|New resource for Internet recherche of Tarot-cards "detected". Alexander Sukhorukov is a
Russian bridge player & promoter since 1975 and a playing cards collector since more than 20 years.
He is editor and publisher of the magazine "Bridge in Russia" and is active in the web with the World Web Playing Card Museum.
His impressive list of complete and fragmented decks has more than 2500 items, under them
also a few hundred Tarot decks, between some long searched treasures playing card history:
Hofämterspiel (complete), Ambras (complete) and the Jost Amman deck (nearly complete).
"Sascha" has become member of LTarot,
and we start to cooperate with him to build an optimal viewing-place for all
this beautiful input.
A fabulous view of the Cary-Yale-Tarocchi, some Este cards and the Cary-Sheet (seen by some as the missing link of the later
Marseille-Tarot) is offered by
the Beinecke-Library (type "Visconti",
"Este" and "Cary-Sheet" in the search function).
1505 is the new date for the earliest appearance of the name Tarocchi and Tarot. The magazine for historical play
Ludica will publish a report about the recent discoveries in Avignon and Ferrara.
In an article of 1998 the card researcher Detlev Hoffmann expresses his opinion, that
the playing card prohibition of Bern in 1367 was not a forgery, as earlier considered by playing card research. In the same
text the translator Arne Jönssen gives the opinion, that the text of Johannes von Rheinfelden was complete "from 1377" and not,
as earlier occasionally considered, from 1429 (compare here, see menu)
Arne Jönssen prepares a long desired translation of the text of Johannes.
In French Tarot circles an entry from 1337 is discussed as erliest reference to playing cards.
Alain Bougearel and Ross Caldwell have researched the data.
The worldwide interest in Tarot history increased in the first year of Trionfi.com. The Tarotforum of Aeclectic,
3524 members, 20528 threads and 223980 posts in January 2004 had once sceptically founded a section of Tarot history. In the last half
year it doubled the related posts and has now more than 3000, now a widely accepted part of the broad spectrum of the
The book author Hajo Banzhaf, who has a well running German language Forum and on his site each day about 10.000 visitors,
founded in December 2003 an English language Forum section. The traffic is still slow, as all things need a little time for
their start, but the prospects are very promising. The Forum technique allows to add pictures to the text and this is quite
pleasant when discussing iconographic details in historical Tarot matters.
Trionfi.com founded LTarot@yahoogroups.com and it has established as discussion place for very specific historical questions.
Also new and fresh established is the group of author Christine Payne-Towler firstname.lastname@example.org,
focusing the theme
of magic in medieval time. A French Forum concentrates specific matters around the Marseille deck of Noblet.
The traditional Tarot history Forum TarotL has reached totally 40.000 posts this year, however, the success of the great years
2001 and 2002 couldn't repeated. Insiders criticise too much restrictions and moderator activity.
Very successful in the moment are Comparative Tarot and just recently (January 2004) Allthings Tarot (both not with strong
historical aspects). A promising group is the small but fine German language group Tatort-Tarot, just existing few monthes,
but with very engaged people.
Book author Bob O'Neill (Tarot-Symbolism) after retiring more or less from publical presence in Tarot lists has established in 2003 at
Tarot.com his work about Tarot-iconography in the Bob O'Neill library (reachable also from Trionfi.com).
Michael J. Hurst, one of the most active writers at TarotL has established his
essays-section at an own page. Of special worth are his Fragments of Tarot-history.
John McLeod and Michael Dummett prepare a book about the history of Tarot rules. John McLeod is the owner of pagat.com,
a fabulous internet source for playing card rules.
The Erste Deutsche Tarot-Verband Tarot e.V. was founded in 2003.
Jess Karlin, the pro-and-contra hero of the early Internet days at alt.tarot, has established a page with Tarot News.
Nellie from Illuminationtarot.com presents also some "Tarot-News" and beside other interesting pages something about
Tarot in Cinema. Nina Lee Bradon has done a fabulous site about Tarot in Literature.
One year ago the research of Franco Pratesi about one of the oldest documents of Tarot history, the Marcello letter with accompanying manuscript of Marziano da Tortona
done in 1989, was more or less unknown in the Tarot internet community - one single and short article by Tarothermit could be detected). By the activities of trionfi.com the work is now known in
detail to a larger public - it belongs to our most read articles. Franco Pratesi, who is a general game-researcher
and not fixed upon Tarot-matters, has recently published about early Go-history in Europe. He will proceed to the younger
history of Go in near future.
"Der Triumph der Visconti"
by Belinda Rodik has been recently published in German language by the Lübbe-Verlag.
It's a roman concentrating on the Visconti-Sforza-Tarocchi.
A series of good links to articles about card games in 15th/16th century is at midlaurel.com.
Interesting illustrations to an 16th century Rabelais-edition can be
Huck Meyer has raised a discussion about the names of letters in the old Phoenician alphabet at at the History Forum of Aeclectic.
It became the longest and most visited thread in the short history of the History Forum.
The Karnöffelzunft Willisau is a Fastnachtsverein in Suisse,
Willisau being a location near to Lucern.
Interestingly, the Karnöffelzunft knows an otherwise rather unknown playing card legend, called the Heilig-Blut-Legende:
At the 9th of July 1392 in Willisau three guys played with cards. Ulj Schröter, one of the three, lost all his money at that
occasion. With a curse he threw his dagger against the heaven and after that 5 drops of blood fell on the table. The blasphemer
is caught by the devil, the other try to clean the table without effort, finally they also die. A still existing chapel
(Heilig-Blut-Kapelle) and a yearly procession reminds the bloody case.
The precise date and the related name suggest, that there was a real murderous action at the 9th of July 1392 in Willisau and
probably also the involvement of playing cards in the matter refers to a true, not legendary fact at the event.
A request via email to the above mentioned Karnöffelzunft was replied by adding the information, that the members still disguise as
Karnöffel figures and at an internet page persons in costumes can be viewed, together - now it starts to become interesting -
with old playing cards, which - according to a legend of the Karnöffelzunft - are identical to the game, that was used by the
above mentioned Ulj Schröter - if legend speaks true - in the year 1392.
If this information is correct, this would be the oldest existent European playing cards, so there is enough reason to
doubt the validity of the information. On the other hand ... one doesn't know. During our work at trionfi.com it was our general observation,
that playing card research isn't well organised. There are lots of people working in that direction, but they do not act coordinated.
It takes years to adapt new information.
And here they are - to the right: "the oldest playing cards of Europe" - whatever this is, this or that way. It's near to carnival here.
(composed by Huck Meyer)