Gherardo da Vicenza 1413 - 1471)

- and other Card Painters

In 1423 Parasina Malatesta ordered 40 gold ducats paid to the artist Giovanni dalla Gabella. The deck was decorated with gold and brazil and fine ultramarine blue. The price was never reached again in other entries, perhaps in the early time of card playing rich persons were willing to pay high prices for new products - and lost interests, when the products were a well known media.
Ortalli refers to Campori 1885, p. 589, n. VI and Francesschini 1993, p. 119, n. 297b. 

1437: Jacopo doi Bartholomeo Busoli is commissioned to make two new packs with green and red marbled backs and he has to repair the decks, cause they were damaged at transport - for 6 lire (rather cheap price). Ortalli refers to Campori 1874, p. 127 (and notes, that the quotes cannot be checked).

Don Domenico, called Messore, leads a workshop inside the d'Este palace to manufacture Trionfi cards from 1st of February 1454. His assistant  (maistro deputato)  is Giovanni di Lazzoro called Cagnolo. Cagnolo was active till 20th of April and was replaced by Alessandro di Bartholomeo da Quartesana in mid-July. The prize for a deck was around 8 Lira Marchesana. The experiment ended soon.

Gherardo da Vicenza followed Sagramoro. In 1457 he produced 2 very valuable packs, "carte grande da trionfi" rich in gold and colours. The price for each deck is 14 lire each with a discount of 2 soldi per lira (10 %).
Ortalli, p. 186, refers to Adriano Franceschini: Artisti a Ferrara in eta humanistica e rinascimentale, Testimonianze archivistiche, vol. I, Dal 1341 al 1471, 1993, Corbo, Ferrara-Roma 1993, p. 485 and 823 f.. in a short note:
"The cards had to be painted thick gold and all made with fine splendid colours: 'messe d'oro fitamente, et fate tute de colori fini et brunide, et depinte de roverso uno paro rosa, uno paro verde''. There were 'carte 70 per zogo' - not an easy number to explain. If we add the 14 cards per suit (the numerals from the ace to 10 plus the four faces, king, queen, knight and knave) to the 22 figured cards (the 21 trumps and the Fool) the figure does not tally. This question is still to be solved by playing cards specialists. See also Campori 1874, pp. 127 - 128."
The 70 cards note plays a great role in the validity of the 5x14-theory.

(Hoshizaki / Caldwell / autorbis)

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