Sunday, November 6, 2016

June 27, 2016: 3rd Rosenwald Sheet

Here is my translation of Franco Pratesi's "Il terzo foglio Rosenwald", at Words in brackets are mine.  I posted it originally at, where it is followed by discussion.

The Third Rosenwald Sheet
(by Franco Pratesi) 

1. Introduction

Some time ago, I had the audacity to describe and discuss the fourth Rosenwald sheet 1; it was a sheet containing twenty-four cards, three rows of eight, as in the first three known sheets; connected with this page, however, there were at least two serious problems; the first and most important thing was that it was just a figment of my imagination, with no supporting document; to make matters worse, even if you accept the plausibility of a sheet of this kind, the purpose for which it was introduced was not demonstrated satisfactorily. The purpose was in fact to identify the most convenient way to produce a pack of minchiate by adding a similar sheet to the three already known for the Rosenwald series. In order for the attempt to be successful, it was necessary to introduce additional hypotheses: the first seemed quite plausible and supposed that the minchiate deck had been initially been formed from only (obviously, in a relative sense) ninety-six cards, one less than the standard known from packs of a later period. The second hypothesis was perhaps even more difficult to defend: using the three known sheets and the fourth, which was introduced using only the imagination, I arrived at a pack of ninety-six cards that was very close to that of minchiate but not quite identical. The main difficulty was that there was a female pope in addition and the omission of one queen: it had then also to be imagined that there were similar, but not identical, decks in which these little inconsistencies could properly be resolved.
1. (in English, 2011). Now also in Italian, in: F. Pratesi, Giochi di carte della repubblica fiorentina. Ariccia 2016.

2. The third Rosenwald sheet

It was thought at the time of my study that the three known Rosenwald sheets did not belong to a single pack of cards: Ross Caldwell and others had drawn attention to minor but secure differences between one sheet and

another, such as to lead to the conclusion that the corresponding packs were more than one, similar but not identical. For my purposes, I simply consider the Rosenwald sheets as if they belonged to the same pack, produced by the same card maker, but in fact those small differences identified may be useful to make my assumption of the ninety-six deck cards of minchiate more convincing. The 3x8 pattern of the composition of the blocks had become standardized, but between one form and another there could be small differences that would have permitted the production of that minchiate pack from just four forms.

On the first two Rosenwald sheets, preserved only in Washington, I have nothing to add, but for the third Rosenwald sheet it seems worth examining again and comparing it with the similar example preserved in the Deutsches Spielkartenmuseum of Leinfelden-Echterdingen, so as to identify any differences in detail. Through the courtesy of Dr. Annette Koger, director of the Museum, I had access to a copy at a sufficiently high resolution of their exemplar, for which I will use the designation "third Rosenwald-type sheet", or even simpler, "third Rosenwald sheet" 2. Of course the good quality of the reproduction cannot improve the readability of the original, which is notoriously already reduced to a poor condition; A restoration was made in 1958-60 and since then this sheet is unchanged.

The reproduction presented in Fig. 1 is of lower resolution, but I do not think that an increase of the resolution of the image can resolve ambiguities of definition or reading. As well as reconstructing the figures, there would in fact also be that of reading the overlapping numbers: they are Roman numerals, which require a lot of attention here and a little fantasy to be identified. At the moment, Lothar Teikemeier is trying to read this third Rosenwald sheet better, but we are both convinced that we can deduce something more and something different from what was reported in the Spielkartenmuseum by Pinder at the time and accepted by Hoffmann3. Research is under way and I can only anticipate with some brief notices, with the assistance of Lothar Teikemeier and Gianmarco Masini.
2. Spielkartenmuseum, email 18.05.2016 – 13.28.
3. D. Hoffmann, M. Dietrich, Tarot - Tarock - Tarocchi. Leinfelden-Echterdingen 1988.

