Early printing dates (in development)
The earliest woodcut is from 1423 (a Christopherus), another is suspected to be from 1418, earlier examples seem to miss. In the question about the "first woodcuts" occasionally around 1400 or even ca. 1377 is speculated, just for the beginning of the playing card production and the quick development and distribution is tried to be explained by the invention of woodcuts. Specific profession expressions, used in Ulm short after 1400, which some time later definitely are connected to woodcut techniques serve as argument, that woodcut existed then. However, real early examples are missing. |
Generally we observe, that in the 20's of 15th century Italian playing cards development and interests seems to jump, as if a new factor had appeared.
- 1392 Frankfurt: Hensel of Wissenburg mentioned as first German "Kartenmaler" (the only one card maker in Franfurt in 14th/15th century)
- 1392: Gringonneur in Paris as the first French cardmaker
- 1393 DIJON: Simon Wintle at his page gives the following information:
"Earliest reference to a woodcutter doing work probably intended for printing is a record of payment in 1393 (in the accounts for works in the Chartreuse of Dijon) to a certain 'Jehan Baudet, charpentier, pour avoir fait et taillie des moles et tables pour la chapelle de mon signeur audit Champmol dicte la chapelle des Angles, a la devise de Beaumez'. This 'tailleur de molles' was probably cutting his blocks for printing textiles for altar hangings or similar work, after designs by the painter Jean de Beaumetz. There are various other slightly ambiguous references probably to textile blocks, such as in 1327 and 1328 to 'tapis d'entailleure' and 'deus dras ovree de entailleure de brodures' by a certain Jehan Herenc of St. Omer; in 1391 payment at St. Omer to Johannes Cruspondere 'pro factura ymaginum lignearum'. Although there is ambiguity in these early refences between sculpture and cuts for printing, the small fees paid suggest wood blocks."
A little later at the same page to another point Simon Wintle adds: "It is interesting to note that in France early woodcuts seem to have sometimes been regarded as 'malefacons' (i.e. contraband) in the eyes of the guild of imagiers."
- 1395 Paris: The preacher Gerson complains about a lifely market with pictures of "diis gentium" - this might indicate "printing techniques and mass produced pictures".
- 1395 ?: A Federico di Germania, who sold "cartas figuratas et pictas et figuras sanctorum", was prisoned, cause he made (also) wrong coins ... it's suspected, that he might have dealt with "printed cards" cause he was used to tools for mint-production.
- 1402 Ulm: "der kartenmoler" is mentioned.
- 1414 Nurremberg: a single card producer "der kartenmoler" in Nurremberg is called "Kartenmaler" ("cards painter", not cards printer)
- 1418: first card painter "Hans" in Augsburg mentioned (a second in Augsburg followed late, in 1462)
- 1418 (first woodcut ?)
- 1423 Christopherus-printing
- 1422 Michel Wyener, second mentioned card producer in Nurremberg, who worked till 1447, is introduced in a manner, that one can suggest, that printing is involved, as a "brief und kartenmoler und partronirt tuecher", which likely means, that he combined textilprinting with paperprinting.
With notes from 1431, 1433, 1438, 1441, 1443 and 1445 Nurremberg is with 8 testified card producers before 1450 the location with the most often noted card producers of all German (and likely of all European) cities. The dominant role is still apparent in the second half of 15th century, Nurremberg knows 38 card producers active in 15th century - so one may assume, that Nurremberg played a leading role in the new technology, accompanied by an early paper-mill nearby, built in 1390.
- 1422 Palermo: "ad stampandum nayypis", mentioned by Dummett, p. 31
- 1422 Ferrara: first record of playing cards in Ferrara
- 1423 Ferrara/Florence: First record of Imperatori cards
- 1424/25 Milan: estimated date for the production of the Michelino deck
- 1426: First note of Karn÷ffel in N÷rdlingen
- 1427 Bologna: a quarrel between German card producers and a Bolognese card producer is recorded - which might mean the export of German printing technology.
- 1427 Tournai: Micel de Noel (- 1442) and Phillippe du Bos (- c. 1450) are recorded in professional card production
- 1427 Limoges: Jehan Le Roy (Le Roy; active till 1461)
- 1427 - 1431: date for the first surviving playing card deck, the Stuttgarter Spiel
- 1430 Florence as a tax document for Antonio di Giovanni di ser Francesco: "Truovomj tante forme da naibj e da santi di lengnamene chonche in formo Inaibj e fo larte mia e altre al mesterio di far naibj che vagliono fiorini 20"
- 1431 Avignon: first card producer record, Nicolas Ambrosiis and Odet Bouscarle. The next entry follows 1461.
- 1436 Ferrara / Mantova: A printing press arrived Ferrara
- 1441, 11th of October: Venetian statute, which shall protect Venetian cardmakers against (likely cheaper) foreign producers. Simon Wintle at his page gives the following translation:
The passage indicates that Venetia regarded itself in the possession of art and mystery of printing already a longer time, and likely in the opinion to be leading in the technology - a state, which seems to have changed in the time of 1441.
"mccccxli. Oct 11. Whereas the art and mystery of making cards and printed figures, which is used at Venice, has fallen to total decay; and this in consequence of the great quantity of playing cards, and coloured figures printed, which are made out of Venice; to which evil it is necessary to apply some remedy; in order that the said artists, who are a great many in family, may find encouragement rather than foreigners. Let it be ordered and established, according to that which the said masters have supplicated, that, from this time in future, no work of the said art, that is printed or painted on cloth, or paper, that is to say, altar pieces (or images) and playing cards, and whatever other work of the said art is done with a brush and printed, shall be allowed to be brought or imported into this city, under a pain of forfeiting the works so imported, and xxx livres and xxii soldi; of which fine one third shall go to the state, one third to the Signore Giustizrieri Vecchi, to whom the affair is committed, and one third to the accuser. With this condition, however, that the artists, who make the said works in this city, may not expose the said works to sale in any other place but their own shops, under the pain aforesaid, except on Wednesdays at S. Paolo, and on Saturday at S. Marco, under the aforesaid penalties." Then follow the subscriptions of the Proveditori del Comune, and Signori Giustizieri Vecchi.
- 1445 - 1455: estimated time for the copperplate-printing deck of the Meister der Spielkarten
- 1449 Monselice, Marcelo letter: Iacopo Antonio Marcello indicates in his letter possibly printing technologies in relation to playing cards
- 1454 Ferrara: some data to the use of a printing press
- 1459 Ferrara: some data to the use of a printing press in relation to Trionfi card production