I-8n Basle, 1377, the pack was described by Brother John in his sermon as: “in its common form, and that in which it first reached us” comprises four seated kings, on royal thrones, each one holding a certain sign in his hand, of which signs some are reputed good, but others signify evil. Under which kings are two ‘marschalli’, the first of whom holds the sign upwards in his hand, in the same manner as the king; but the other holds it downwards in his hand. After this there are ten other cards, outwardly of the same size and shape, containing pips one to ten, making a total of 52.
There is also documentary evidence that "Saracenic" playing cards reached Italy in 1379. Read more →