Tarot Notes (OLD VERSION ... - 1500)
composed by Lothar Teikemeier, last updated 06.12.2012

The following is just the menu of the older installation. The links lead to the old articles. As this list was led till the year 1500, this still has some value. However, there had been various new findings in the recent years for the period 1465-1500, which are not included in the current state of the list (September 2013)

Start Documents


1423: Imperatori - first note

March 1425: Birth of Bianca Maria Visconti
May 1425: Parisina killed
June 1425: Trionfo Filippo Visconti
(Michelino Deck ?)

1438: Council in Ferrara
1439: Council in Florence
(real Trionfo - probably no cards)


Autumn 1441 Bianca Maria Visconti in Ferrara
(small Trionfo at her arrival - no cards)

14 Figure, 1.1.1441
(Marriage Trionfo projected ?)

October 1441 Marriage Bianca Maria Visconti
(Cary-Yale Tarocchi?, Marriage-Trionfo ?)
Marcello is already near to Francesco Sforza

December 1441: Leonello new Signore in Milano
01  1442/1  Ferrara/Sagramoro
(February 1442 / Trionfo projected ?)

02  1442/2  Ferrara/Kids
(small Trionfo for the kids
according to the interests
of their mother (?)

1443 Imperatori - 1st reappearance

1443 Real Trionfo in Naples
Alfonso of Aragon
(no cards known)

Pause (1443 - 1450)

August 1447: Filippo Maria Visconti dies
Decembrio is in Ferrara
1447 Decembrio writes "Vita ..."

  Vita di Filippo Maria Visconti

early 1449: Marcello with Francesco Sforza
in the region of Milan
Scipio Caraffa didn't know Trionfi decks
03  1449/1  Marcello letter
(Nov. 1449)

25.2.1450: Francesco Sforza occupies Milan
04  1450/1  Ferrara/Sagramoro
16.3.1450 Trionfi cards are paid
25.3.1450 Leonello visits Milan
After 8 years pause suddenly Trionfi decks production in Ferrara

Imperatori - 2nd reappearance

October 1450: Leonello dies
Borso new signore in Ferrara

05  1450/2  Florence
December 1450: Trionfi allowed (Florence)

06  1450/3  Sforza letter
December 1450: Difficulties to get a Trionfi deck

07  1451/1  Ferrara/Sagramoro
Borso's Trionfo projected ?

07b  1452/1  Siena/Emperor-visit

08  1452/1  Malatesta/Sforza
The letter signals a Trionfi production in Cremona, perhaps as a preparation for a Trionfo
August 1453: Real Trionfo in Milan

The peace of Lodi is near (9th of April 1454)
Probably Borso prepares
already before some Trionfi decks
production in series from February till April
09  1454/1  Ferrara/Sagramoro
10  1454/2  Ferrara/Sagramoro
11  1454/3  Ferrara/production
12  1454/4  Ferrara/production
13  1454/5  Ferrara/production

13b  1455/1 Padua / preaching

14  1456/1  Ferrara/Trotti
Trotti's comment signals, that now Trionfi is (at least in Ferrara) a well known game.

15  1456/2  Ferrara/Sagramoro
Last Sagramoro document

16  1457/1  Ferrara/70 cards
Very important, proves the 5x14 theory

17  1457/2  Ferrara/Vicenza
18  1458/1  Ferrara/Vicenza
19  1459/1  Ferrara/production

20  1459/2  Bologna
First "real" document outside of the courts)

21  1460/1  Ferrara/Vicenza
22  1460/2  Ferrara/Vicenza
23  1460/3  Ferrara/Vicenza
24  1460/4  Ferrara/Vicenza
25  1460/5  Ferrara/Vicenza
25b  1460/6 / 1513(?) Ancona - allowance
26  1461/1  Ferrara/Vicenza
26b  1461/2 Padova / Valerio Marcello
27  1463/1  Ferrara/Vicenza

28 1463: The law, which allowed Trionfi in Florence, is repeated
Probably the appearance must be interpreted in the way, that experiments are done with the number of trumps. Possibly the begin of the end of the 5x14-structure, possibly related to the new allowance in Florence 1463.

