarot cards at the French court in the time, when the young King Louis XIV prepared to become a ruling monarch. What Depaulis and Dummett found and reported is the negative mirror, that Tarot cards seem to disappear as a popular game around 1660.

Well, Marolles became a further factor, cause he was an engraving collector. He later sold his collection to the French king and it became the basis for a royal collection, which later became a very important public collection, which included - as a rather special part - also the Vievil deck and the Noblet. Probability seems to indicate, that these were already part of the Marolles collection, so likely we have to assume, that ... without Marolles we wouldn't know about the Vievil and Noblet.

Quote:
Il est connu surtout pour avoir constitué un fonds de 123 000 estampes, dont une grande partie fut achetée en 1667 par Colbert pour Louis XIV contre la somme de 28 000 livres. Cette acquisition peut être considérée comme l'acte de naissance du Cabinet des estampes de la Bibliothèque royale, qui ne verra le jour administrativement qu'en 1720.
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_de_Marolles

Here's a part of a 19th century catalog
Question about 19th century catalog /bibliotheque nationale

It has the interesting question, who was "Jean Hemau" and where is the Tarot deck, that Jean Hemau had in this collection. ... but that's a byway question.

More central is the figure of the Gonzaga-Nevers princess, who urged, that Marolles wrote the Tarot rules. A little later then 1637 she became twice "Queen of Poland" by two king-husbands. She brought a little girl to Poland (of not clear descend), which later married another king of Poland, who became a great hero, when he saved Vienna against the Osmans.
She descended from Ludovico Gonzaga, duke of Nevers-Rethel since 1565, who in 1559 (then young commander in the French army, 20 years old) likely had a lot of influence on the production of the Tarot de Paris. His heraldic is found at the 2 of coins, beside the heraldic of the Strozzi family, which should refer to the 18-years-old Philippe Strozzi.







The two of coins often contained the name of the producer. Ludovico Gonzaga appeared around 1557 in France (the production year of the Catelyn Geofroy deck), other heraldic in the deck refers to the French king Henry II (died 1559, husband of Catherina de Medici) and his lover Diane de Poitiers, who fell in disgrace in 1559. Cause of this it seems rather unlikely, that the original deck was produced after 1559. Well ... it might be, that the surviving "Tarot de Paris" in the Paris collection is a remake of a later date, but this part of the deck (the coin suit) was with high probability arranged in 1559 (a year with peace celebrations after the end of the war between Habsburg and France). The French king died in June 1559, after he was mortally hurt in a joust tournament.

More to this

The accident became part of Nostradamus' predictions.

And Lodovico Gonzaga descended from Isabella d'Este, whose motto "nec spe nec metu" appears at some Tarocchi cards. Isabella d'Este, wife of the Gonzaga ruler in Mantova, collected - beside many other art - also beautiful playing cards, which she gathered in her secretary desk in her famous studiolo. And she came from the Este court in Ferrara, which apparently was a dominant center of Tarocchi production. We've (thanks to Depaulis) a report of an activity, in which a playing card trader sold his business in Rome (curiously just in 1559) and in the sold collection "Tarocchi decks from Ferrara" play a dominant role. Inside the collection are also playing cards from France. But there are no Tarot cards from France ... which likely says, that French Tarot productions (if they REALLY existed) had at this time no market in Italy.

The natural story is likely, that some Italian persons, who went from Italy to France and started to live there, were the active parts in the distribution of the Tarocchi culture from Italy to France. As playing cards were part of political propaganda, filled with heraldic and other signs of the own nations (or the rulers of these "states") neither in France or German these Italian products were very welcome.
In other words: a French flag might sell very well in France, but rather obviously less well in Germany or Italy. And vice versa. Similar with playing cards.

The Mantegna Tarocchi - which were NOT playing cards - had been produced (my opinion) c. 1475. They definitely had arrived in 1493 in Germany in great numbers. Still a lot of this graphic is in Germany. NO distribution problem is observed. They took a great influence on the less developed German art. German humanism accepted the Renaissance early.

But Tarocchi cards should have definitely arrived in Germany with Bianca Maria Sforza as new Empress and her broad personal court 1494 with a good part of Italians. This wasn't taken. Germany had a lot of playing card producers themselves. No signs of an impact with greater consequences.

The period of wars between Habsburg and France took place mainly in the first half of 16th century. In this time it was difficult for Tarot cards in France. Sure, Ferrara was French friendly. Florence often was French friendly, but we've no conformation, that this really was enough to establish Tarot in France. It becomes clear with c. 1580, but to get how it happened, one likely has to study the time very deeply.

