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Topkapi Cards?

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variantventures  variantventures is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaw View Post
Perhaps Professor Mahir Banu (Mimar Sinan University) can help? She wrote an article in 1996 on the Mamluk playing cards at the Topkapi,which was published again in 2003:

Mahir, Banu, "Memluk İskambilleri-Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi Kütüphanesi", P (Sanat, Kültür, Antika), Sayı: 1, Bahar '96, İstanbul, s. 40-46.

Mahir, Banu, "Topkapı Sarayı Müzesindeki Memluk İskambilleri", P (Sanat, Kültür, Antika), Sayı: 31, Güz 2003, s.116-125 (ikinci kez yayımlanmıştır)

While that was some time ago, as a Professor at a fine arts university in Istanbul with several theses on Topkapi palace artefacts to her name she still may have contacts or references that may be of help: In case you haven't tried her already - I will pm you a link with her email -

Kwaw

"Memlük İskambil" or "Memlük İskambil Kartları" is the turkish if you want to google search - but it will be 99% rubbish drawing upon western occultist nonsense with a Turkish twist (also - google translate is terrible at translating Turkish!)

ps: I think she speaks Turkish, English & German
kwaw you are awesome! That's a fantastic data point. I'll try e-mailing her.
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Ludophone  Ludophone is offline
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You were most unfortunate to start this thread just as I left for a short holiday. I found the catalogue number. It's Topkapi Saray Treasury, No Yeni 1066.

Source is Layla Dabi's chapter on Persian playing cards in "Asian Games: The Art of Contest", page 232. This book is from 2004 so I don't think the cataloging may have change since that time.
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variantventures  variantventures is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludophone View Post
You were most unfortunate to start this thread just as I left for a short holiday. I found the catalogue number. It's Topkapi Saray Treasury, No Yeni 1066.

Source is Layla Dabi's chapter on Persian playing cards in "Asian Games: The Art of Contest", page 232. This book is from 2004 so I don't think the cataloging may have change since that time.
Hmmm. Doctor Mahir confirms the catalog number but places the cards in the Topkapı Palace Museum Library Y. Y.1066.

I've tried searching the online databases using that catalog number and haven't found anything. I think the cards are likely considered objects rather than manuscripts or books. OR the cards simply aren't in the database. The catalog number given most closely resembles the numbers used in the manuscripts database. I did a manual search for the object by selecting all items in the manuscripts database and then navigating to the appropriate location. There is a TSMK Y. 1049 and a TSMK Y. 1084. The cards would fit in to the gap under the designation TSMK Y. 1066 but there's no record in the database.

I've re-sent my request for images (per the instructions on the Topkapi website for research services) using the provided reference/catalog numbers. Hopefully I will receive a response this time.
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variantventures  variantventures is offline
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The Topkapi has replied. The Ministry sent me the wrong research request form. So I'll have to mail them a different request letter. This appears to be much more simple. I'll get that out this weekend.

Based on who responded to my request I believe the cards are kept by the Library. This means the TSMK Y. 1066 catalog number is probably the correct one. I don't know why the cards would not appear in the online catalog.

My plan is to request two photos of the face of each card. One taken directly from above, one taken at a 45 degree angle to better reveal some details. I plan to include the damaged card in the request as this card is likely to reveal the most details regarding the construction of the cards. I plan to request photographs (if possible) of the backs of two of the cards: one from the core deck and one from the replacement deck.

Can you think of any other photographs I should request?
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variantventures  variantventures is offline
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Everything about the Topkapi cards screams 15th Century, or later, to me. I'm not an art expert and I'm certainly not an Islamic art expert. But I have looked at a lot of it and the Topkapi cards seem consistent with the later artwork I've seen.

However... The Topkapi cards use a decorative element on the swords and cups that is found on de Unger fragment 1. De Unger fragment 1 is dated to the 13th Century. This dating is based on artistic elements found on the card rather than on provenance. And now I've run across this glass fragment from the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin which appears to be dated based on provenance.

http://www.smb-digital.de/eMuseumPlu...ype=detailView

The curly element on the gold band is the shared element.
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