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Iolon 
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Tarocchino, roots in the 15th Century


I was a little bit confused while I could not get the images directly on the page. The one that is called Ace of Coins reduced is from the Rosenwald sheet, made at the end of the 15th Century. All Tarocchino Aces of Coins are nearly identical to this cards. As an example, the other image is from a Tarocchino deck made by Antonio de Maria in the mid of the 18th Century. Excepts for ignorable details the cards are identical. Also the Magician in both decks, the Ace of Batons and many other cards are very similar. Some Rosenwald cards are similar to the Minchiate deck (much more similar to the Bolognese version than to the Fiorentine version) but in general the Rosenwald sheets are closer to the Tarocchino than to the Minchiate. We know the Rothshild sheets from the early 16th Century that are pure Tarocchino cards. The distance is very short. Where I live I can get no historical facts, I depends on people like you, Ross and Pratesi. But I can analyze images. So for this reason I say that the Tarocchino has its roots in the 15th Century.



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Old 03-03-2016 Need answers now? Get 50% off your first live Tarot session!     Top   #11
Huck 
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An "img" in square brackets opens the image command, an "/img" in square brackets closes it.

so ...
img included in [] + picture-web-adress + /img included in []"
... gives a picture in this system

... :-) if you don't understand this, you have to quote this post and see in the source code, how I realised the picture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iolon View Post
Dear Huck,
There are only hints that Tarocchino was born in the 15th Century. What do you think of the following two cards. These cards are not the only ones, there are very much similarities between the Rosenwald sheet and the Tarocchino deck. Please tell me how I can get them directly on this page to become more productive on this forum, I'm new here and I do not understand handling images yet.
For the Rosenwald Tarocchi, see ...
http://trionfi.com/rosenwald-tarocchi-sheet

There the suspicion is given, that the Rosenwald might be a Florentine Minchiate deck, not a Bolognese production.
Generally there's the suspicion, that Bolognese card producers imitated early Florentine decks. Florence definitely had a strong role in the early Trionfi deck production (most early Trionfi card documents relate to Florence). In the critical time (early Trionfi card production) a Bentivoglio living in Florence was chosen as new Bentivoglio ruler in Bologna (the Bentivoglio family in Bologna had nearly died out then, connected to a hostile family massacre 1445 ...)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sante_Bentivoglio

In this period a lot of Florentine qualities were imitated in Bologna and the Medici influence was strong in Bologna. Card similarities don't say too much in this case.

One cannot conclude on "Tarocchino in 15th century", I would say.



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Iolon 
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Rosenwald Tarocchino


Hi Huck,
It is perfectly clear that you have to be very carefull when doing research. When I do research my main sources are the excellent website triomfi.com and the card images themselves. But a website, how excellent it can be, is no Bible. You have to distinguish between facts and assumptions. Actuelly I'm studying on the Southern Tarot group, including Bologna, Florence, Minchiate, Tarocchino, the Rothschild Sheet and the Rosenwald sheet. My research is not ready yet and when finished I will show the results on my website. For this moment I see more similarities between the Rosenwald sheet and the Tarocchino decks than between the Rosenwald sheet and the Minchiate cards. When comparing the Rosenwald sheet with the Minchiate cards, it is closer to the Bolognese Minchiate deck than to the Florentine deck. I will largely show this in a couple of weeks on my site.
For a high resolution image of the original Rosenwald sheet look on http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/gl...e&pageNumber=1



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Huck 
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Thanks for the link, I didn't know this resource.

There's nothing to say against an independent research from your side (and of course also not against an independent opinion).

For the material of Trionfi.com it's very clear, that a lot of the articles are of an older date (2003-2007) and that they are not updated to the new level of research (surely that's not a bible ... :-)) .
The better and new state of research is presented in articles at the 2 relevant forums, as far this was possible. Naturally these are difficult to find. Research is floating process.

An exception to this are the articles of Franco Pratesi at Trionfi.com (2011-2013) and at http://naibi.net (there - for 2014-2016 - in Italian language).
Franco Pratesi lives in Florence and his research field is mostly Florence and Tuscany.

By Franco Pratesi's articles strong progress was achieved. Beside that there was another important article by Arnold Esch, who observed a 15th century custom register in Rom, which is full of data for imports of Trionfi cards to Rome between 1453-65 (107 documents, that's about 50% of that, what we have for the period 1440-1465).

One important change in research occurred in winter 2007/2008. Against older opinions now the Charles VI is considered mostly as a deck from Florence, not as a deck from Ferrara. With that also Ursino cards are given to Florence (they are partly more or less identical).

