The term "Trionfi"|
- in relation to playing cards
1423: Imperatori - first note
March 1425: Birth of Bianca Maria Visconti
May 1425: Parisina killed
June 1425: Trionfo Filippo Visconti
(Michelino Deck ?)
1438: Council in Ferrara
1439: Council in Florence
(real Trionfo - probably no cards)
Autumn 1441 Bianca Maria Visconti in Ferrara
(small Trionfo at her arrival - no cards)
14 Figure, 1.1.1441
(Marriage Trionfo projected ?)
October 1441 Marriage Bianca Maria Visconti
(Cary-Yale Tarocchi?, Marriage-Trionfo ?)
Marcello is already near to Francesco Sforza
December 1441: Leonello new Signore in Milano
01 1442/1 Ferrara/Sagramoro
(February 1442 / Trionfo projected ?)
02 1442/2 Ferrara/Kids
(small Trionfo for the kids
according to the interests
of their mother (?)
1443 Imperatori - 1st reappearance
1443 Real Trionfo in Naples
Alfonso of Aragon
(no cards known)
Pause (1443 - 1450)
August 1447: Filippo Maria Visconti dies
Decembrio is in Ferrara
1447 Decembrio writes "Vita ..."
Vita di Filippo Maria Visconti
early 1449: Marcello with Francesco Sforza
in the region of Milan
Scipio Caraffa didn't know Trionfi decks
03 1449/1 Marcello letter
25.2.1450: Francesco Sforza occupies Milan
04 1450/1 Ferrara/Sagramoro
16.3.1450 Trionfi cards are paid
25.3.1450 Leonello visits Milan
After 8 years pause suddenly Trionfi decks production in Ferrara
Imperatori - 2nd reappearance
October 1450: Leonello dies
Borso new signore in Ferrara
05 1450/2 Florence
December 1450: Trionfi allowed (Florence)
06 1450/3 Sforza letter
December 1450: Difficulties to get a Trionfi deck
07 1451/1 Ferrara/Sagramoro
Borso's Trionfo projected ?
07b 1452/1 Siena/Emperor-visit
08 1452/1 Malatesta/Sforza
The letter signals a Trionfi production in Cremona, perhaps as a preparation for a Trionfo
August 1453: Real Trionfo in Milan
The peace of Lodi is near (9th of April 1454)
Probably Borso prepares
already before some Trionfi decks
production in series from February till April
09 1454/1 Ferrara/Sagramoro
10 1454/2 Ferrara/Sagramoro
11 1454/3 Ferrara/production
12 1454/4 Ferrara/production
13 1454/5 Ferrara/production
13b 1455/1 Padua / preaching
14 1456/1 Ferrara/Trotti
Trotti's comment signals, that now Trionfi is (at least in Ferrara) a well known game.
15 1456/2 Ferrara/Sagramoro
Last Sagramoro document
16 1457/1 Ferrara/70 cards
Very important, proves the 5x14 theory
17 1457/2 Ferrara/Vicenza
18 1458/1 Ferrara/Vicenza
19 1459/1 Ferrara/production
20 1459/2 Bologna
First "real" document outside of the courts)
21 1460/1 Ferrara/Vicenza
22 1460/2 Ferrara/Vicenza
23 1460/3 Ferrara/Vicenza
24 1460/4 Ferrara/Vicenza
25 1460/5 Ferrara/Vicenza
25b 1460/6 / 1513(?) Ancona - allowance
26 1461/1 Ferrara/Vicenza
26b 1461/2 Padova / Valerio Marcello
27 1463/1 Ferrara/Vicenza
28 1463: The law, which allowed Trionfi in Florence, is repeated
Probably the appearance must be interpreted in the way, that experiments are done with the number of trumps. Possibly the begin of the end of the 5x14-structure, possibly related to the new allowance in Florence 1463.
Later Notes (not complete)
29 Mantova 1465, inventory
Minchiate (since 1466)
29b Pavia Castle Frescoes 1469
29c Ferrara/Modena Bonacossi production
relates to the Decembrio Manuscript
31 Vita di San Bernardino 1472
32 Naples 1473 (Aragon court)
33 Naples 1474 (Aragon court, Beatrice)
33b Rome 1474 - 1478 / Import from Florence
34 Milan 1475, Letter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza
34b Fabriano 1476, request for allowance
35 Bologna 1477, printed decks
36b Recanati ca. 1480
37 Naples 1482, "Cartaio" Francesco
38 French dictionary, 1482
38b Cicognara-note (? forgery)
39 Brescia, 1488 - allowance
40 Salo, 1489 - allowance
41 Bergamo 1491 - allowance
42 Letter Ippolito d'Este, 1492
43 Rene d'Anjou II, France, 1496
44 Reggio, 1500 - allowance
Artist + Persons
"Trionfi" as Cards (Documents)
Rome 1474 - 1478 (3 notes)
Thierry Depaulis found these last year, published in a 1995 article by Arnold Esch:
The entries from the Roman Customs Register refer to Trionfi cards being imported from Florence. Besides some notes about normal playing cards, Esch noted only a few sentences:
"Also mentioned are trionfi, that is, printed or painted tarock cards: for example, a Florentine brings in 'quattro parra de trionfi et carte indorate e doi para de trionfi.' Another Florentine imports 'una cassetta de trionfi et carte da jocare,' with an estimated value of 6 duc 18 bol and '23 para triunfi' with a value of 7 duc 54 bol. In other cases 'para trionfi' are assessed at 7 1/2 bol, or 10 bol, or 23 1/2 bol. - differences in value are to be expected in goods of this sort."
