Dondorf's varied range of playing cards and card games includes a Fortune-Telling set which is sometimes named after the French fortune teller Madame Lenormand. These iconic fortune-telling images were first devised for 19th century soothsayers, and are here re-drawn and printed in chromolithography by B. Dondorf. Two different versions exist. In one version (shown here) an explanatory verse is printed in German at the top of each card; the other version has a miniature playing card at the top.
The Lenormand cards in general have always been popular with card readers, especially in Europe, and lately in America the Tarot community has taken them up. They read in a very practical everyday way, gypsy-style. There's less room for interpretation, their reading style is very direct. There's no metaphysical or psychological layer, the way there is with Tarot. They are published today in a variety of languages and styles.
The court cards in this well designed double-ended pack are realistically dressed in 16th century costumes with German suit symbols. The Kings and high ranking personnel are strict and austere. The farm workers and artisans remind us that the early 16th century was also the time of The German Peasants' War. Published during the period c.1926-1933. The reverse shows Prussian eagles.
Playing cards are used for fortune-telling, predicting the future or even as a psychological adjunct to folk medicine and therapy. Playing cards or tarot cards are used as symbols to make conscious psychological states within the mind and are a tool for spiritual or introspective enquiry.