Later Notes (not complete)

29 Mantova 1465, inventory

Minchiate (since 1466)

29b Pavia Castle Frescoes 1469
29c Ferrara/Modena Bonacossi production
30 Polismagna
relates to the Decembrio Manuscript

31 Vita di San Bernardino 1472

32 Naples 1473 (Aragon court)

33 Naples 1474 (Aragon court, Beatrice)

33b Rome 1474 - 1478 / Import from Florence

34 Milan 1475, Letter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza

34b Fabriano 1476, request for allowance

35 Bologna 1477, printed decks

36b Recanati ca. 1480

37 Naples 1482, "Cartaio" Francesco

38 French dictionary, 1482

38b Cicognara-note (? forgery)

39 Brescia, 1488 - allowance

40 Salo, 1489 - allowance

41 Bergamo 1491 - allowance

42 Letter Ippolito d'Este, 1492

43 Rene d'Anjou II, France, 1496

44 Reggio, 1500 - allowance


Artist + Persons

Repeated Note:

When Ross Caldwell and me in 2003 started to collect Trionfi notes between 1442-1463, we had about 27/28 entries (which I nowadays would count as 31). The major part were the documents of Ferrara, which were collected by Gherardo Ortalli and Adriano Franceschini in the "Prince and the Playing Cards" (1996), after the base laying works of Michael Dummett and Stuart Kaplan around 1980. This collection included 2 notes about Trionfi cards in Florence, found by Franco Pratesi in his earlier work (allowances of the Trionfi game in 1450 and 1463). A graphical representation of this time (with 27 entries) shows the dominance of Ferrarese documents (in black) with a few notes only from other locations (in red; see picture to the right)

In the period 2004 till October 2011 it was possible to add 4 further notes (Siena 1452, Padova 1455, Ancona c. 1460 and Valerio Marcello c. 1460), mainly thanks to information given by Thierry Depaulis.

Franco Pratesi started his new article series in November 2011. Since then the list has gotten 67 new documents till September 2012 (65 of them found by Franco Pratesi, one, now the oldest of September 1440, by Thierry Depaulis, and another one by Veber Gulinelli, who controlled the earlier work of Franceschini and found an overlooked document) and nearly all are related to Florence or its surrounding.

A small book (118 pages) was published around Christmas 2012, Franco Pratesi: "Playing Card Trade in 15th Century Florence" as IPCS Paper No. 7 (ISSN 0305-2133). It contains some of the articles, which before had appeared at this website, those, which treat the early time of 15th century. Thierry Depaulis commented in his foreword: "This book is a landmark in the history of early playing cards in Italy".

Well, maybe not the book, but the research is clearly a landmark in various interests. For the collection of early Trionfi notes it somehow means, that we have within the year 2012 about 200 % more data for the period 1440-1462 than mankind had collected in the 200 years before.

Added later:

In August 2013 the new report of Arnold und Doris Esch: "Aus der Frühgeschichte der Spielkarte. Der Import von carte da giocare und trionfi nach Rom." in Gutenberg Jahrbuch 2013, 88. Jahrgang, p. 41-53, arrived in our redaction. It contains 106 new references to Trionfi decks, which all were found in the customs registers of the city Rome for the period 1453-1465. With this the number of all earlier Trionfi cards records has been doubled and should have reached then c. 210 (from which a few are only considered to be "Trionfi card notes" and don't contain the word "Trionfi" or something similar).


I'd started to sort the new Trionfi card documents overview in October 2012. Articles will be possibly changed according improvements in research.

Old Overview about Trionfi Card documents in 2003

Overview about Trionfi Card documents in 2013


Persons in Trionfi Card Documents 1440-1462
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Trionfi Card Persons 1440-1462

Commissioners (Trionfi cards)
Ferrara: Artists and Card Producers (Trionfi cards)

Ferrara: Traders

Florence: Artists and Card Producers (Trionfi cards and mostly also playing cards)

Florence: Artists and Card Producers (normal Playing Cards)

Florence: Trade with Trionfi and Playing Cards

Users of Playing Cards

Special events