In the situation from "before 2003" (our start) it was mainly believed, that Tarot (and Trionfi cards) had their origin in Milan, Ferrara or Bologna, not from Florence. Franco Pratesi had another opinion already then, mainly cause of his consideration, that Florence in many aspects had been the most innovative city in Italy and cause Florence had the most artists.

But the confirming documents for this opinion were still thin then (an early allowance of Trionfi as card game in 1450).
This negative factor was changed in quick steps in 2011/2012. Since then Florentine documents dominate the scene and more than 40 artists producing playing cards in Florence are already known by name till 1462 (another earlier high value had been 38 cardmakers in Nuremberg till 1500).

That's naturally rather much ...
http://trionfi.com/etx-playing-card-producers-italy
... and it demands a lot of personal energy to get through it ... and that's only the research state of c. 2012, meanwhile there are more.

For Minchiate and the related Germini we have a few early notes in Florence (1466, 1470/71, 1477, 1506, 1517, 1519 ... ) and Tuscany. None of Bologna. We even have the curious condition, that Tarocchi production totally died in Florence around 1638, and that only Germini and Minchiate was produced there.
Bologna produced Tarot, Tarocchino and Minchiate. Bologna as a city of the Chiesa had a very different state than the Grandduchy Tuscany. It's easily imaginable, that Bologna imitated Florentine decks, but not easy to imagine, that Florence imitated Bologna. Florence even stopped all sorts of Tarocchi for their territory.
In the 18th century the production number of Minchiate decks might have been higher than the production of Tarocchi decks in Italy. Sometimes the games are described as "Minchiate and Tarocchi" and not as "Tarocchi and Minchiate". We have much material to the production situation of Minchiate (thanks to Franco Pratesi's engagement and to the condition, that Florence had the better established bureaucracy), and much less material to the production of Tarocchi.

Minchiate served to some as a "national game of Tuscany", it was connected to family pride of the Medici. This sort of dimension was completely missing in Bologna. The Chiesa took Bologna in 1506/1512 and then it was ruled by Rome and the papal states.
The local speciality in Bologna was Tarocchino, a reduced deck with 62 cards. Minchiate and Tarocco games were produced to satisfy the market.

From 1477 we have a production contract recorded in Bologna. A price analysis gave the result, that the price for normal decks was 4/5 of that, what was taken for decks with trumps, which leads to the consideration, that the number of trumps was 20% or 1/5 in the deck.

If normal decks had then 56 cards, then the number of trumps would have been 14 and the total of the cards was 56+14 = 70. In other words, this price relation would fit with the assumptions of the 5x14 theory.
Franco Pratesi
1477: Bologna – Aritmetica per carte e trionfi
http://www.naibi.net/A/323-BONOZZI-Z.pdf



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Old 03-03-2016 Need answers now? Get 50% off your first live Tarot session!     Top   #14
Iolon 
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Hi Huck,
You could not know about the link. I ordered the National Gallery of Art to take new images of the Rosenwald sheet. I got high resolution images permitting me to study these cards, the images they put on line are the images I paid, but at half the resolution. I'm glad if this adds to other researchers like you.
Thanks a lot about all your clearifications. I really estimate a lot the work that Franco Pratesi is doing, this will really help clearifying Tarot history. At the same time, history is not only in historic papers, it is also in historic images and it is there that I hope I can contribute a bit. My task is to analyze the images themselves, I have no access to historical documents in Florence, Milan, Bologna or wheresoever, I do not even speak Italian. I fully agree to the 5x14 theory. I am glad to hear that the price analysis reconforts this theory. The Visconti Sforza deck without the so called "replacement" cards is a perfect example of this structure. Try to read my pages about this subject and comment .
About the Charles VI deck. I fully agree it has been made by Florentine artists, but in my opinion it was probably the later Duke Ercole I of Este who ordered this deck. Ercole was an extremely highly educated person and he moved in 1460 back to Ferrara. Before this date we have no indication whatsoever of the existence of 22 trumps. The 22 trump structure is a very sophisticated world model (see my pages about the Tarot Wheel). In my opinion the Charles VI deck was the first example of a 22 trump structure that Ercole ordered in order to explain his views on the world view behind the structure of the Triomfi trumps. The Page of Swords was added as a style example for those people who wanted to produce cards build on this deck. Even the Este cards made at the occasion of the marriage between Ercole I of Este and Eleanore di Aragona did not contain the pip cards. The court cards (with many heraldic elements of both families) were realized to emphasize the Union between the Duke Ercole I of Este and the King of Naples who gave his daughter in marriage to this Duke.
Any theory is good until there is a better one.

