View Single Post
kwaw's Avatar
kwaw  kwaw is offline
Join Date: 29 Dec 2003
Location: Nr. Ephesus, Turkey
Posts: 5,400

Originally Posted by Rosanne
... just maybe there is a reason that this particular image of a 'maybe Jongleur' disappeared. The association of this character- to Le Fou was too close and the character of a later Bateleur was more in keeping with a difference between the two cards? The vagabond/rover/Jesting Fool= Le Fou- the Fairground trickster/Jack of all trades =Le Bateleur?
One of the earliest recorded titles we have is 'bagatelle' that means both juggler (in the wider semantic sense of the period as noted in previous posts) and a trifle, small things of little value. And I think the earliest name and intent of this type of image was possibly on this sort of punning wordplay between the image on the card and the value of the card in play; and that other names for the card arose as synonyms or translations for either one of these two meanings of the original title; that basteleur for example is simply a straightforward translation of bagatelle in its sense of iugler.

The image on the early painted cards do not look like any sort of performer to me though, looks more like a clerke or banker, which would perhaps fit in with Bagatino as a small coin of little value (or baratinno that means barterer among other things as he is called in one sixteenth century sonnet, bartering or exchanging coins for tokens or chips ~ far too early for chips I think, although large numbers of round discs were also made at the mint for use on counting boards, but maybe exchanger of larger coins for smaller to be used in games? Baratinno is related to baratierre meaning a gaming house ).

Gambling has always been the target of social interference, but is somehow more acceptable if it just a small token. When I am at the club a bit later today, I shall be surrounded by several small groups of card players, all with bags of pennies (the smallest English coin denonimation). The same pennies have probably been exchanged between the card players for a long time, they don't spend them as they wouldn't buy you much anyway and they want to keep them for the sunday card game; it can take a while to build up a supply of small coins unless you go to the bank to get some.

Top   #267