hist-games: Early German cards symbolism

webmaster at historicgames.com webmaster at historicgames.com
Thu Jun 14 07:45:49 PDT 2007


Since we have some early German cards now I've been getting this  
question more often.
Does anyone know if there are any good explanations of the symbolism for the
illustrations on some of the early German cards by artists like Peter  
Flotner and Jost
Amman?

Some of the illustrations, like the monk in Flotner's deck who has had  
too much to drink
and is vomiting is obviously a satirical poke at the clergy, but I've  
always wondered if
some of the other scenes that are illustrated might reflect folktales  
or other things
from popular culture that the common people of the time would  
recognize, but I haven't
seen any discussion of it. It would be nice to be able to point them  
out to customers
when I'm telling them about the history of cards -especially if any of  
the folktales are
still recognizable by an "Amurrican" audience.

Chas
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