Iolon



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Last edited by Iolon; 04-03-2016 at 07:29.
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Huck 
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Thanks for your engagement in the matter of the Rosenwald Tarocchi.

The Bologna document of 1477 is the latest appearance of decks with 5x14 structure (or "latest indication of decks with 5x14 structure") in Italy. From a later appearance we know only the deck of Master PW in Germany with round cards c. 1500 ... with very different pictures and two additional cards, so 5x14 + 2. One of the additional cards has the heraldry of the city of Cologne, the other shows a nude woman captured by Death. The suits are 3 different flowers (for Spain, France and Germany) and rabbits (the Ottomans) and parrots (the Moors).

From the few notes to the life of Master PW we may assume, that for some time he worked for the court of the emperor Maximilian or more for the court of the wife of the emperor, Bianca Maria Sforza. This empress was very dedicated to playing cards, and she had trouble to learn German and a lot of Italians were at her court. Around 1500 she lost her political influence, cause Milan was taken twice by France in 1499/1500. The emperor reduced her court costs considerably, a lot of the courtiers had to leave. Master PW, as it seems, returned to Cologne (plausible he had his origin at the region of the lower Rhine).


Woman with Death


Salve Felix Colonia with three crowns for the "3 holy kings"


Moorish king


Ottoman king

http://koeln-tarot.trionfi.com/03/ ... German text to the cards
http://koeln-tarot.trionfi.com/06/ ... more cards

I've seen a description of the wedding night, according which Bianca Maria showed Italian playing cards to her bridegroom at this occasion. A regesten record notes, that bride and bridegroom played with cards at the following day.

Another playing card operation was made for the wedding of Maximilian's daughter to the Spanish thrown. One of the suits are Pomegranates, celebrating the victory of Spain against Granada.
http://www.britishmuseum.org/researc...d=1#more-views



Another German deck possibly from the same period (1494-1500, when Bianca Maria and her faible for cards had an an influence) used pictures of the Schedel'sche Weltchronik (published 1493) and combined these with results of the throw with 2 dice (or with domino stones) ... this naturally demanded 21 pictures:


... a few pictures of this not complete deck appeared in "Il Castello di Tarocchi" ...
http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=219&lng=ita

German playing card history (as far it is known) doesn't show much clear reaction on the Italian Trionfi card / Tarocchi production. Since c. 1750 it becomes a big and dominant movement to produce "Tarock cards" ... well, that's rather late.

But "History" is made from that, what is still known. And that's only a very, very, very small part of that, what really has happened. So in research large changes of the current interpretations are possible. The presence of an Italian empress on the German throne meant an open door for Italian influences in Germany ... for a short period. Switzerland has its first "Troggn" (= Tarot) notes in the early 1570s and after that it got a clear presence in Switzerland culture. The evidence of Tarot in France stays thin till the same period ... the actual strong movement started in 1574, when a future French king Henry III crossed Italy on his journey from Poland to France. Henry got a strong interest in Italian fashions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iolon View Post
About the Charles VI deck. I fully agree it has been made by Florentine artists, but in my opinion it was probably the later Duke Ercole I of Este who ordered this deck. Ercole was an extremely highly educated person and he moved in 1460 back to Ferrara. Before this date we have no indication whatsoever of the existence of 22 trumps. The 22 trump structure is a very sophisticated world model (see my pages about the Tarot Wheel). In my opinion the Charles VI deck was the first example of a 22 trump structure that Ercole ordered in order to explain his views on the world view behind the structure of the Triomfi trumps. The Page of Swords was added as a style example for those people who wanted to produce cards build on this deck. Even the Este cards made at the occasion of the marriage between Ercole I of Este and Eleanore di Aragona did not contain the pip cards. The court cards (with many heraldic elements of both families) were realized to emphasize the Union between the Duke Ercole I of Este and the King of Naples who gave his daughter in marriage to this Duke.
Any theory is good until there is a better one.