[Original in English.]
Not all cards can be identified, some are too heavy destroyed to see anything, a greater part can be identified by small details only. Some cards are easily recognized. There is no remarkable difference with respect to the Washington sheet, if one takes into account that some sheets have been “printed the wrong way around”, as already indicated by Dummett4. Different from the Rosenwald sheet in Washington, which has wrong Roman numbers (for instance IV instead of VI, IIX instead of XII), the Leinfelden sheet should have correct numbers (which can however be confirmed only in very vague way). If two different woodblocks are involved (and the difference is not due to mistakes in the presentation of the images), since the Leinfelden sheet has the right orientation of the numbers, it should have been the older sheet, made from the older block 5.

Figure 1 – Third sheet, Rosenwald type, Inv. Nr. B 1006.
(Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Deutsches Spielkartenmuseum)

A first comparison test, with the image of the Washington sheet flipped from right to left, leads to the following table, in which an illegible card is shown with a 0, and one with uncertain lineaments with a ?;
4. M. Dummett, The Game of Tarot, London 1980, p. 76.
5. L. Teikemeier, email 24.06.2016.

only figures marked with an exclamation point are to be considered sufficiently secure. The recognition of the cards will hopefully improve, thanks to the efforts of Lothar Teikemeier and other experts. Unfortunately, the cards we are most interested in are on the bottom line, the most damaged. In short, for now my fourth sheet continues to await possible confirmation. Fortunately, there are other documents to be studied, which have led to more information.

3. The printed pages

A few hours after sending the photo, Annette Koger was kind enough to let me have a copy of the sheets of paper stored along with the sheet of the Rosenwald type, which had been found with precisely these sheets: "The Tarot sheet has been found within these printed sheets" [original in English]6. They are two sheets of printed pages from a volume of legal opinions in folio. This entire category of books is very common and would have beens reprinted several times, which is understandable because there were not a few people who dealt professionally with the law and who would benefit from volumes of its kind kept at hand.

Fig. 2 shows one of the four pages in question, for the two sheets presented; the other page differs from this one only by
6 Spielkartenmuseum, email 18.05.2016 – 17.22.

its different state of preservation, but they were identical in origin; as identical to each other, as were the other two pages not reproduced here.

Figure 2 – Inv. Nr. B 1006 Lat. Foliantenseiten 3.
(Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Deutsches Spielkartenmuseum)

Even before examining the text, it seems useful to discuss the pair of sheets as such. Their presence together immediately excludes the hypothesis that they are pages torn from a book, because if the source had been such, the two sheets would have contained pages succeeding each other, whereas here the two pages are repeated. The immediate inference is that they are typography leftovers, folios that for some defect or pagination error were not included in the pages used in the final binding of the book. The German museum has several other useful pieces of information: the size of these pages

are 43.65x28.45 cm, the sheets do not show glue residues, as are obvious on the Rosenwald sheet, but more damage by moisture and insects can be observed.

4. Investigation of the edition

It is the remainder from making a legal work, one of many of this same type that have reached us from the sixteenth century. To locate the book in question was soon possible, thanks to Google-Books: inserting some terms chosen from the printed text reveals a definite correspondence with the first volume of a weighty treatise by Pier Filippo Corneo.

Volumen primum.
Nunc recèns non mediocri cura & diligentia excusum, & à mendis repurgatum.
Cum Summarijs, & indice lucupletissimo.
Apud Nicolaum Beuilacquam, & Socios

However, the match is not perfect: the book is certainly that one, but the edition is different. A major difficulty for the continuation of the investigation is the fact that many editions of this work were printed. From an initial search of OPAC7 there are fifty entries; even reducing them to those containing the first book of the work there are many; plus a few unreported reprints, some editions are possibly entered twice for slight differences in the relevant bibliography, and vice versa, several editions are possibly reported here under one heading. A summary list, which is probably not complete, includes a dozen editions: Perugia 1501-02; Trino 1512-13, with two reprints in 1521; France in 1531; Venice 1534-35 and 1543; Lyon 1544; Venice 1572, 1582.

