Ross G Caldwell said:There is no specific evidence for it, either on any surviving cards or in any rules. This is one of the reasons the theory is "controversial".
One of the reasons the 14 Bembo cards seem to make sense as complete unit is that the allegory can still make sense with so few cards.
But even if we want to see a 14 trump series, I don't agree with autorbis' reconstruction.
For me, the Fool is outside the sequence, but as Kwaw I think correctly notes, for the designer of the allegory he would come first. For allegorical purposes I would put the other thirteen cards (tentatively) as -
4 Popes and Emperors (no ranking among them)
I wouldn't put numbers on them at the beginning. So the "number" 13 doesn't have to be Death.
The problem of the numbering came later, and in my opinion is the main cause of all the different orders. That's when Death had to be 13.
But for the historical reconstruction of the original order of the trumps, the numbering of them is a red herring.
When we assume a natural jump from a deck with a 4x14-structure to a deck with a 5x14-structure by adding a predefined 5th trump-suit, then naturally any user (or a lot of them) of the deck would imply on this new suit already created associations to the suits generally.
From Johannes of Rheinfelden (1377, 1-2 generation before the Bembo-cards, we know, that in his observed deck numbers were given to 1-10 naturally and also numbers to his courts (11 - 15) in sequence "without great riddle". So the idea was given long before ... although one might suggest, that this was a rule, which were not taken everywhere.
When the 5th suit was added, naturally at least some of the users would imply numbers. Deciding would be, what the designer himself thought of it ... actually the designer loved their decks more than others, so it should be natural to assume: "they also thought of numbers".
And we've a sequence in the Michelino deck (ca. 1425). A sequence implies usually numbers.
Why should suddenly the Bembo cards have had no numbers, when decks before and decks after it had them?