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|In the year 1449 Iacopo Antonio Marcello notes about a deck from Filippo Maria Visconti: (a) "... eo ludo quem triumphum appellant: cartae quedam oblatae mihi" and (b). "… novum quoddam et exquisitum triumphorum genus.", which means (a) "... this game/pack which is called triumph, which were the cards being offered to me" and (b) “… a certain new and exquisite kind of triumphs.” From the context we do know, that Marcello talks about a deck with (probably) 60 cards, which present as the most interesting detail on 16 cards the figures of 16 Greek gods.
The deck is called a Trionfi game, but it has not the character of a normal Tarot game, as we do know it: there are not 22 trumps and there are not the motifs as we do know it from the socalled "standard deck" - and that means, we do not know, what is talked about, when in documents the word "Trionfi" appears in context to playing cards.
|After a pause of about 8 years in March 1450 the Trionfi production in Ferrara restarts again. Why?
At the 25th of February 1450 Francesco Sforza had conquered Milan. At the 16th of March 1450 the painter Sagramoro was paid in Ferrara for the production of 3 Trionfi decks.At the end of March 1450 Leonello, signore of Ferrara and comissioner of the 3 decks, visited the triumphal procession of Francesco Sforza in Milan.
The context demands this conclusion: These three Trionfi decks are meant as a present for the triumphal procession, probably aiming at the person of Bianca Maria Visconti, wife of Francesco Sforza, cause playing cards belonged to the female domain, men prefered chess at this time.
Also the context suggests, that "Trionfi" decks were at this time "event" decks, connected to a festivity called also "Trionfi" or "triumphal procession", they were not really a manifested playing card pattern, but individually created art objects to memorize specific festivities.
|In December 1450 the great mighty duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, has simple difficulties to find any Trionfi decks. It's not possible to assume from this condition an already existing large distribution of Trionfi decks.
"As soon, as this is received, we want you to send, by a mail rider, two decks of trump cards, of the finest you can find; and if you do not find said trumps, please send two other decks ...." And he doesn't get them, as in his next letter he doesn't talk of trump cards: "We have received the playing cards and are very pleased with them, but we want you, as soon as possible, the other pair of fruits, like those you were kind enough to send to us ... "
|In the late 40ies it seems that card prohibition in Florence was stronger than before. In the year 1450 suddenly some freedom is developed. Probably this should be seen in context to the general political development: Sforza, friend and ally of Cosimo de Medici, had taken Milano in 1450 und with that a period of 30 years of wars ended between Milano and Florence. Sforza was, all what we know, friendly to card-players. Being a condottieri himself in long years of his life (condottieri and mercenaries loved card-playing and couldn't hardly be controlled by city rules) he had all reasons to be tolerant in this question. Probably this new condition changed the politic in Florence.
In December 1450, just the same month, in which Francesco Sforza wrote the above mentioned letters, the game Trionfi is mentioned in Florence in a city statute as an allowed game.
|Sigismondo Malatesta writes in 1452 to Bianca Maria Visconti and shows interest at the Trionfi production in Cremona. Bianca Maria Visconti isn't very happy about the desire, cause she hates Sigismondo - but diplomaty demands a careful response.
The letter reassures us, that now - in November 1452 - a Trionfi production in Cremona exists and that this is a likely time to assume the production of the socalled Pierpont Morgan Bergamo Tarocchi by Bonifacio Bembo, the Trionfi card painting artist from Cremona.
But Bembo painted only 14 cards ....