Originally Posted by Ludophone
De Unger's fragment is the most well known of the pre-Topkapi cards but there are others that as far as I can tell have never been shown. ...
Welcome to the Forum, it's nice to have a competent researcher here.
I don't have an answer to your questions, beside the point, that the Unger card seems to be presented here ...
Generally I would believe, that playing cards in the West arrived with the Mongols. The Mongols had conquered China, and China seems to have had already a longer tradition with playing cards, and the Mongols organized in quick steps a trading way to the West.
Mongols had contacts to the Mamluks, but not only to these.
Once I detected an older German text (1849) of a researcher F.L. Hübsch, who cared for early Bohemian trade. On the base of old texts (likely found in the council of the city of Prague) he expressed a few rather astonishing opinions.
1. Playing cards were in Prague in 1340.
2. Earlier it was played with cards by Polish nobility.
3. There were laws by the ruler Charles (later emperor Charles IV), which considered card playing as a game of skill in contrast to dice games (games luck). Games of skill weren't prohibited.
4. Cards were imported to Prague from Nuremberg.
5. In 1354 a card producer Jonathan Kraysel arrived from Nuremberg and produced cards then in Prague.
The researcher Hübsch gave no sources, playing cards were his major theme. His report was republished (a longer time ago) ...
... but it received no reactions. In the IPSC journal I found a text by a Czechian researcher, who mentioned the Hübsch text in the year 2000, but he also didn't found a reaction (as far I could see it).
I had a longer escapade to find other earlier statements, which also claimed the existence of playing cards in Eastern European regions in a very early time (before 1370). I found a lot in German language (the new technology of books.google.com made it possible) and for most of these I didn't note a reference in playing card history texts (as far I do know them).
A good part of these are clearly wrong in their statement or at least doubtful.
I've gathered this material mainly at ...
The most convincing of all this I would consider this one ...
The following one came to us in 2010 from a Czech playing card researcher Jan Klobusicky by private communication, who found it here ...
Concilia pragensia 1353-1413, prager Synodal-Beschlüsse, zum ersten Male zusammengestellt und mit einer Einleitung versehen von C. Höfler...
Druck der Gerzabek'schen Buchdruckerei, 1862 - 116 pages
That's 1353 in Prague, and for 1354 we've the statement of the researcher Hübsch ... "Auch ein Kartenmaler namens Jonathan Kraysel aus Nürnberg kommt 1354 in Prag vor." (Also a card painter with the name Jonathan Kraysel from Nuremberg appears 1354 in Prague.)
Together with the notes of the researcher Hübsch it looks true, alone for itself it's not good enough to prove anything.
Well, the reading of this material demands some German language ... in the case, that you are interested.
Another theme, related to Trionfi cards: A person Christoph Frangipani ...
... with some involvement to Hungarian history has possibly some relation to Trionfi-cards produced in Italy around the year 1512. The person was descended from a marriage of his grand-father Stefan Frangipani to Isotta d'Este, a daughter of Niccolò III d'Este, Marquis of Ferrara.
By this he had some relationship to the Este family, which explains his involvement to Italian Trionfi card production. He was married to a sister of cardinal Gurk, who earlier had served as a court lady of Bianca Maria Sforza, wife of emperor Maximilian (Bianca Maria was very fond of playing cards).
The whole evolved to a tragical love story, as Frangipani became prisoner in Venice for a longer time. He escaped, but after the death of his wife. The story led to a picture for Christopherus + Apollonia (name of the wife of Christopher Frangipani) in a church.
Perhaps you're interested.