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Michael & Ross - Thanks for looking into this. I find that ironically the visual evidence is often overlooked or involves more skepticism then the written word, perhaps because the dating may not be as clear. I wonder on what basis is the analysis that some of the illustrations in the manuscript are 15th century? Was that usual - to add new illustrations into a hundred year old manuscript? Eek! There's so much to learn and figure out.

Mary
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There's some confusion with the dedication of this manuscript. Some places say "Louis II of Naples" - but he wasn't born until 1377, and was only ever titular King of Naples.

Then I read it was for Louis de Tarente, who lived from 1308-1362 -

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_de_Tarente

Google "add. 12228" and "louis" and the first few will show you the difference.

Some of the first lines of the results at least claim that the manuscript bears the arms of Louis of Tarente, so I go with that, and not Louis II.

But obviously there is confusion, and only a source with a good discussion of the manuscript will clear it up.

Ross
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teheuti
Michael & Ross - Thanks for looking into this. I find that ironically the visual evidence is often overlooked or involves more skepticism then the written word, perhaps because the dating may not be as clear. I wonder on what basis is the analysis that some of the illustrations in the manuscript are 15th century? Was that usual - to add new illustrations into a hundred year old manuscript? Eek! There's so much to learn and figure out.
Not a century of course! (that I know of) but a few years or even decades is not unusual, depending on the quality and value of the manuscript (or printed texts, which in the early days left room for historiated initials to be added). It could take quite a few years to produce some of these things, and the dedicatee might have died, and his or her successors might be concerned with other things, not being able to pay the artists, whatever. There are plenty of unfinished illuminations or blanks where they were going to be.

Images and texts have different problems of datation. For images, a century or half-century is easy to tell (in western Europe at least), but a decade is not, unless there is a giveaway, like a coat of arms or a very particular type of clothing - or in our case, a game of cards - and what can be made out on the cards themselves. I'd put it between 1390 and 1410 (how cautious and useless of me), but I really am no expert. Nevertheless, it might be the earliest or second earliest depiction of card-players.

Ross
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It's so easy to be seduced by the plausible -- the Mamluk cards come to Spain in 1310, get kicked around and changed, move to France by 1330, become popular enough to cause gambling addictions and get banned, move on to the rest of Europe . . .meanwhile, from another direction, the cards also come to Eastern Europe through a different source, get kicked around, it all meets up in the middle in an explosion of popularity. . .they also show up in Italy. . . there really appears to have been a lot of trading with the Middle East, the cards have so many opportunities to "leak in". . .

But evidence is so hard to find and to date properly! Considering all the upheavals of European history it's astonishing to me so many documents and books have survived at all! Sometimes you just have to say, hey, we don't know! We may never really nail it down. And that's ok.
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"the god of delight and the scourge of Lombardy."


re: card playing in Meliadus
"It is remarkable that no mention of the game occurs, as far as we could discover by an examination of that part of the manuscript to which the miniature is affixed, and indeed it appears that many of the decorations of the volume have graphic ornaments..."
-Samuel Weller Singer: Researches Into the History of Playing Cards
http://books.google.com/books?id=ZTM...esult#PPA68,M1


Helie de Borron's "Meliadus" formed a part of his "Palomedes" (Palamedes) along with the tale of Guiron the Courteous (Gyron Courtois, Giron, Guyron, etc.) Bernabo Visconti commissioned a copy of the "Guiron".

re: translated information from a dissertation:
http://translate.google.com/translat...icial%26sa%3DG

Guiron was said to descend from the Merovingian Clovis on his father's (Fragus) side and from Joseph of Arimathea on his mother's side.

"When Bernabo married his daughter, Valentina, to Louis of Touraine in 1389, her luxurious trousseau included manuscripts..."
-John T. Paoletti, Gary M. Radke - 2005
http://books.google.com/books?id=54c...um=1&ct=result

http://translate.google.com/translat...3DWZZ%26sa%3DG

"Alla maniera dei Gonzaga e degli Este, egli vive nella fantasia Arturiana, come si desume dai nomi che diede ai suoi figli illegittimi. "
-Aurélie Lauby

-John
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About examples of earlier cards I think this link could be of interest.

http://larsdatter.com/games-card.htm
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There is now evidence for playing cards in England in 1413, which likely means that they were indeed being used on the continent earlier. See Huck & Ross Caldwell posts ("New at Trionfi") here;

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread...&page=15&pp=10


Bee


The above link given by PIRUCHO has some very interesting game rules for a variety of games, including cards. One such game, a Persain one called 'As Nas' is a 5-player game using 25 cards of five suits.
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I missed this first time round Bee!
What is quite fascinating is this comment.....
Quote:
The first playing cards were unique hand-painted luxury items, sometimes engraved, before printing emerged and facilitated mass production.
Am I right in presuming it was most likely hand painted or engraved cards that were used in England in 1413? Something like the Stuttgart deck from Germany? I say that because apparently woodcuts would not have been there in 1413
another quote
Quote:
A miniature of courtiers playing cards with the king can be found in the Roman du Roy Meliadus de Leonnoys (c. 1352), produced for King Louis II of Naples.
Is this likely to be wrong? That is 61 or so years after the miniature was painted, to have cards in England.
So as these hand painted cards were expensive- you think there might be some around as in the Stuttgart and others.

Thanks Bee!
~Rosanne
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I have wondered about the claim that the earliest playing-cards were only used (and played with) by the nobility. Surely the ordinary merchants or seamen who conveyed the Mamluk &/or other decks to Spain or Italy, would have been familiar with them? ......and maybe created crude or roughly drawn decks for themselves?

Cards in England:
I only have the info that was posted by Huck & Ross. It appears to be genuine valid evidence, but scant on details.

There is also that early wall painting at some chuch-place here in the UK which MAY have included a playing card. The card-area looks as though someone tried to scratch it out. There's a thread about it with pics. (Will look for it).


Bee
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Interesting about There is also that early wall painting at some chuch-place here in the UK which MAY have included a playing card. The card-area looks as though someone tried to scratch it out. because....
In Italy in Siena a fresco was painted in 1338-39 called Good and Bad Government (originally called War and Peace in the town and Countryside).
This fresco has some damage- but some intentional damage in one part.
The intentional damage is in what appears to be a tavern with three players around a bench and two people looking on. They are playing some game or other, it would not be chess to have the table specifically removed. I can only assume it was dice or cards. Dice were played on the ground I believe.
The curator let me stand on a stool to get a closer look, and he remarked that the shop above had also been removed and he wondered if it was a type of book shop.I am not sure the shop was intentional damage- but the game playing was. I have not been able to locate the tapestry taken as a copy not long after the painting, to check.

http://www.shafe.co.uk/crystal/image...own_1338-9.jpg

~Rosanne
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