Romain Merlin (1793 - 1876)
A short biography of Romain Merlin appeared in "Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science: Volume 17" by Allen Kent, Harold Lancour, Jay E. Daily (Online edition). According this Merlin was the son of a bookseller, was himself a bookseller and engaged in his later life in remarkable way for French libraries. In 1855 he appeared in a context of "calligraphy, engraving, playing cards, binding and registers". In a private edition he published 1860 his work about playing cards. The official editions are from 1869. The work shows a big catalog of pictures, often not very careful reproductions of the originals according the technical possibilities of the time. Nonetheless it's a big treasure.
Origine des cartes à jouer : recherches nouvelles sur les naibis, les tarots et sur les autres espèces de cartes... / Romain Merlin, Paris 1869
(collected by autorbis)
Merlin had in his collection some
pictures of the Boiardo Tarocchi,
but didn't realize their true origin.
(Compare our article to the Boiardo deck)
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