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Huck  Huck is offline
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Cremona - Milan 90 km.
Cremona was in the region to the frontier to Venetian territory, rather this had been the reason, why Filippo wished Francesco to be there to block the Venetian army. But after the wedding Sforza went to Venice, and lived some time in the city with Bianca. He got order to help Renee d'Anjou in 1442, but this didn't work out.



around 1700 - likely the castle to the left had been the usual living place, when Bianca was there (I assume only).
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Castello di Sanguinetto

Quote:
On 7 November 1441, Filippo Maria issued a decree reducing the rights of his vassals, Francesco included. The latter preferred to establish himself in the safer territory of Venetia, in the hamlet of Sanguinetto. In the same years Francesco and Bianca Maria were invited to Venice by the doge of Venice, Francesco Foscari. Shortly thereafter, news that Piccinino was menacing Sforza's possessions in the Marche reached the city. Bianca Maria then accompanied her husband to Rimini, where they were guests of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, in Gradara and then in Jesi. Here she remained in the castle while Francesco led the military operations against Piccinino. In 1442 Bianca Maria (then 17 years old) was named regent of the Marche. This choice may seem surprising, but numerous contemporary chronicles state that Bianca Maria had repeatedly proven her skills in administration and diplomacy. As for the ducal couple's personal relationship, if it is certain that Francesco had strong feelings towards Bianca Maria, it is also true that he was frequently unfaithful to her. Bianca Maria usually reacted with nonchalance. On one occasion, however, in 1443, one of her husband's mistresses disappeared and was killed in dubious circumstances.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bianca_Maria_Visconti

Sforza went to Sanguinetto, about 100 km east to Cremona, very short after the wedding, occasionally he had been in Verona. Likely too far from Cremona for occasional visits.
C. February 1442 he went to Venice and had some time there. Then to Malatesta. Malatesta married Polissena (Sforza's daughter) in the same month, when Francesco and Bianca married ?????

Condottieridiventura has it this way for Malatesta:

Quote:
Ott. 1441:
Marche - Gli viene tolta anche San Leo ad opera del Sant’Angelo.

Nov.
E’ forzato dallo Sforza a fare la pace con il Montefeltro.

Dic.
Lombardia - Si trova a Cremona al matrimonio del suocero con Bianca Maria Visconti. Rimarrà nella città un mese e mezzo.

Feb. 1442
Romagna e Marche - Rientra dalla Lombardia ed arriva a Sant’Arcangelo di Romagna con lo Sforza. Si sposta, quindi, a Fermo ed a Fano con la moglie Polissena: sono organizzati banchetti, giochi e giostre per tre giorni; anche le botteghe cittadine restano chiuse.

Mar.
Marche - Si trasferisce a Fermo a prendervi la moglie.

Apr.
Marche - Lascia Fano con un seguito di 160 cavalli e visita con la moglie Loreto. A Rimini.

Mag. giu.
Ospita il suocero a Gradara e lo aiuta contro pontifici ed aragonesi. Esce da Rimini con 1600 cavalli e 400 fanti; si porta ad Jesi ed invia 800 cernite alla guardia di Forlì.
http://www.condottieridiventura.it/c...%20Brescia.htm

According this the marriage Sforza/Bianca would have been in December 1441 ... which seems rather unlikely. Or possibly Sforza stayed longer in Cremona than others have it?
Nonetheless his own marriage with Polissena might have been a little bit later than it is given in other tables.

Genealogy.Euweb, often correct, has ...

[illegittimate] Polissena, *Fermo 1426/7, +throttled on her husband's order Rimini VI.1449; m.23.9.1443 Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini (*Brescia 19.6.1417, +Rimini 9.10.1468)

... even a 1443 ... and it says, that Polissena was born in Fermo, which looks not likely. ???
Although it.wikipedia.org confirms this.

But Sforza took Fermo in 1434 ... and in the period 1426/27 he rarely had been in the Marche, Fermo is not mentioned in his biography table of condottieridiventura.it.
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Bernice  Bernice is offline
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A very interesting post Huck. Informative, and paints a flavour of those times.

Quote:
Huck: Sforza went to Sanguinetto, about 100 km east to Cremona, very short after the wedding, occasionally he had been in Verona. Likely too far from Cremona for occasional visits.
So are you implying that the 'straw hat' theory (which fits known circumstances - Rosanne) may not be valid? If so, do you have a theory?


Bee
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My theory is that the magician uses a hat to do magic tricks.

This is the same reason the magician in the Hausbuch image (post #5 on this thread) has a hat on his table.
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I see it as a prop of the trade too. Why would anyone want a association with a sleight of hand the charlatan? A hustler ..that was what he was originally...before Waite.

There are many objects in the picture and hats. It may just symbolize what it seems to be... a part of an act?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell
My theory is that the magician uses a hat to do magic tricks.

This is the same reason the magician in the Hausbuch image (post #5 on this thread) has a hat on his table.
There is even another more simple explanation: he needs it to collect some money after his show ... so as other street artists have the same old custom.

Nonetheless it's a curious accident, that Sforza sends deck (with magician with straw-hat) + a Straw hat to Malatesta, if we believe Gregory or Dummett, who reported Gregory's opinion.

Generally one should see, that, if it's a straw-hat, the hat looks like a poor-man's decoration, not very expensive. Or has anybody another impression?
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Huck  Huck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernice
A very interesting post Huck. Informative, and paints a flavour of those times.

So are you implying that the 'straw hat' theory (which fits known circumstances - Rosanne) may not be valid? If so, do you have a theory?


