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16th and 17th century french regulations on playing cards.

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Pythagoras 1/10  Pythagoras 1/10 is offline
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16th and 17th century french regulations on playing cards.


I have come across references to laws that were enacted in France which regulated playing cards. I cant seem to find out much about this. If anyone is familiar with this topic I would love to hear more about it.

From what I gather, which mostly comes from this source (http://www.wopc.co.uk/france/index), a law was passed in 1701 which enforced standardization of regional pasterns. Did this apply to tarot cards as well?

Like I said, I don't know much about this at all, but I do find it awfully interesting. So, if anybody knows about it, I would love to hear about it!
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Ross G Caldwell  Ross G Caldwell is offline
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Hi, Pythagoras

My books are mostly inaccessible currently, due to the confusion of a move, but if I remember correctly there is no comprehensive survey or collection of French regulations of playing cards. Thierry Depaulis would be the person to contact on this, which I will gladly do for you when time permits.

The 1701 law required the destruction of old woodblocks for the court cards of different regions of France, in order to clearly distinguish regional patterns subject to strict tax authority. Tarot cards are explicitly exempted from this destruction. The reason is not given, but presumably this was because Tarot was not much played in France at this time, and they were made only for export. The pattern was different from the standard French patterns (the basis for the most familiar cards to us today in the 52 card pack) in any case, and far fewer packs were made. I'm not sure of the tax on exported Tarot cards, but it was not a huge source of revenue for the state, unlike regular cards.

I was sure I had posted the text, from H.-R. D'Allemagne (1906), along with a translation, on this site, or somewhere, but I can't find it at the moment.

The best study I know of on a country's laws on games, including cards, was done for Italy by Alessandra Rizzi, Statuta de ludo: Le leggi sul gioco nell’Italia di comune (secoli XIII-XVI) (2009). See the publisher's page here -
http://www.fbsr.it/edizioni/b-statuta-de-ludo-b/
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Good morning Ross, I was wondering if you could indicate me where to find the French version of this book that you seemed to have translated: Explaining the Tarot: Two Italian Renaissance Essays on the Meaning of the Tarot Pack

edited, translated and commented by
Ross Sinclair Caldwell, Thierry Depaulis, Marco Ponzi

I am francophone and it is easier for me to read French. Thank you!
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Ross G Caldwell  Ross G Caldwell is offline
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Hi, Michelle,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michellehihi View Post
Good morning Ross, I was wondering if you could indicate me where to find the French version of this book that you seemed to have translated: Explaining the Tarot: Two Italian Renaissance Essays on the Meaning of the Tarot Pack

edited, translated and commented by
Ross Sinclair Caldwell, Thierry Depaulis, Marco Ponzi

I am francophone and it is easier for me to read French. Thank you!
Unfortunately there is no French translation, or any translation of the Italian texts other than into English in the edition we published.

The original texts themselves are open for anyone to translate, but the surrounding material, introductions and notes, are not likely to be translated into any other language soon (and would require permission). I think that between Italian and English, the text should not be too difficult for a Francophone, though, especially as your English appears to be very good.
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Michellehihi  Michellehihi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell View Post
Hi, Michelle,



Unfortunately there is no French translation, or any translation of the Italian texts other than into English in the edition we published.

The original texts themselves are open for anyone to translate, but the surrounding material, introductions and notes, are not likely to be translated into any other language soon (and would require permission). I think that between Italian and English, the text should not be too difficult for a Francophone, though, especially as your English appears to be very good.
Oh I see, the original is in Italian! I thought it was in French. Thank you for this explanation!
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