Probably within a few years, a number of these editions will be on the web and then will be able to be checked with immediacy, but for now I have not found others: the lucky case of one of those editions available on-line, which has led to the identification of the source, seems for now the only one, and the other editions can be inspected in paper. A first idea to continue the research was then to speak to all the libraries who have a copy of the book to ask if the Leinfelden page corresponds (or less) to their edition. In fact, I immediately started to move in that direction, by writing to the University Library of Pisa, where the French edition of 1531 is preserved. The prompt response was that the edition did not correspond 8. There thus remained to inspect especially editions in various Italian cities, in order of time Perugia, Trino and Venice.

Then came a pause for reflection, before continuing to disturb the librarians. I paused in particular in front of a kind of cost-benefit analysis. The reasoning was this: suppose that in a few months we can identify the edition: What can it tell us exactly about the dating and the origin of the Rosenwald sheet? No one can guarantee that the sheet and the pages came from the same typography, or that they were even printed in the same town and even in the same year. Of course, between an edition of 1501 and 1582 - the two end dates for the editions listed - the difference is very large, but here we are probably dealing with an edition within the first and second quarters of the century, and thud any hypothesis indicating the origin of the cards would perhaps derive rather from that city and date; at first glance it seems that the choice will be between the latest editions of Perugia and the first of Trino.

Reflecting on it again, my thought, however, returned to the loose pages: While a book can be put anywhere and at any time in the mistreatment of vandalism leading to torn pages and used for various purposes, the pages in our case you can not logically be too removed from the place and date of issue. the problem will always remain uncertain pairing with Rosenwald sheet, but at least the printed pages should be localized with a reasonable accuracy. Therefore I have taken up the matter and loosened the brakes that prevented me from disturbing the librarians too; thus I sent
8. G. A. Pulitanò, email 20.05.2016.

various mails to other libraries. One answer was negative, but another has resolved the matter.

The identification of the copy is due to Dr. Margaret Alfi of the Antique Section of the Public Library Augusta of Perugia, which provided me the scan of Fig. 3 with comments following.

Figure 3 – Book of 1501. Same page as Fig. 2.
(Perugia, Biblioteca Comunale Augusta, I B 399) .
La pagina del primo libro dei Consiliorum di Pier Filippo Corneo appartiene all’edizione di Perugia 1501-1502: Primum [-quartum] volumen consiliorum d. Petri Philippi Cornei … - (Impresse Perusii : sumptibus et impensis Petripauli ac Iulij Cesaris Petriphilippi filiorum : cura et diligentia Francisci Baldasaris bibliopole de Perusio, 1501-1502). Invio in allegato la scansione
della suddetta pagina. Mi spiace non poter inviare copia del frontespizio in quanto è mancante nel nostro esemplare.9

[The page of the first book of the Consiliorum of Pier Filippo Corneo belongs to the edition of Perugia 1501-1502: Primum [-quartum] volumen consiliorum d. Petri Philippi Cornei ... - (Impresse Perusii: sumptibus et impensis Petripauli ac Iulij Cesaris Petriphilippi filiorum: cura et diligentia Francisci Baldasaris Bibliopole de Perusio, 1501-1502). Please find enclosed the scan

of that page. I regret not being able to send a copy of the title as it is missing in our exemplar.] 9
As we see, Perugia has won in every sense: from there come the pages in question, again from there is now confirmation of the place and date of origin. More could not be expected: the place is interesting and the date is the oldest among all the possible ones. In this regard, it will inevitably have to add something to the discussion.

5. Notes on the author

If it is considered useful, besides tracing the precise edition of this book, to also obtain some information about its author, it is not difficult to gather information. It so happens that this author was very much appreciated in the legal environment as a writer and teacher, and was not only known for this; in fact he belonged to one of the most important families of Perugia and with his brothers played a leading role in city politics. We can begin with the study of "Pier Filippo of Cornia” by Pier Luigi Falaschi, present in the Treccani Biographical Dictionary 10. Here let me extract some information among that reported there or in studies mentioned in their bibliography.