Some details of this time: There were "Mignons" at the court of Henry III and these had strong influence on the young king. These were reknown for gambling activities. And also for homosexuality. Some of the Mignons arranged a duel of three against three ... the duel is famous as the duel of the Mignons. 4 of the 6 participants died (2 immediately, 2 later), another one had to spend 6 weeks in hospital and the lucky one had only a scratch at his arm.
This is commented in the Wikipedia article:
Quote:
This meaningless loss of life impressed itself on the public imagination. Jean Passerat wrote an elegy, Plaintes de Cléophon, on the occasion. In the political treatise Le Theatre de France (1580) the duel was invoked as "the day of the pigs" who "killed each other in the precinct of Saint Paul, serving him in the Muscovite manner". Michel Montaigne decried the event as "an image de cowardice", and Pierre Brantôme connected it with the deplorable spread of the Italian and Gascon manners at Henry's court. The incident accelerated the estrangement between the two Henrys.
The interesting part is the note about the increase of Italian customs at the court.

This happened in April 1578. The living brother of Henry III (heir to the throne in the case, that Henry would die) plays also a role ...
Quote:
The faction of the malcontents, headed by François, duc d'Alençon, created duc d'Anjou in 1576— the presumed heir as long as Henry remained childless— appear to have stirred up the ill will of the Parisians against them.
... so he was against the Mignons party. Now the expression "malcontent" (also maucontent, also mécontent) simply means "not satisfied" or "discontent" or perhaps also "cheated", but it is also the French name of the game Cuccù, which has similarities with the Tarot game ... and it has also special cards like the Tarot game. And this game was popular in France.

About the Mignons it is also noted in the article ...
Quote:
"The name Mignons began, at this time, to travel by word of mouth through the people, to whom they were very odious, as much for their ways which were jesting and haughty as for their paint [make-up] and effeminate and unchaste apparel...Their occupations are gambling, blaspheming... fornicating and following the King everywhere...seeking to please him in everything they do and say, caring little for God or virtue, contenting themselves to be in the good graces of their master, whom they fear and honor more than God."
So there is some indication, that the Mignons used the "Malcontent" word for their opponents, which possibly indicates, that they had found something, which is better than the Malcontent game, in other words "Tarot".

In December 1478 (9 months after the very strange duel) the king founded (or better altered an earlier Order of St. Michael, founded 1469 by king Louis XI) a knight order - now called Order of the Knights of the Holy Spirit (French: L'Ordre du Saint-Esprit). The most honored person at this opportunity seems to have been Lodovico de Gonzaga, the same, who once had the idea with the Tarot cards in 1559. Another member had been Philippe Strozzi, who participated in the Tarot action of 1559.

This image is commented with ...

"Louis Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers was the first to receive the order."

The image is also used by this cooking suggestion: "Cordon bleu"
http://www.smithsonianjourneys.org/blog/tag/france/
Quote:
We all know that Julia Child attended the world class Le Cordon Bleu cooking school while living in Paris. So how did it get its name? First, we should translate Le Cordon Bleu. For those of us who don’t know a bit of French, it means “The Blue Ribbon.” Then we should ask, “What was the significance of a blue ribbon?”

For anyone who has attended a county fair, it is the blue ribbon that everyone wants to earn. Maybe it was for the biggest pumpkin, or the best apple pie. Either way, if you earned the blue ribbon, you were the best of the best.

What’s surprising is that le cordon bleu dates back to the 16th century when King Henry III of France created the l’Ordre des Chevaliers du Saint Esprit (Order of the Knights of the Holy Spirit). From 1578 to 1789, it was the most exclusive order in France and each of its members were awarded with the Cross of the Holy Spirit, which hung from a blue ribbon known as Le Cordon Bleu, which is depicted in this image of Louis Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers - the first to receive the order.
Louis Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers was the first to receive the order.

Louis Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers was the first to receive the order.

All members had to be at least 35 years old and Roman Catholic, but there were a few exceptions based on royal connections. Children of the king were members from birth, but were not received into the order until they were 12, while Princes of the Blood could be admitted to the order from the age of 16, and foreign royalty could be admitted to the order from the age of 25. These 100 knights were then called Les Cordon Bleus.

So how did it relate to food?

