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variantventures  variantventures is offline
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Topkapi Cards?


1) Does anyone know the reference number/s used to track this deck by the Topkapi? I would like to obtain new images of the cards but without a catalog/reference number this will not be possible.

2) Has anyone seen these cards in the last 40 years? So far as I have been able to determine the last time the cards were photographed was prior to 1974.

Thank you.
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Do you have a scan to share to point us in the right direction?
My searches bring up the Mamluk deck and lots of carpola offered on Zazzle.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ View Post
Do you have a scan to share to point us in the right direction?
My searches bring up the Mamluk deck and lots of carpola offered on Zazzle.
Yes, the deck often referred to as the Mamulk deck is held by the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul.
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Email the directorate of the musuem with as much information as you can and see if they can help you with a reference or direct you to where you can?

E-mail: topkapisarayimuzesi@kulturturizm.gov.tr

Or perhaps a card historian/researcher such as Depaulis may have more details?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaw View Post
Email the directorate of the musuem with as much information as you can and see if they can help you with a reference or direct you to where you can?

E-mail: topkapisarayimuzesi@kulturturizm.gov.tr

Or perhaps a card historian/researcher such as Depaulis may have more details?
I have spent two years trying to deal with them. I've gotten a researcher application form from them, filled it out, sent it in, and heard nothing. The Topkapi has multiple branches overseen by different divisions of the ministry. I suspect the cards are part of the Treasury. If they are part of the library I've been unable to locate them in the online manuscript database. They might be in another section altogether.

I'm hoping that if I can find a catalog number for the cards I might be able to get new images. The Topkapi has very reasonable prices for producing photographs and is apparently very good about producing these in a timely fashion. Without a catalog number I would need to get researcher credentials, hire a translator, and visit the Topkapi in person to try and find the cards. Much as I would enjoy that I just can't afford it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by variantventures View Post
I suspect the cards are part of the Treasury. If they are part of the library I've been unable to locate them in the online manuscript database.
I searched the three online databases using turkish terms I could think of but nothing I could find (most brought up nothing, I got a lot for games [oyunlar] but not our cards - sorry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaw View Post
I searched the three online databases using turkish terms I could think of but nothing I could find (most brought up nothing, I got a lot for games [oyunlar] but not our cards - sorry
Thank you for looking. It always helps to have more eyes.
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This French manuscript contains an image of "Naib: Tarots Arabes peints sur ivoires" (Naib: Arab Tarots painted onto ivory), see page 13 of the MS.

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b530239779/

Perhaps they are relevant to the present discussion. I haven't seen this mentioned elsewhere. The MS also contains numerous sketches and other designs.
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The direct link ...
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv...9779/f16.image
"Tarots Arabes prints sur ivoire (Grandeur naturelle)"

Added:
I found this ...

Quote:

Images of ivory playing cards bought in a Cairo bazar by French traveller Mr. Émile Prisse d'Avennes (1807-1879), during his visit to Egypt in the period 1827-1844. He identified them as Persian by the style and quality.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganjifa

Further picture in the article:

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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
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