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Was the Dodal created by Payen?


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Was the Dodal created by Payen?


A number of weeks ago, Le_Pendu and I were conversing privately about a number of Tarot issues, with specific careful attention being paid to especially various early Marseille decks, images for which are either online, on re-published decks (and a huge thankyou and acknowledgement to both Kenji for earlier finding copies of the Dodal, and to J-C Flornoy for taking the precious time to make both the Dodal and the Noblet in such wonderful renditions).

One of the quite obvious factors is that there are three decks that are so similar as to be copies of each other: the Jean Payen, the Jean-Pierre Payen... and the Dodal.

If one also looks at the dates of the Payen (possibly father and son?), they seem to occur just prior to and just after the Dodal, with much overlap. In detail, the Dodal appears to also have elements of each... but there is also a really telling sign that the Dodal hides something in plain view (and obviously noted, though not mentioned anywhere that I can see, by J-C Flornoy).

The first is that the Dodal is specifically made for the export market - so perhaps the same craftsman (or woman) woodcarver could have worked on the Payen and the Dodal, without loss of 'face'. The second is that their location has both proximity to each other, yet located under different rulerships: Lyons and Avignon.

But the last is the giveaway, for, upon the Dodal, beneath the tail of the right-hand 'dog' on the Moon card are the initials of Jean Payen.

This would fit with an earlier than a later carving of the woodblock for the Dodal as a deck closer to 1701 than to 1713 (as currently generally thought), with the carving perhaps even dating from a decade earlier (though this is taking it further than really warranted).

Perhaps, too, there may have been some financial agreement made between Dodal and Payen as to markets to which the former was permitted to supply, with Payen 'hiding' his initials as a safeguard. After all... how many have up till now noticed it?
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"dropping" a hint


Methinks perhaps Jean Dodal may have been expressing
his opinion of the Payens borrowing of his work. Woof!
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We may also look closer to home for a truly brilliant example
from an admired artist, verily the sole greatest contributor
to the history of Tarot since the first decks appeared:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/tarot/pkt/img/pe10.jpg

Note how subtly our prescient genius has expressed herself,
and please don't suppose her signature is up top by mistake.
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On your close-up, jmd and on my card, it does appear as though that is a
letter "J"...but on this one ....it looks like a number "1" which wouldn't make sense...or a letter "I" which wouldn't either.

http://letarot.com/jean-dodal/pages/...images/18.html

So...it would appear that the initials are J.P.....

Hmmm....

terri
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The letters 'I' and 'J' are interchangeable at the time, and were undifferentiated - also, my close-up is taken from that same card as on J-C Flornoy's site you give the link to: the initials are clearly I. P.
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It's long been know that the Payen packs (the earlier and the later) and the Dodal are very close in style - but particularly the earlier. This does not conclusively point to a single master (and if we count the later Payen, two makers, father and son); but the presence of the initials I.P. on the Moon card does throw a doubt. Who created the tarot pack known as the "Dodal"?.

What's know of Jean Dodal? The only thing is what is on his cards: "F. P. LE TRANGE" - most likely meaning: "fait pour l'étranger" (made for abroad), inscribed on 7 cards. FAICT A LYON PAR IEAN DODAL (on the 2 of Coins) - "made in Lyons by Jean Dodal". And "IEAN DODAL" (on the 2 of Cups). Without the style and the I.P. on the Moon card, there would be no doubt that a card-maker called Jean Dodal, in Lyons, made these cards for export.

But there is that troublesome I.P. on a pack that looks so much like the elder Payen's pack.

What to make of it? I don't know. It is entirely possible for a card manufacturer, Dodal, in Lyon, to have retained the services of a well-known journeyman (or even master) - Jean Payen - in order to make a pack for export.

Or, as Fulgour has suggested, this could be an homage to another card-maker - perhaps Jean Payen was Dodal's master?

There is at least one unexplained piece of information: on the 2 of Cups, at the top, the acronym "PLN". The acronym below - FPE - means in all likelihood "Fait Pour l'Etranger", picked up in other cards.

Some things are "different" about this pack. The most striking - for me - is the name of La Papesse, here called "La Pances". This is obviously a Romance word, but I've not identified (or seen identified) the language. It is not Lyons dialect. I speculate that it is in the language of the main country of export. That is, outside France (so that excludes Occitan). Which would that be? Piedmontese? Lombard? Catalan? Spanish even? (early 18th century). I don't think the word "Pances" would have been used in a pack for Germany or Switzerland, because the more common Papesse was already known. UNLESS, of course, it was meant to get round the Lutheran/Calvinist censorship. But then, why a Pape, much more unacceptable to a Protestant!

