Thomas Murner - two didactical decks
Thomas Murner is known mostly for his second card play, a teaching game.
However he made another one before already in 1502: Chartiludium Institute summarie. A report with some more pictures is given at this place.
The French text was translated by Ross Gregory Caldwell:
"Thomas Murner developed his first "memory deck" around 1502,the "Chartiludium Institute summary", conceived to facilitate the study of the Justinian code. Realised as a true game/deck of cards before taking, in 1518, the form of a book, the Chartiludium Institute is the oldest example of a pedagogical game of cards that has come down to us; it remains in three exemplars: the first at the Library of the University of Basle (119 cards), the second at the Austrian National Library of Vienna (110 cards), and the third, the only one coloured by hand, at the Bertarelli Civic Collection of Prints of Milan (111 cards). The complete deck/game comprised 121 cards, 12 suits divided into 10 each, with one last card; on the back of each card is found a depiction of the arms of the twelve most important Imperial offices: the Emperor, the Seven Prince Electors, the Dukes of Sweden, Brunswick, Baveria and Lorraine. The twelve suits had no rapport with the princes and their countries; they are represented by the following objects: bells, combs, acorns, hearts, crowns, tubs, steeples, bellows, a second kind of bells, shields, fishes and axes. These objects only appear once beside the image of the prince represented on the first card of the series which carries, on the front, his arms; they reappear anew two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and again five time but in another arrangement. They carry, in some lines inscribed inside, the complete transcription of certain titles of chapters of the Institutiones, when they are brief, and, under an abridged form, the explanation of diverse rules of which they are the indication. In the course of the game, "of the tac au tac", the student must respond with the paragraph from the Institutiones to which the card picked makes allusion.
The Archbishop of Mayence (ace of comb), the King of Bohemia (ace of crown), the Count of the Palatinate (ace of tub) and the Archbishop of TrÍves (ace of heart) possess the same attributes as four figures of the game of the offices of the court (Hofämterspiel); they come through the intermediary of one of the illustrations which accompanies the Liber Chronicarum of Hartmann Schedel, printed at Nuremberg in 1493. One finds there, beside the Emperor, under their respective traits the German Chancellor, Grand Echanson, Grand Senechal and Chancellor of Gaul, exactly as in the Chartiludium of Murner."
The second game of Murner was Logica memorativa Chartiludium logice sive totius dialectice memoria, 1507. To the right are some examples, reports are given on this site and this site .