Pier Filippo Corneo (or Cornia, Perugia 1419-1420 to 1492) revealed prematurely extraordinary intelligence and soon from a law student became a teacher in the same Perugia university, where, in precisely the legal field, there were active prestigious masters. His reputation as a teacher grew to the point that he was called to give lectures in Ferrara and then in the studio [university] of Pisa. We obtain various notices of the jealousies between academics (more frequent, before as well as after), but even among cities, with the pope having to intervene several times to quell disputes between Perugia and other university locations, fated to be victorious for our author as a teacher.

As a teacher, it has been handed down that he was much appreciated despite his small stature and weak voice. As an author, it seems that for his numerous works he never used the assistance of a
9. M. Alfi, email 21.06.2016.
10. ... a-fico%29/

scribe, preferring to write in his own hand. As an influential citizen, we can remember a number of ambassadorial positions to the pope and other cities. Of note are various interventions more pugnacious in city politics, along with his brothers, especially in support of the Baglioni, both in internal strife in the family, as well as against the Oddi family, their common adversary and the last obstacle to the Baglioni on the threshold of lordship. Thanks to his reputation, one could easily go on: there is in fact a lot of information about his life and works, more than is useful for our purposes, for which it will be more useful to turn to the family of the publisher. A useful reference work contains pages on both families11

6. The edition and the publisher

More than the author of the text, we are interested in the edition and the publisher. Typography in Perugia had developed before many other Italian cities, with the production of several incunabula, coming also to meet the demands of the local universities. At the time, the studio in Perugia could be considered one of the most important in Europe and the large number of students, including foreigners, is above all directed especially to the legal disciplines. On the Perugia incunabula numerous studies have been published, especially in the nineteenth century, with some controversy among scholars concerning them. Among the most important contributions, besides that inserted by Tiraboschi in his History12, we can mention those of Giovan Battista Vermiglioli, who resumed his major work already cited, and the polemical reaction of Peter Brandolese13. Of little use is the next small book, the Annals of Antonio Brizi14, because his anthology begins in 1550, and in the last few pages of the Chronological Prospect of Perugian typography does not provide information besides the names of the printers, among whom we find that Bianchino Leone already met for the comedy by Nottorno Napoletano15.
11. G. B. Vermiglioli, Biografia degli scrittori perugini e notizie delle opere loro, Vol. 1. [Biographies of Perugian writers and information about their works.] Perugia 1829 (reprinted Bologna 1973), pp. 350-359 on Pier Filippo Corneo.
12. G. Tiraboschi, Storia della letteratura italiana [History of Italian Literature], Milao 1824, VI, pp. 768 ff.
13. La tipografia perugina del sec. 15. illustrata dal signor Vermiglioli e presa in esame da Pietro Brandolese [Perugian Typography of the 15th century, illustrated by Mr. Vermiglioli and taken into consideration by Pietro Brandolese]. Padua 1807.
14. A. Brizi, Annali tipografici di Perugia dall'origine della stampa ad oggi. [Typographical annals of Perugia from the beginning of printing to today.] Bologna 1888.
15. F. Pratesi, The Playing-Card, 17 No. 1 (1988) 23-33.[see online; for other pages use "back" and "next" buttons there.]

The edition of our interest occupies a unique niche in both Perugian typography in general, and in the production of this exceptional Perugia family of typographers, the Cartolari. As for Perugia publishing, it should be noted that the exceptional Venetian publishing flowering in the last quarter of the fifteenth century had shot dead many typographic initiatives that were taking a slow start in the smaller locations, including Perugia: After the important activities especially of the decade in 1470, Perugia publishing was interrupted, with a final edition of 1482.

