(Museo delle Arti e delle traditioni populari in Rome)
Stuart Kaplan in Tarot Encyclopedia II, p. 287-288, reports about 9 Tarot cards, which were made known by Michael Dummett in the article "Some 16th century Tarot Cards Discovered by Vittoriano Facco" in the IPSC- journal (vol 11, no. 1).
Beside 5 not very remarkable number cards the group contains 4 trumps:
Card XVI and possibly also XVIII and VIII are said to refer to the "Orlando Furioso" of the Ferrarese poet Ariost. The Star is seen as showing a fight between the naked Orlando and the pagan Rodomond, Orlando in a state of madness. The card sun is suspected to show Orlando uprooting a tree, the card Lovers shall refer to the wedding of Rogero. However, the card 12 seems to present he normal "Hanging Man" of Tarot. The back design shows a
Six cards from the socalled Sforza castle cards (they were found at the Sforza castle) seem to present another scene of Ariost's Orlando on their back, here
It's worth to observe, that 4 great Italian poets of late 15th/early 16th century - Luigi Pulci, Matteo Maria Boiardo, Francesco Berni and Ludovico Ariost - contributed to the Orlando-theme, and that all four are involved in documents of Tarot history.
Luigi Pulci's "Morgante", which introduces the helpful and comical giant Morgante to the Orlando theme and which was written to a great part already in the years 1461-1462 (finally finished much later in 1482), is under the suspicion of us to have influenced (or was influenced by) the figure of the Fool in the socalled Charles VI. deck.
- Luigi Pulci is the first, who mentioned the word Minchiate in a letter to Lorenzo de Medici in the year 1466. There is a suspicion of us, that Pulci was involved in the production of this early Minchiate (which according our opinion not necessarily had 40 trumps, as it had later)
- Matteo Maria Boiardo wrote a Tarocchi poem (the date is insecure) with unusual suits and trumps. A deck, which was made according this poem, appeared in 20th century.
- Francesco Berni wrote a mocking card commentary in 1526.
- Ludovico Ariost was the most successful of the Orlando theme authors and his text was illustrated on Tarocchi cards or the illustrations were used for the backs of the cards (as described above)
Recent researches make it rather plausible, that the Charles VI deck was produced in Florence and not, as suggested often enough earlier, in Ferrara. The poet Luigi Pulci lived and wrote in Florence.
Pulci's Morgante is involved in a stone-throwing battle (on the card some persons obviously throw stones), he's clothes with a breast-plate, made for an earlier giant, as nothing else fits him, and as weapon he uses not - as shown on the picture - a string of small bells, but the clapper of a very big bell.