|In the year 1442 we've Trionfi notes in Ferrara, in 1443 notes to Imperatori decks. Then we've a great pause till 1450 - also notes about other playing cards are more or less missing.
An explanation might be found in the following text of Edmund G. Gardner, The King of the Court Poets, which probably
refers to documentary evidence from the given time. Even still under Borso - who produced many Trionfi decks - there were
limitations to the gambling of students. Perhaps some bad experiences with card playing and gambling around 1443 did lead to some
small form of prohibition during the 40ies. In the same time in Florence (- 1450) we've also
increased prohibition tendencies (
Calenzano: 1443: condannata is forbidden and the “
lending of cards, 1448: a complete discussion with reference to earlier laws; several
card games as condennata,
pilucchino o pizzica ” are
considered to result eventually in scandals, all card play are
forbidden except for diritta e torta, Sesto Fiorentino 1445: Several dangerous games are spreading such as condennata, and
counter measures should be taken; all card games are prohibited except “
” and “
vinciperdi, a month later all card games are
The passage is also of interest for the development of Carnival (or 'masquerade'): Ferrara became in late 15th century a major center of Carnival, under Leonello and Borso the interest seems still have been supressed.
Notwithstanding the solemn reputation and somewhat overwhelming erudition of the professors and readers, we may suppose that the students of the Ferrarese Studio were not less merry than their fellows elsewhere. Leonello and Borso had forbidden them to go about in masquerade; and one Giovanni Francesco Suardo, apparently on behalf of his fellows had written a sonnet to Leonello, explaining that they could not possibly dance in academic dress, 'che con la cappa non si puo ballare,' and on Borso's accession he had sent him an ode, beseeching him 'with devout and just prayers' that he would vouchsafe to let them 'tranvestire'': so that thy great worth and thy courtesy may be seen from the very beginnings of thy reign.'(3)
(3) G. Secco-Suardo, Lo Studio di Ferrara a tutto il secolo XV. (Atti e memorie della Deputanzione Ferarraese di Storia Patria, vol. vi.), pp. 113, 114. Ferarra, 1894.
The sovereigns had likewise forbidden the students gambling, il giuoco, about which the 'University of the scholars' had appealed to Borso, 'our Lord and special benefactor,' asserting that 'no one is reckoned of worth or held in repute among scholars, if in the course of his studies he does not once or twice stake his books'; and they declared that they had a statute (which they regretted to say, they could not produce as one of their rectors had lost it) which gave them the right to gamble as much as they liked without any interference from the authorities. Ercole appears to have allowed them to masquerade, as long as they did not go to the schools in maschera and interfere with the lectures. We read in the Chronicles under January 1, 1486: 'The youths of Ferrara today began to go in maschera, with permission of our most illustrious Duke, Messer Ercole; and proclamation was made to his name that no person shall dare to bear sticks thicker than the statute allows, under pain of confiscation of his goods; and that no masked person shall exchange blows or wound others, under pain of the gallows (2).
Edmund G. Gardner: The King of the Court Poets. A Study of the Work, Life and Times of Lodovico Aristo
First published 1906, Haskell House Publishers Ltd New York, NY 1968 Library of Congress Card Number: 68-24954
(found and collected by Mari Hoshizaki)