It was precisely Francesco Baldassare who took up Perugiam typographic activities again, after a printing test done in Venice in 1499-1500. To make this restart of typography in Perugia possible was Domenico da Gorgonzola, a typography expert that our Francesco managed to transfer from Venice to Perugia as his collaborator. The edition of our interest was the first in which the two engaged in Perugia. Since this is a quite challenging work, even the first volume (which is what interests us) took a couple of years to complete (and perhaps a few more months more).

About circumstances that were at the origin of the edition and episodes connected to it, we have several interesting pieces of information. Of one study that seems to bring a very significant contribution16 I am not able to find a copy, and I could only use as much as had been extracted by more recent authors, and especially Andrea Capaccioni17.

Limiting ourselves to the essentials, the edition was made at the expense of Pier Paolo and Giulio Cesare della Cornia (or Corgna as we read more often for them). In older studies, the two are referred to as grandchildren of Pier Filippo; in the more recent ones as children, also in accordance with the same appellation; the difference may be very important, but not for our purposes. In the edition in question, an introduction, "the author's life" was written by Francis Maturanzio, "who had instructed in letters the two grandsons of Pier Filippo"18.
16. A. Rossi, L'arte tipografica in Perugia durante il secolo XV e la prima meta` del XVI. [The Typographic Art in Perugia During the 15th and First Half of the 16th Century.] Perugia 1868.
17. A. Capaccioni, Lineamenti di storia dell’editoria umbra: il Quattrocento ed il Cinquecento. [Outlines of the history of Umbrian publishing: the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.] Perugia 1996.
18. G. B. Vermiglioli, op. cit. p. 286.

The two grandsons, or sons, we find later in court for their contracts precisely for the printing of this edition that Francesco Cartolari effectuated without respecting the terms of the signed contract with them. There were several judicial repercussions, which ended in 1515 with the imprisonment of Francesco and the closing of his shop. In 1516 Francesco was able to resume the printing business for one last job and "died
probably in the first half of 1518"19. His heirs were to pursue the business.

7. Background of the Cartolari family

We have seen the essentials about the edition of our interest and what happened next. But there is something prior which overall could be considered secondary and of little interest, but which may prove fundamental precisely for us who are interested in the third Rosenwald sheet. Meanwhile the name of the Cartolari family is already important. Scholars are not unanimous, but the majority believe (including the cited Peter Brandolese) that the name of the Cartolari family originated with Francesco, son of Baldassare, a cartolaio [card or paper maker or seller]. That is, cartolaio would have been only the name of the profession of Baldassare di Francesco, the founder of this family, to whom was appointed, besides a first name and patronymic, also that "professional" attribution. Only his son Francesco would begin to use Cartolari as family name.-

With regard to persons, activities and products that precede our edition of 1501, it can be very useful for us also to get acquainted with the father of our bookseller [libraio] Francesco. Baldassare came from Papiano, a village not far from Deruta, about twenty kilometers south of Perugia, and moved to the capital so as to carry out his card-making activities. In 1467 he obtained Perugian citizenship and later rented a shop in the city center and a "field of battle", presumably out of town, for his business of cartalaio.

Here it needs to be understood who was meant then as a cartolaio. The paper [carta], as we understand it today, certainly was not then
19 A. Capaccioni, op. cit., p. 39.

produced in Perugia; possibly, it was resold by cartolari [variant plural of cartolaio?] after being bought from Fabriano, or other cities equipped with paper mills, who also sent as payment in kind rags collected in the city. Instead, the paper produced by these cartolari was parchment, produced from tanning and traded. Apparently Baldassare never went beyond this practice of the cartolaio's craft, but the son Francesco diversified the business and made a sufficient fortune, enough, as we have seen, to engage, as a result, in the revival of typography in Perugia.