After the ceremonies held for these highly respected guests, there were huge sumputuous feasts held in their honor that became legendary. It is believed the name of the knights then became synonymous with the food prepared for their events. Over time, it became a symbol of prestigious quality.
Background of the King's special favor is the condition, that Lodovico Gonzaga had accompanied the earlier NOT-King-of-France to Poland, where he was invited to become Polish king. But then the French king in Paris had died, and the French crown was preferred instead the more barbaric conditions in Poland (with its cold winters). So Ludovico had a tutor role for this 3rd son of Catherine de Medici.
Another background is, that Henry had given rights to the Huguenots ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_III_of_France
Quote:
In 1576, Henry signed the Edict of Beaulieu, granting many concessions to the Huguenots. His action resulted in the Catholic activist, Henry I, Duke of Guise, forming the Catholic League. After much posturing and negotiations, Henry was forced to rescind most of the concessions that had been made to the Protestants in the edict.
... and he took them back. The foundation of knight order (only Catholics were allowed) speaks the same language and points to the same political direction. The king takes side with the Catholics. His brother, the malcontent, took the protestant direction. He tried to arrange a marriage between himself and the queen of England, Elisabeth I,
"He was 24 and Elizabeth was 46."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis,_Duke_of_Anjou
It didn't work out. After some deadly mistakes he died at Malaria (1584). Henry of Navarra, on the side of the Huguenots, was the next heir of the throne of France. The situation got a bloody end. Henry III murdered Henry I, Duke of Guise, cause he feared his influence, and a Dominican friar killed Henry III. Henry of Navarra became Henry IV of Navarra, king of France, but he had to become a Catholic. And a lot of other fighting.

Lodovico Gonzaga survived it and reconciled with Henry IV of Navarra. Henry IV married Maria de Medici, an Italian princess. The distribution of the game in France had some progress, but in many aspects it wasn't a lucky time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priory_of_Sion
... :-) ... Ludovico Gonzaga alias Louis Gonzaga was put on the list of the grand-masters of the Priory of Sion, which he started to be at the death of his uncle, 18 years old 1557 (the list presents a 1575, but this is an error, as the condottiero Ferrante alias Ferdinand Gonzaga died 1557). Actually it's recorded (perhaps also "just a story"), that they met at the battlefield in Belgium at different sides, the nephew as a prisoner, the uncle mortally wounded.

Well, a little far off the topic "Le Petit Oracle des Dames".
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Huck - Wow! I hope you are planning to write an illustrated history of Tarot. What a fabulous way to become familiar with history.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
Huck - Wow! I hope you are planning to write an illustrated history of Tarot. What a fabulous way to become familiar with history.
Nice, that you love it. I give a few more information. The idea, that Tarot distribution developed some strength in the time of Henry III of France is just developed from an older list from Ross:

Quote:
Post by Huck on 23 Nov 2011, 10:39
We have at
http://trionfi.com/0/p/23/
some lists mainly to the French Tarot development. The list likely was made around 2005-2007 and it needs some updating and improvement. On this list Ross collected once the appearance of Tarot writing forms (which should essential lead to French documents).

Ross' List:

A Survey of Spellings.

My list of occurrences of variations of "tarot" in documentary sources for the 16th and early 17th century shows that "tarots" was the preferred spelling over this time (date. place. spelling. (author. source(s))

1505. Avignon. Taraux (anonymous account-keeper; Chobaut, Depaulis)
1534. Lyon. Tarau (Rabelais (southerner) MA 131)
1553. Paris. Tarault (Estienne; MA 131)
c.1560. Paris. Tarot. Tarots (Neux, Depaulis (VxP); MA 131)
c.1560 Paris. Tarots (Christophe de Bordeaux; MA 132)
1564. ?. 1565. Lyon. Tarots (Ps.(?)-Rabelais; MA 132)
1576. Paris. Tarot (Champenois (Straparola) ; MA 132)
1578. Lyon. Tarots (Guil. des Autels; MA 132)
1579. Paris. Tarots (Ladurie; MA 132-3)
1579. Saint-André (Toulouse). Tarots (Garrisson-Estè be (1980); MA 133)
1583. Paris. Tarots (Tabourot; MA 133)
1583. Paris. Tarot (Gauchet; MA 133)
1583. Paris. Tarotz (Henri III; MA 133-4)
1585. Paris. Tarots (Perrache; MA 134)
1585. ?. Taraux (Cholières; MA 134)

1592. London. Tarots (Delamothe; MA 134)
1595. ?. Tarot (Le Poulchre; MA 134)
1607. Oxford. Taraux (Cleland; MA 134-5)
1622. Paris. Tarots (Garasse; MA 135)
1622. Lyon. Tarotz (D'Allemagne II, 246)
1637. Paris. Tarots (De Marolles)
1650. Lyon. Taros (D'Allemagne II, 258)
1659. Paris. Taros (Maison Academique des Jeux)
The list is meanwhile partly improved in details and in this state not up-to-date. But it seems probable, that the feature, that various note about Tarot get more frequency.
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