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Philippe  Philippe is offline
Join Date: 23 Jun 2013
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Anonymous parisian tarot - a new interpretation

Recently jtdemers was asking in another thread which sense could be given to the minors of this mysterious deck and was referring to a thread on discussing the heraldry on the pentacles cards.

All the members seemed to take for granted the arguments advanced by a certain M. Popoff in the well known M. Depaulis' booklet "Tarot, jeu et magie" from 1985. I disagree with several of his assignments hence this thread.

Let's begin with the 4 of pentacles :

Anonyme 4d by PhilBeDaN, sur Flickr

From the upper left to lower right & according to M. Popoff (taken up by Stuart Kaplan in the second volume of his encyclopedia) : 1-Dauphiné 2-Gian Galeazzo Visconti (Milan-Visconti) 3-Bretagne 4-Artois.

Here I disagree with 2 & 4 and I would like to advance a new explanation which has the advantage of linking the 4 coats of arms together.

Dauphiné is the privilege of the heir of the kingdom, also called Dauphin. It happens that François 1er (1494-1547) had 3 sons :

The elder, his favorite, François de France, le Dauphin, was Duc de Bretagne (Duke of Brittany, stoat arms in 3). He died in Tournon (Ardèche) in 1536.

The following son was Henri (future Henri II 1519-1559) Duc d'Orléans. It's Orléans and not Artois that is shown in 4 :

Orléans by PhilBeDaN, sur Flickr

The youngest son was Charles d'Angoulême 1522-1545. Here is the blazon (in french sorry) : before 1536 "Écartelé aux I et IV d'azur à trois fleurs de lys d'or au lambel d'argent chargé de trois croissants de gueules, aux II et III d'argent à la guivre d'azur couronnée d'or issante de carnation"; after 1536 "Écartelé aux I et IV d'azur à trois fleurs de lys d'or au lambel d'argent, aux II et III d'argent à la guivre d'azur couronnée d'or hissante de carnation"

Charles avt 1536 by PhilBeDaN, sur Flickr
Charles ap 1536 by PhilBeDaN, sur Flickr

Zooming in the card, the label (lambel in french) is clearly visible :

lambel by PhilBeDaN, sur Flickr

It's Charles and not Gian Galeazzo Visconti that the 2nd coat of arms represent.

Of course the three brothers were TWICE the descendants of Valentina Visconti :

1- Via Charles d'Orléans the great poet for a long time prisoner in London, Louis XII and their mother
2- Via Jean d'Orléans brother of the preceding Charles, Charles d'Angoulême 1459-1496 and their father

It must be noted that only Henri II united in himself the 4 titles as well as their coats of arms represented on the card : d'Angoulême by birth, d'Orléans as he is the second son, Dauphin and Duc de Bretagne when his elder dies in 1536.
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