Saturday, November 12, 2016
19th Century Lenormand Fortune Telling Cards
Madame Lenormand was a fortune teller in the early 19th century who was wildly famous as these things go at that time! She was perhaps the best known fortune-teller of her day and her main stock in trade was cartomancy. On her death publishers of playing cards tumbled over themselves to offer Lenormand fortune telling decks. It isn't clear just how closely related, if at all, to the card she may have used, these 'gypsy' style decks were but they soon became a more or less uniform system. They are still popular today and have a much more 'storytelling' approach to telling fortunes than, say, tarot cards.
19th century decks are scarce and I was delighted to find this one the other day. A little research tells me that this was published by the German lithographic printer of playing cards, Berndard Dondorf and that this variation (with the dragon logo and BD in the top right corner of the cards) was printed from 1878 until the closure of the company in 1933. Beyond that, therefore, dating is a bit of a best educated guess affair. But, since you asked, I suspect this deck is 1890-1900.