Iolon
An alternative interpretation derives from the strange condition, that 17 cards make the Charles VI, 16 trumps (including Fool) and only one court card, a somehow strange composition, if one assumes an accidental loss.
It makes logic to assume, that the buyer of this deck wasn't interested in cards, which were not trumps. Occasionally it might have been the case, that somebody bought only the trumps to add them to another deck, which he already had, possibly a deck with own heraldry. Possibly the buyer got one additional card for free (the lonesome court card), given in the hope of the selling party, that the buyer might change his opinion and possibly would buy finally the full deck. Or another curious story which explains the single court card.
The extant Charles VI survived in France, not in Italy. It's a reasonable speculation, that the buyer might have been a French person. Possibly the objective of the buyer was to collect these cards, not to play with them. It's not really necessary, that the buyer lost cards, it might have been trumps of a complete deck (with 16 trumps).
The deck has "strange numbers", possibly or likely added by a later hand. These numbers indicate a Florentine number system based on 22 cards ... but there's no guarantee, that the numbers would be of the same time.

The chariot of the Charles VI has Medici heraldic with "7 palle" ... the Medici used this only till May 1465, when they took "6 palle" and one palle decorated with a French Fleur-de-Lis. Background for this change was a contract with the French king Louis XI, which Louis needed to defend himself against an advancing conflict with Burgundy.
From this one might conclude (or speculate, cause such heraldry use are not always totally secure in dating processes), that the deck had its origin before 1465.

Well, there are other points, it's a complex meditation on this deck ... to keep it short ...

Quote:
Cary-Yale Tarocchi

with a larger and readable version at ..
http://a-tarot.eu/pdf/cy-jpg.jpg

Charles VI Tarot

with a larger and readable version at ..
http://a-tarot.eu/pdf/ch-jpg.jpg
It also involves the earlier Cary-Yale deck. It's assumed, that generally chess played often (not necessarily always) a role in the development of the Trionfi cards, and that not all Trionfi decks followed the same style, but were often enough just "individual experiments", an evolutionary development till a final state, where some experiments had survived and others had died.



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Old 06-03-2016 Need answers now? Get 50% off your first live Tarot session!     Top   #16
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Dear Huck,
You're not exactly right about the Medici heraldry. In 1465 it changed from 6 "palle" to 5 "palle". The top ball changed in the bigger blue one with the three French lilies. Before that date the number of balls varied at lot, between 11 or 12 to 5 or 6. There are also versions with 8 and 7 balls. You can find the seven balls version on the tomb of Bishop Benozzo Federighi in the Santa Trinita church and also on one of the corners of the Palazzo medici. It seems that Cosimo di Medici prefered this 7 balls version. For me dating the Charles VI deck between 1460 (the return of Ercole I of Este) and 1465 is fine. This fits well in my theory about the development of the 22 trump structure.
I know about your chessboard theory, but I do not believe it. Yes, the Cary Yale Visconty had very probably 16 Trumps, but this was related to the Michellino deck and not to the Chess game. That is also the main reason why every suit had 16 cards. The best theories are often the simplest to explain, so for me the Charles VI deck was the first deck with 22 cards, ordered by Ercole of Este in Florenze. This 22 trumps structure is something that was confirmed by the second Este deck, made in Ferrara on the occasion of the wedding of Ercole I of Este. There is no evidence at all that any Trionfi deck in the second half of the 15th Century had only 16 Trumps. We do not know any Trionfi or Tarot game that had 16 suit cards. The Kölnish Master of the PW deck with 5 suits of 16 cards is a bad example, these cards have no relation at all to the Trionfi decks (there is no trump suit) and Köln is very far away from Italy.
Iolon



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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell View Post
It is my position, I don't know if it is shared by anyone, that Bologna preserves the original game invented in Florence. That is, the order of the trumps, exactly, and we can have a good idea of the iconography of the trumps, and the rules of the game by reconstruction from the oldest account of Partita.
I think Piedmontese Partita is more primitive than Bolognese Partita. The games are very similar but the Piedmont version lacks the melding that makes tarocchini and minchiate unique. McLeod couldn't find any other games from that period which involves making and breaking melds. I suspect that a generation or so after the first trionfi games, the melding games arose in Florence and Bologna. The Bolognese game also gives special place to four cards instead of three.

One of Dummett's ideas on card game design was that a new game would not introduce more than one new ludeme (element of play). Tarot seemingly introduced two: trumps and the excuse. He mistakenly thought Lollio's poem would reveal that the Ferrarese game was the original where the Fool was only the lowest trump. Nevertheless, if melds existed in the original game, that would be three ludemes which is less likely.

