Debate with no sure results

The dating of the earliest Visconti-Sforza decks is full of contradictious opinions. The Michelino deck, only known by Marcellos letter, Marziano da Tortonas text and Decembrios note in his Vita de Filippo Visconti and not as survived deck, is datable between 1417 - 1424/1425 (1424/1425 looks probable to us), but it's early and strange and its influence upon the iconography of Tarot is probably small.

Relatively harmless are also the questions about the Brera-Brambilla deck: It has only 2 trumps, so it doesn't change very much, if it is early or late (latest assumable date 1447, death of Filippo Visconti) cause the Brera could be interpreted as an early Imperatori-deck - just cause there are only few trumps.

The dating of the Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo Tarocchi also causes not too much problems, it's generally assumed as "after 1450", cause the heraldic devices point to a date during the reign of Francesco Sforza (1450 - 1466). And - there are lots of arguments, that it correctly should be placed in the Trionfi phase of the 5x14-decks, cause there are only 14 trumps painted by Bonifacio Bembo, the other 6 known trumps are suggested to be painted by another, till now not identified artist. The 14 Bembo trumps are suggested to be produced 1451/1452, some letters suggest this interpretatoion.

The dating of the Cary-Yale Tarocchi, however, is a crucial point in the research of Trionfi. The suggestions range from 1428 to 1441 and 1468, mostly connected to the imagination, that the deck is so worthful, that its production must have been part of an important event of the family, probably one of the great marriages, which took place in the mentioned years.

The correct date would influence our theories about the origin of the 5x14-deck around 1441, which are treated in the chapter about Ferrara.
In the case, that the Cary-Yale was done in 1428 at the opportunity of Filippo Marias marriage to a young girl of the Savoia court, Bianca Maria Visconti visited Ferrara in 1440 and knew (probably) about this deck. Then the impulse to construct the 5x14-deck in Ferrara probably was caused by Bianca Marias communications and suggestions.
In the case, that the Cary was painted in 1441, at the occasion of Francesco Sforzas marriage with Bianca Maria, the idea to the 5x14-deck has a good chance to have been born in a creative situation between 3 young girls in the time around Christmas 1440 in Ferrara under participation of Bianca Maria. The Cary-Yale was then a creative reply in October 1441 (time of the marriage) to the action around Christmas 1440, and the situation continued in February 1442, when the young signore of Ferrara, Leonello, ordered some decks from the painter Sagramoro, who was already active around Christmas 1440. These both datings are in concurrence to each other and both have arguments from the general situation, which support them.
The possibility of 1468, however, looks unlikely to me, so I personally do not consider it. And ... in the case, that it is really that late .... then I would consider it as not very important, as the Trionfi deck at that time clearly existed. Then it can only add few things to our knowledge.

My personal, rather special observations, I add behind the other opinions.


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