Bee
I think, that "straw hat" is currently the best explanation for the otherwise not identified object at the Magician table. It somehow was confirmed, when the second hat at a magician table was found - though, this might have been not a straw hat, but simply a hat.

Well, imitations not always give the internal meaning of the original or older context. The German-Flemish engraver not necessarily wanted to advertise "Milanese or Fermo straw hats", for his painting he simply needed a hat.

So there's still the question, if the Milanese straw-hat had a special intention. If the anecdote of Fermo tells the truth, what does it really tell ... ???

We have comparable stories from other cities, for instance Ferrara, that, if the Signore or reigning master of a city had a specific festivity (especially marriages), extra taxes were paid by old traditional rules ... so somehow Sforza had to collect "with straw hat" money from the citizens of Fermo for his wedding.
Now the bride didn't come in 1438 and Sforza had lots of expenses for the wedding preparations. But the bride didn't come and now Sforza had to pay back ... "no marriage, no money" from the citizens. Well, damn, a stupid situation, Sforza wouldn't like to lose his face. But Sforza wasn't naturally rich, what he earned, that he invested in his soldiers and these had their costs each month, in war and in peace. And peace was expensive.

Well, "straw hat" as a sign for "begging for money".
When Sforza took Milan in 1450, he not naturally became a "rich man". Actually it's known, that he took credits from Cosimo di Medici, to make Milan running and get it out of the "red numbers".

I've read today the biography of Giovanni Sforza, a brother of Francesco, who had accompanied him through good and bad times...
http://www.condottieridiventura.it/c...0Di%20Pisa.htm
... and still was with him in the last hours, when Sforza took Milan in February 1450.

Ott. 1451
Vive a Pavia e vi conduce una vita triste, sia per la malferma salute che per le strettezze economiche. Chiede al fratello che gli sia donata la casa ove abita e del panno, per potere offrire un vestito ai suoi servitori. Francesco ordina al capitano del parco di permettere ai servitori di Giovanni di recarvisi per tagliare legna da ardere.

Dic. 1451
Muore a Pavia. E’ sepolto di notte nella chiesa di San Francesco con il saio di frate minore. L’eredità è costituita solamente da un mantello e da un vecchio vestito scarlatto, che vanno a due suoi servitori. Tutti gli altri suoi beni sono in pegno presso usurai ebrei di Novara.

He had a "vita triste" in October, Francesco could help him a little bit. He died in very poor condition in December 1451, with nothing in his pockets. Well, the brother of a duke.

Surely Francesco had a lot of old soldiers to care for a little ... and all together this were a lot of people, which were not born for the current peace and had trouble to keep money together, if the next battle had been far.
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mjhurst  mjhurst is offline
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Hi, Ross,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell
My theory is that the magician uses a hat to do magic tricks. This is the same reason the magician in the Hausbuch image (post #5 on this thread) has a hat on his table.
Indeed. If you can't figure out why a magician has a hat as a prop, you must be firmly committed to misunderstanding Tarot. (Of course, that is the history of the subject for the last 230 years.) In a number of early images of magicians, Children of Luna and elsewhere, there are hats or bags on the table, as well as loose or open clothing, sleeves, bags or pouches at their waist, and so on. Like the hat, these opportunities for concealment and revelation are not subtle, complex, obscure, or hidden details.

"Now you see it, now you don't" could be the magician's motto.



Best regards,
Michael
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mjhurst:

The image in post 5 is, "Master of the Medieval Hausbuch" c. 1475-1490. It may, or may not, depict a 'magician'. But this has no relevance here, because there's no straw hat.

The untitled trump (le Bateleur) by Bonifacio Bembo, is c.1455.
i.e Five years earlier than the Hausbuch, and also pre-dates other early decks. More importantly, it shows what appears to be a straw hat. The others don't.


Huck:
Quote:
Huck: I think, that "straw hat" is currently the best explanation for the otherwise not identified object at the Magician table. It somehow was confirmed, when the second hat at a magician table was found - though, this might have been not a straw hat, but simply a hat.
Yes, it does seem the most feasible explanation, unless or until any other factors indicate otherwise. This is an enjoyable thread, I love the detective work! And thank you for the link to that time-line chart. (But as it's not in English, I'll have to translate it later.)


Bee
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Regardless of nay-sayers, there seems some particular association with the Visconti/Sforza milan families and Straw Hats.
It was very odd to see a picture of Saint George, accepted as commissioned by Fillipo Visconti, Bianca's Father, with a large Straw Hat on his head. If anyone can point me to a similar painting of Saint George with a straw hat, I would be very pleased. So you have Visconti with a desire to have this portrayed- why? Then you have another Duke with a possible poor man's Straw hat on the table- a person who was literally poor, taking over from a wealthier Duke. It seems there is some connection.

We accept that hats and purses are symbolic of a profession on one hand, but do not on the other hand accept that this was a symbolic Hat, with another situation. Is every smile in an art work, a Mona Lisa smile?

I have not been able to confirm the tourist patter about the incident in Fermo, but why would this anecdote remain all these years?

Then once again we have a comment about the Hat Straw in Milan in the siege, which cannot be confirmed(we have a historic account of the siege who had no interest in Tarot), but we have a painting in 1445, that seems to indicate that Straw hats had some meaning. It could be taken as, rather than a magician, this card represented a soldier who had hung up his Hat, or that
it indicated the change of Dukes. There is a history of straw hats indicating debt- from the parades on Saint John the Baptist feast day. I cannot tie these in together with a magician- but really I am not interested in that. The man wears red- indicating lowly status- except when a Cardinal wears it.
The picture of Saint George is on the previous page.

~Rosanne
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