Source: Arnold Esch: Roman Customs Registers 1470-80: Items of interests to historians of and material culture
in: Journal of the Warburg and Courtald Institutes, Vol. 58, 1995, pp. 72-87 (
Article at ISTOR)
The article used: Registers in Rome, Archivio de Stato, Camerale I, Camera Urbis. There are:
- "Dogana di terra" (or di Sant'Eustachio) about overland imports, reg. 52 - 55 and 42 (5 1/2 volumes from June 1474 - 1482, totally ca. 25.000 consignements)
- "Dogano di Ripa" about imports with ship, reg. 141 - 147 (6 volumes from October 1469 - May 1481, totally ca. 4000 ships)
The German version of the article has with 93 pages more content in relation to 16 pages for the English version:
Arnold ESCH, Importe in das Rom der Renaissance. Die Zollregister der Jahre 1470 bis 1480, in: Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiven und Bibliotheken (QFIAB) 74, 1994, S. 360-453 (perhaps it contains more material; not visited for the moment).
The entry of Platina in the year 1474 shows no entry about Trionfi cards, but it is of interest to know about it, when refering to Trionfi cards of Rome:
Honesta voluptatet valetudine (1474 or 1475); "On Right Pleasure and Good Health"), printed 1480 by Gerardus
de Flandria 1480 and reknown as the first printed cooking book.
Platina recommends cards as a beneficial after-dinner game for gentlemen, to divert their minds and thereby improve digestion. He warns against cheating or desiring to gain anything. "Deep thinking after a hearty meal impedes digestion" "However, there is to be no cheating nor desire to gain, and any stakes are to be merely nominal, lest bad passions become excited and the process of healthy concoction be disturbed" (Kaplan).
The first half of the book discusses all kinds of food and spices, their nature, and their cultivation. The second half are filled mainly with 250 recipes from the cookbook of the writer Martino, who lived during the 1450-70 period.
The book was translated into German, Italian and French, and frequently republished throughout Europe.
|The relevant passage:
"Interim vero jocis et ludo, minima concito, vacandum, ne sensus cogitatione occupati concoctionem impediant. Careat jocus (quem urbanum, facetnm, modestum volo) dicacitate, scurrilitate, mordacitate. Nolo mimos; non proterviam; non dicteria; non convicia, unde ira et indignatio, et plerumque magna rixa oritur. Ludus sit talis, tessera, saccho (ut nostra appellatione utur), carthis variis imaginibus picti. Absit inter ludendum omnis fraus et avaritia, qua illiberalior et destestandus fit ludus, nee ullam affert ludenti voluptatem; cum timor, ira, et inimensa habendi cupiditas variis modis ludentes cruciet."
Platina speaks of "carthis variis imaginibus picti", that means "cards with differently painted pictures", indicating, that the cards, that he knew, variated - as it seems, he indirectly includes Trionfi cards.
Platina had become in 1475 after an adventurous life as soldier, scholar, leading head in the Accademia Romana, author and prisoner of Pope Paul II. the librarian of the Papal Library. The event of his election to this function was celebrated with a picture, which became famous.
(autorbis / Ross Caldwell)
beter known as Platina
Southern development (first notes)
- 1450 Florence
- 1452 Siena
- 1452 Rimini
- 1460 ? Arcona
- 1473 Naples
- 1474 ? Rome
- 1476 Fabriano
- 1480 ? Recanati
"Sixtus IV is seated on his throne on the right, among his cardinal nephews and lay nephews. The apostolic pronotary Raffaele Riario is on his right, the future pope Julius II (pontiff from 1503 to 1513) standing before him, and Girolamo Riario and Giovanni della Rovere are behind Platina."
In other words, Platina in the midst of the Rovere-Riario clan. Sixtus IV imported with his election as Pope his many nephews (these are only few of them, though the best known).
Two of them are reported to have been involved in heavy gambling activities (we cannot say, if playing cards were used):
- Girolamo became the "bad spirit" of Sixtus, and Rome started a war to satisfy his wishes for own territory. He got Imola and Forli, but Ferrara could defend itself. He married the famous Catherina Sforza.
- Raffaele nearly became a victim of the attempt of Sixtus to murder the Medici brothers. He was prisoned in Florence and finally released.
- Giovanni married a daughter of the condottiero Federico Montefeltro and his descendants got Urbino.
- Giuliano, a young cardinal with an energetical temperament, became later Pope Julius III., well known for his many wars.
"We read, for example, how Franceschetto Cibo, in two games with the Cardinal Raffaello Riario, lost no less than 14,000 ducats, and afterwards complained to the Pope that his opponent has cheated him" (Jacob Burckhardt). The church of San Lorenzo in Damaso in Rome, which was rebuilt by Bramante in the late 15th century, profited by it. The restoration was part of the construction of the Palazzo Cancelleria, built 1483–1511 for Raffaele Riario and funded partially with money that Cardinal Riario had won gambling in these famous game with Franceschetto Cibo, the son of Pope Innocent VIII.
From Girolamo Riario it is known, that in 1482 he gambled with his friend Virginio Orsini, sitting with him on reliquary caskets. He sold the grain of seed, which was dedicated to ensure the harvest of the next year to protect the population against hunger, to cover his playing debts; meanwhile his papal Soldatesca plundered the own country, consumated alcohol in vast excesses and only occasionally fought the enemy. This in a papal war, which had the aim to win the Ferrarese dominion for Girolamo.