Why was the already well-known name of Papesse changed to Pances? Jean Payen & Jean-Pierre Payen's packs both use the word Papesse. Pances is a Dodal speciality, as far as I know. I've not seen or read of another tarot pack that uses that nomenclature.

I have no answer to the suggestion made above by JMD & Le Pendu, but I do wonder if all bases have been covered before deciding that Jean Payen was the real creator of the Jean Dodal tarot pack.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helvetica
Some things are "different" about this pack. The most striking - for me - is the name of La Papesse, here called "La Pances". This is obviously a Romance word, but I've not identified (or seen identified) the language. It is not Lyons dialect. I speculate that it is in the language of the main country of export. That is, outside France (so that excludes Occitan). Which would that be? Piedmontese? Lombard? Catalan? Spanish even? (early 18th century). I don't think the word "Pances" would have been used in a pack for Germany or Switzerland, because the more common Papesse was already known. UNLESS, of course, it was meant to get round the Lutheran/Calvinist censorship. But then, why a Pape, much more unacceptable to a Protestant!
I've seen the word "pances" in other contexts before; there it seems to usually refer to some sort of dried fruit, like raisins or currants. It occurs in English, in Spenser's The Faerie Queene, as an item on a list of posies and flowers; in English it's likely a hapax. I can only speculate in unseemly veins about the possible relation of these concepts to La Papesse, but it may mean something like "the old maid".

It could also be a typo for "Princesse." Since it seems that Tarot decks were printed from large woodcuts containing multiple cards all carved on the same piece of wood, there was a strong disincentive to correcting your typos. Odd spellings on the Tarot de Paris, like "Atrempance" for Tempérance, may be much the same thing. Also, on the Dodal deck, the top of the papal tiara seems to have been cut off, and looks much more like a standard model crown; this might have led to re-interpretation of the figure.
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More Pances


Quote:
Originally Posted by ihcoyc
I've seen the word "pances" in other contexts before; there it seems to usually refer to some sort of dried fruit, like raisins or currants. It occurs in English, in Spenser's The Faerie Queene, as an item on a list of posies and flowers; in English it's likely a hapax. I can only speculate in unseemly veins about the possible relation of these concepts to La Papesse, but it may mean something like "the old maid".
This is from the Testament of François Villon:

Engloutir vins, engrossir pances,
Mener joyes, festes et dances,


--- "to guzzle wines, gorge on raisins, to enjoy parties, feasts, and dances. . ."
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helvetica
But there is that troublesome I.P. on a pack that looks so much like the elder Payen's pack.

What to make of it? I don't know. It is entirely possible for a card manufacturer, Dodal, in Lyon, to have retained the services of a well-known journeyman (or even master) - Jean Payen - in order to make a pack for export.

Or, as Fulgour has suggested, this could be an homage to another card-maker - perhaps Jean Payen was Dodal's master?

There is at least one unexplained piece of information: on the 2 of Cups, at the top, the acronym "PLN". The acronym below - FPE - means in all likelihood "Fait Pour l'Etranger", picked up in other cards.

.........................

Some things are "different" about this pack. The most striking - for me - is the name of La Papesse, here called "La Pances". This is obviously a Romance word, but I've not identified (or seen identified) the language. It is not Lyons dialect. I speculate that it is in the language of the main country of export. That is, outside France (so that excludes Occitan). Which would that be? Piedmontese? Lombard? Catalan? Spanish even? (early 18th century). I don't think the word "Pances" would have been used in a pack for Germany or Switzerland, because the more common Papesse was already known. UNLESS, of course, it was meant to get round the Lutheran/Calvinist censorship. But then, why a Pape, much more unacceptable to a Protestant!

Why was the already well-known name of Papesse changed to Pances? Jean Payen & Jean-Pierre Payen's packs both use the word Papesse. Pances is a Dodal speciality, as far as I know. I've not seen or read of another tarot pack that uses that nomenclature.
About the IP, I think the possibility of a travelling master is very reasonable. On the contrary, using a signature as an homage to another card-maker seems more difficult to believe. I think it would not be understood even by the contemporaries, because a signature is obviously connected to the creator of an object. I think a visual reference to a distinctive feature of another artist would be a more common kind of homage.

The new name for La Papesse is very interesting. I think that the second verse of the poem quoted by ihcoyc literally tranlates to "fill our bellies". In Italian "pancia" is "belly". But in Villon's verses, pances is plural....

Marco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorArcanus
The new name for La Papesse is very interesting. I think that the second verse of the poem quoted by ihcoyc literally tranlates to "fill our bellies". In Italian "pancia" is "belly". But in Villon's verses, pances is plural....
It might conceivably be related to the legend of Pope Joan's pregnancy. The English word that corresponds here is "paunch," borrowed from one or another of these sources.
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