Tarot History Search started September 2004       

Ron Decker

Ron Decker was author of A wicked Pack of Cards (1996) about Tarot in 18th and 19th century in teamwork with Michael Dummett and Thierry Depaulis and A History of the Occult Tarot: 1870-1970 (2002) in cooperation with Michael Dummett. He administrated a Playing Card Museum and is active in the Cards Collectors Scene for about 30 years. He lives in the US.

Already in 1974 Ron Decker in a correspondence to Michael Dummett, printed in The Journal of the Playing Card, Vol. III. No. 1, August 1974, reflected the possibility of an early 5x14-compostion, as it became my major thesis about 15 years later:

"....Trumps amounting to fourteen are striking, for this is just the number surviving in the Colleoni trumps by Bonifacio Bembo, the artist who painted the Visconti set. About 1480, an artist working in the Ferrarese style supplied to this deck Strength, Temperance, Star, Moon, Sun and World cards. Is it not possible that in 1450 Bembo knew games with only fourteen trumps, but that 30 years later an artist compatible trumps to accomodate the new version of tarocco which became standard? Thus the later artist, contrary to all other current hypotheses, was not replacing, but adding the six Ferrarese trumps. By this reasoning, two more of his cards are missing."

The article is a little longer, but at this place Decker didn't explore his idea very far (ca. 1 1/2 pages).

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