Category Archives: Jost Amman

Fool’s Gold

 

ship of fools 2

Albrecht Durer, title page from Sebastian Brant’s Narranschiff, 1494

Some 15 years ago, Brian Williams created a Tarot based on humanist Sebastian Brant’s illustrated tome of moral commentary, the Narranschiff, or Ship of Fools. It was inevitable that my interest in the Ship of Fools Tarot would be reignited. Brant’s 15th century work is not only fascinating in its own right, but it was undoubtedly an influence on Jost Amman, whose 16th century deck of 52 playing cards has become a bit of an idee fixe for me of late. Continue reading

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Of Printing Pads and Cabbage Stalks

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Jost Amman playing cards, 1588 (Edition Leipzig, 1967)

Seems there is a small flurry of interest lately in the lovely 16th century German deck of cards by Jost Amman. This is the deck featured in the intriguing novel The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann (and in a recent blog post).  Most people interested in this deck will turn to the very affordable reproduction by Historic Games. But the (out of print) 1967 reproduction by Edition Leipzig comes with an extensive introduction to the cards by one Erwin Kohlmann. He’s got some fascinating tidbits for those eager to know more: Continue reading

Between Jost Amman and Me

Jost Amman cards

I’ve been practicing my cartomancy skills by reading images–as opposed to symbolic interpretations, or thoughts about what an “eight” REALLY MEANS (yes, I do think in capital letters). My teacher in this endeavor is the inimitable Camelia Read-the-Damn-Cards Elias–check her out here. Not only does this approach make card reading much simpler and more fun, but there is an obvious transference to the rest of my life. As in, what if I noticed my daily in-front-of-me experience, instead of the swirling clouds of thoughts about it all? Maybe if I saw things for what they are my whole life would be simpler. Continue reading