The passage as catolaio from tanner to printer was not as sudden as it might seem. The parchment produced could immediately form a basis with which to prepare and sell books. These books could be of various kinds: at the beginning, finished books, also bound ones, but also books not completely written; book-manuscripts copied by the cartolaio on the basis of specimens in their possession or provided by the customer; books whose cartalaio attended to their decoration with ornamentation and miniatures; Then, books that used rag paper; then, books made to print from a printer at his own expense; then, books printed in the shop itself. Obviously, the last step was the most challenging and it was this innovation that took place in the workshop of Cartolari at the turn of the century, thanks to Francesco.

8. Hypotheses and discussion
We have found that which allows us to speculate about a possible reconstruction of the facts. Unfortunately it will take us to hypotheses that cannot be confirmed by other information or documents. The starting point was the pages of equal pairs. Now we know the city, Perugia, and the year, 1501. It seems unlikely that these pages remained available for long after printing. The publishing business was based on a limited number of copies and the unused sheets of paper were immediately required for the most varied applications, even as paper to wrap up cargo. In short, having found 1501 as a practical date for the source, it also corresponds roughly to the date of utilization. The same applies for the town; it is unthinkable that these sheets discarded in printing would have traveled a distance before being used; this would have been possible for the pages of a finished book, but not for residues from processing; thus the sheets were stuck to the third Rosenwald sheet near to the time and

place of production, Perugia 1501. Based on what we have learned about the fate of this edition, we can also assume that these leftovers from processing were held in reserve for the production of additional copies of the book that because of legal matters were then not fated to be completed; in this case, the related date could extend until 1515; what is certain is that the date could not be earlier than 1501 except possibly by a few months, required to complete the layout of the book.

Now the question arises whether the third Rosenwald sheet could have the same origin as the pages, as regards location and time. In the reconstruction we should probably avoid the extremes: one extreme would be that the sheet of cards was also printed right in Perugia and in that same year 1501; the other extreme is that the sheet might come from some other location and a date not only later, but in this case also earlier. As we have said for the date of the book pages, it would seem to exclude a third Rosenwald sheet coming from later times, except possibly a few years. This already appears as a firm point. It has left open for the playing cards the possibility of earlier dates and different locations. However, also for sheets of cards it is not easy to believe in a long time without being used, or transporting over considerable distances. On the sheet of playing cards we can think of two different attributions, either an intermediate stage of processing, before the individual cards were cut, or a sheet left permanently so because it contained some error or defect, but in both cases a long storage would not be planned.

It so happens that to find a possible production of playing cards, we do not have to go far from Perugia. We know that Baldassare, father of Francesco, produced parchment, but as a cartolaio most likely traded or manufactured also playing cards; if he did not do so, this activity might have been of interest to his son Francesco in his orientation toward the diversification of the father's manufactured products. Even in the event that Cartolari did not produce a card game, it is unlikely that he did not attend to buying and selling it. In the end, I cannot imagine a better combination than that of goods in the same family workshop. In conclusion, we cannot say with certainty that the third Rosenwald sheet comes from Perugia and was printed in a year near 1501; we have already said that we should avoid extremes in the

reconstruction; but the "golden mean" we are looking for cannot be far from that source.

9. Conclusion

In a previous study we had suggested that a fourth Rosenwald sheet can serve to produce a pack of minchiate made up of ninety-six cards. To sustain such a situation we had to assume that there were slight differences between one pack and another in the same series, in order to overcome some difficulties that arose in the reconstruction. In this study the third Rosenwald sheet has been reviewed, from the Leinfelden-Echterdingen Museum; Lothar Teikemeier has confirmed that between this and the similar model stored in Washington there are perceptible differences.

Along with the card sheet of cards, two pages were studied deriving from the printing of a legal treatise that has been recognized as originally printed in Perugia in 1501/02. The related discussion leads to the conclusion that the third Rosenwald sheet could not have a very different origin from that of the printed pages, and that, as a plausible limit of probability, it could have come from the same Perugian workshop of Cartolari.

Franco Pratesi – 27.06.2016

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