Mulûk Wa-Nawwâb (Mamluk) card images


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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenji
I have found a Japanese seller who has some packs in stock. If anyone would like to get one, send me a PM
I actually have one of those limited edition decks put out in the 70s. (Lucky me and no I won't sell it !) - I just thought I would mention that this MAY mean that they are still under some kind of copyright..... as someone mentioned that they might produce one in the hopes that they aren't !

Paul Huson has a bit about them and their connection to tarot in his book "Mystical Origins of Tarot".
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I know I can't afford one of these decks, but can someone who owns one please transcribe the inscriptions and any other pertinent details of the cards and post them here?

Or at least privately to those who express interest.

Not every researcher is also a collector. But I am sure that, without damaging the value of the artifact, it is also possible to contribute to scholarship in a positive way.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregory
I actually have one of those limited edition decks put out in the 70s.
Do you also have the accompanying book and if so does it include transcription / translation of the inscriptions on the cards?

Kwaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell
I know I can't afford one of these decks, but can someone who owns one please transcribe the inscriptions and any other pertinent details of the cards and post them here?

Or at least privately to those who express interest.

Not every researcher is also a collector. But I am sure that, without damaging the value of the artifact, it is also possible to contribute to scholarship in a positive way.
I could scan the cards. I only have a VERY brief LWB. But Huson has some stuff; I will look it up later and see if it helps.
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I have enjoyed this thread. Has anyone noticed how incredibly like prayer mats these Mamluk cards are? Prayer mats have a dome half circle that you place facing East, and a band behind you where your kneeling feet are. I have found some patterns very like these cards in Prayer Mats. I wonder if the game might have also worked on which way your cards faced; or maybe you never used reversals lol. ~Rosanne
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I do not have any kind of LWB; I was wrong.

I am trying to track down an article by Dummett and others which is available on a university site. I shall see if anyone I know has access..... I have the Game of Tarot - but so do all of you I think .... I will see what it says about inscriptions. But if anyone knows Huson - he writes as if he understands them....

I will scan the entire deck if anyone likes.....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaw
'Waraq' also means "Silver that has been flattened into very thin leaves by hammering it between two leather sheets." The waraq or 'silver leaf' is then used to decorate food [e.g. commonly used on Indian sweets].

Kwaw
WELL - I read recently that Tarocchi (the word) might relate to the gold leaf on Visconti etc decks, from the Italian taroccare, which meant to hammer out gold leaf.....

Huson says a lot about suit derivations from Mamluk cards BTW - I will type it up later if anyone hasn't seen it....
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I have received the deck from the seller.

kwaw: It does have a LWB of 62 pages, by Jan Bauwens (not by Dummett & Abu-Deeb). Unfortunately it seems it contains no transcription but only translation.

I will quote a chapter about it:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

2. THE APHORISMS OF THE PACK

The calligraphic texts were deciphered by an expert on the subject. Prof.TANGI of the University of Istanbul. The translation proved difficult; the aphorisms consits of rhyming stanzas which obey the very intricate laws of Arabic poetry. To give them sense a literary process was used which respected their contents and their scope.

The texts are often very enchanting, sometimes strange, but always interesting. Here they are:

2.1. Sticks

The King of Sticks says: <<Rejoice in the pleasant things and the success of the objects>>. The Lieutenant says: <<I am as a flower, a string of pearls is my soil?>>.

The second Lieutenant says: <<The alif rejoices and fullfils your whishes[sic](+)>>

The Boy says: <<Whosoever will call me to his happiness, he will only see joyful looks>>.

(+)What this alif means is not quite clear. As a letter it is equal to the number 1000; in this case it could be the thousand that fullfils the wishes; in mysticism and pseudo-mysticism the alif sometimes means <<Allah>> (KRISS 1962: 72). But would one dare to invoke the name of God in a game of cards? The King of Cups says: <<With the sword of happiness I shall redeem a beloved who will afterwards take my life>>.

2.2. [Nothing written: Cups?]

The Lieutenant says: <<O thou who hast possesions, remain happy and thou salt have a pleasant life>>.

The second Lieutenant says: <<Let it come to me, because acquired good is durable; it rejoices me with all its utility>>.

The Boy says: <<Pleasures for the soul and agreeable things, in my colours there are all kinds>>.

2.3. Coins

The King of Coins says: <<Look how wonderful my game is and my dress extraordinarily beautiful>>.

The Lieutenant says: <<I am as a garden, the like of which will never exist>>.

The Second Lieutenant says: << O my heart, for thee the good news that rejoices>>.

The Boy says: <<Rejoice in the happiness that returns, as a bird that sings its joy>>.

2.4. Swords

The King of Swords says: <<As for the present that rejoices, (thy) heart will soon (open up).

The Lieutenant says: <<I will, as pearls on a string, be lifted in the hands of kings>>.

The Second Lieutenant says: <<May God give thee prosperity; then thou will already have achieved thy aim>>.

The Boy says: <<Rejoice for thy lasting happiness>>.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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Thanks Kenji!

Is it only the court cards that have inscriptions, or do some of the pips have them too?

Kwaw
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OK so – do people still want the cards/parts of the cards scanned ??

And

Huson on the suits (these are conjectures, not stated as fact ! He is very careful about that.):

Arifi of Herat (15th century Sufi) wrote a book called The Ball and the Polo Stick, and used the game of polo for his mystical teachings. The Rubaiyat is also full of references to it and to the other suit signs.

Idries Shah (a Sufi writer of today) has also claimed that the tarot has Sufi roots. But he does not explain or back this up.

There are 4 Cardinal Virtues. The symbols most associated with them are those of the four suit signs of tarocchi.

===========================

The 4 castes of ancient Persia were:
1 – Magi – Húristár
2 - Kings and warriors – Núristár
3 – Farmers and cultivators – Súristár
4 - people destined for employment and service – Rúzistár

These compare rather well with the 4 castes of Hinduism.

Magi have carved rods for symbols; warriors swords; farmers and cultivators (who improve things) cups, and employees coins. This would tie in with the four virtues in which the young kings of Persia had to be schooled, and could also be the origin of the Cardinal Virtues.

Rods became polo sticks when the symbols were used in a game, because they were more familiar – and the same happened in reverse when the game came to Europe, where polo was little known.

This also ties into the hierarchical classes of Ménestriers – hearts for the church, pikes (spades) for arms bearing aristocrats, diamonds (paving tiles) for merchants and clubs (trefoils) for the peasantry.

If I am teaching my grandmother about sucking those eggs again, I’m sorry…… But it interested me !
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