I do agree that the Bolognese sequence is old but I think that the Rosenwald order is an equal candidate for being the earliest, their only difference being the chariot and the equal papi.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludophone View Post
I think Piedmontese Partita is more primitive than Bolognese Partita. The games are very similar but the Piedmont version lacks the melding that makes tarocchini and minchiate unique. McLeod couldn't find any other games from that period which involves making and breaking melds. I suspect that a generation or so after the first trionfi games, the melding games arose in Florence and Bologna. The Bolognese game also gives special place to four cards instead of three.

One of Dummett's ideas on card game design was that a new game would not introduce more than one new ludeme (element of play). Tarot seemingly introduced two: trumps and the excuse. He mistakenly thought Lollio's poem would reveal that the Ferrarese game was the original where the Fool was only the lowest trump. Nevertheless, if melds existed in the original game, that would be three ludemes which is less likely.

I do agree that the Bolognese sequence is old but I think that the Rosenwald order is an equal candidate for being the earliest, their only difference being the chariot and the equal papi.
Thanks for your informed and interesting thoughts, Ludophone.

I agree that the older Piemontese game reflects the primitive stage. Dummett sought proof of a connection between Piemont-Savoy and Bologna that would account for their obvious common ancestry, but it could be he was looking too late. The most direct connection between Bologna and Savoy was during the Visconti domination of Bologna, 1438-1441. I see no reason not to consider this the time - right at the very beginning - when the game was introduced to Savoy.

About the number of ludemes, Dummett was wrong on the "idea of trumps", as well as on the idea of separate, permanent trumps, so these can excluded. He also mistakenly thought that Tarot introduced Queens, which would add yet another ludeme. For a card playing an Excuse, this cannot be demonstrated earlier than Tarot either (but very little can, rules not being explicitly written out in any descriptive, full sense before the early 17th century), but it is not difficult to imagine it occurring well before Tarot, or well before playing cards in Europe. Like the Joker developing out of the Euchre role, it seems like "wild cards" are things that grow naturally in games, one example of what I call "ludic logic".

So, melds, combinations, verzigole, etc., might have been from the beginning, and do not stretch our sense of plausible ludemic innovation. There is an indication the practice was lost in Piedmont-Savoy, (like, I believe, the equal values of the World and Angel), since Francesco Piscina, writing in Mondovì in Piedmont in 1565, describes such combinations, and the Fool being used as a wild card in completing them (such a practice can be found up the middle of the 18th century, in a German book following French practice).

It also seems natural to me that the idea of melds or sequences or combinations would occur in games before Tarot, where a wild card (or two, like in Bologna) would help to complete them.



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Old 08-03-2016 Need answers now? Get 50% off your first live Tarot session!     Top   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell View Post
Thanks for your informed and interesting thoughts, Ludophone.

Like the Joker developing out of the Euchre role, it seems like "wild cards" are things that grow naturally in games, one example of what I call "ludic logic".

It also seems natural to me that the idea of melds or sequences or combinations would occur in games before Tarot, where a wild card (or two, like in Bologna) would help to complete them.
Thanks for alerting me about Piscina. This does bring an interesting question regarding what I consider one of the biggest differences between the Bolognese and Florentine game, that is the use of wild cards. In Bologna, the Matto and the Bagatto function as wild cards but in Minchiate there is no equivalent. The Matto can't fill gaps, it can only extend a completed meld. If the Matto started out as a wild card then I suspect the Florentines ditched the idea to prevent the wide point spreads that are seen in tarocchino.

Wild cards do seem to spontaneously generate in different cultures. It can be observed in the earliest rummy games of China during the Qing dynasty, the "tengu" or "oni" card in Japan, and the obscure Chads of Mysore if I am correct.

__________________________________________________ _________________________________________
On another matter, I am trying to find images of the oldest surviving Bolognese and Florentine cards that are not from luxury or "fancy" decks. Here's what I found so far:

Florence:
Rosenwald sheets (NGA link from Iolon's post in this thread)
Ronciglione minchiate sheets 1585
This mysterious woodblock print by Solleone (17th C): http://www.wopc.co.uk/italy/minchiat...entine,-17th-c (If anyone knows its provenance please tell me.)
Minchiate c. 1675 at the British Museum: http://www.britishmuseum.org/researc...85819&partId=1 and http://www.britishmuseum.org/researc...83170&partId=1
17th C cards (Depaulis' Jeu et magie #28)


Bologna:
Late 15th C Rothschild sheets (Depaulis #23-24)
16th C single card of the devil by Agnolo Hebreo (#25)
17th C cards (#26)

If anyone knows of any "cheap" cards from 17th C or earlier from these two cities, please let me know.

Last edited by Ludophone; 15-03-2016 at 00:23. Reason: updating
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