During the 19th century a system of fortune telling arose in Europe using unnumbered, pictorial cards depicting popular imagery with subtitles in several languages.
Art Deco fortune telling deck published by Piatnik, 1936
Fortune Tellers use the Hafez Cards by interpreting the Hāfez poems printed on the card backs when cards are selected randomly by their consultants.
A pack of 54 playing-cards for fortune-telling each card containing a number of zodiacal, classical and modern images with a miniature card of the conventional type at top left and a letter of the alphabet at top right.
A set of rather unusual and non-standard cartomancy cards from Argentina with religious connotations and imaginative artwork
The Fortune Teller’s Deck was published in 1995 in conjunction with a book written by Jane Lyle. The deck was designed by Neil Breeden and the court cards incorporate traditional symbolism.
Ye Witches Fortune Telling Cards published by the United States Playing Card Co., 1896. 52 cards + Joker + extra card in box.
In this version an explanatory verse is printed at the top of each card.
Carreras Fortune Telling Cards, 1926
“Cartes Lenormand” published by H. P. Gibson & Sons Ltd, London, printed in Germany by B. Dondorf, 1920s.
Fortune Telling Cards - wondrous scientific divination poker cards
Fortune Telling Deck by Industrie Comptoir, Leipzig c.1818.
Livre du Destin / The Book of Fate, c.1900, entire deck (32 cards)
Livre du Destin or Book of Fate, printed by B.P.Grimaud, Paris, c.1900. During the the nineteenth century various types of fortune-telling, oracle, Lenormand, sybil and destiny cards became popular and many decks such as the ones shown here were published in Paris.
The Rameses Fortune Telling Cards were manufactured by Chas. Goodall & Son Ltd, London, c.1910, around the same time as Rameses The Egyptian Wonderworker, was performing.
Geistliche Karten, Augsburg, 1718. Each card carries a text in Gothic typeface giving advice regarding what to do and think each day. Not quite oracle or divination cards, they are more like 'a motto for the day' collection. The method of using the cards is not known.
Hijos de José Garcia Taboadela was a book-seller who also published this charming pack of lovers' fortune telling cards in 1871
The 72 Names Cards based on the Kabbalistic "72 Names of God" and the metaphysical artwork of Orna Ben-Shoshan, Raanana, Israel.
The designs of these fortune-telling cards are largely taken from nineteenth century Austrian "Rural Scenes" Tarock cards.
The art of mystifying people is very old indeed. The first conjurers were priests who obtained power over simple minds by performing magical tricks which appeared to have a supernatural origin.
The Picture Book of Ana Cortez is an original work of art designed to facilitate Divination
These Fortune-Telling cards, first published as early as 1690, were possibly the first pack of cards ever made specifically for the purpose of fortune-telling. Otherwise, previously, ordinary playing cards had been used for the purpose.
Zodiac Celebrities fortune-telling cards presented with 'Picture Show' magazine, 1930. The cards were printed in black and red and supplied as uncut sheets inserted into the magazine.
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.