It is therefore much more difficult than one might at first surmise to track down the engraver any closer. About 1500 even the distinctly marked technique of these playing-card engravings, the deep clear points, lines and hatchings are too far spread, too general a representation means used by the style language of skilled handicraft to be sufficiently characteristic of one particular engraver.
In the manner in which the engraver knows how to employ these reduced means of expression might, after all, be a certain affinity to the engravings of Nikolaus Mair of Landshut, and some details suggest the "Ball Feast" or the "Tournament" by the monogrammist MZ also working in Bavaria.
Since even the figures taken over from the schongauer engravings show a certain remodelling to Late-Gothic mannered agility in the manner of Erasmus Grasser`s Morisco dancers one could - with appropriate caution - think of settling the engraver less in the retinue of Martin Schongauer than in the South German Bavarian region.
Yet the anonymous master has not left us without any hint as to his person. On a number of cards one can see some letters and figures and on the six of coppae and the ten of denari there is a monogram to be found, it cannot be said with certain whether it is meant to represent IVs or LVs.
Max Lehrs thought one could see in it a place-name rather tahn an allusion to the engravers name. However, a number of late gothic artists such as Wenzel von Olmutz, Mair von Landshut, Israhel van Meckenem, to name only a few renowned representitives, associate their place of origin or the locality where they worked with their name. Why should it be different in this case?
Perhaps one day a lucky find will help us to decipher the monogram. In the meantime, however, the name remains hidden to us, the name of the skillful engraver who about the year 1500 while using an older-possibly Italian-madel made a pack of cards for Spanish use, who, north of the Alps, on the periphry, managed to produce the artistically most successful conception of engraved cards, obviously played in France and Spain.
Thanks for looking at my cards