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Posted September 17, 2011 | Last Updated April 14, 2014 at 11:32pm | Share this page on Facebook

Cartes Lenormand by H.P. Gibson & Sons Ltd, 1920s

Detail from 'Cartes Lenormand' by H.P. Gibson & Sons Ltd., 1920s

By a Famous Parisian Diviner...

French-suited “Cartes Lenormand” published by H. P. Gibson & Sons Ltd, London, printed chromolithographically in Germany by B. Dondorf. The set was probably published in the early 1920s because H. P. Gibson & Sons Ltd didn't exist until 1919 after Harry Gibson sold the International Playing Card Co (formed in 1903) to De la Rue. The retail price was 3/6d per pack.

Between c.1873 and 1933 Dondorf printed and published fortune telling decks in the style of Madame Lenormand. Dondorf also printed Lenormand fortune-telling cards for Carreras during the 1920s. To see a study of the different editions of Lenormand cards click here.

Cartes Lenormand by H.P. Gibson & Sons Ltd., 1920s Cartes Lenormand by H.P. Gibson & Sons Ltd., 1920s Cartes Lenormand by H.P. Gibson & Sons Ltd., 1920s Cartes Lenormand by H.P. Gibson & Sons Ltd., 1920s

Above & Left: ‘Cartes Lenormand’ published by H.P. Gibson & Sons Ltd, 1920s. The cards were printed in Germany by B. Dondorf.

Below: Box from ‘Cartes Lenormand’ published by H.P. Gibson & Sons Ltd, 1920s.

Box from Cartes Lenormand by H.P. Gibson & Sons Ltd., 1920s
Back and rule leaflet from Cartes Lenormand by H.P. Gibson & Sons Ltd., 1920s

Above: the back of the cards is the standard Dondorf back design, without any manufacturer's details overprinted. The booklet accompanying the pack states: The Art of Telling Fortunes "Lenormand" as professed by the celebrated Parisian Diviner Sylvia d'Arville - H.P. Gibson & Sons Ltd., London E.C.3. and then goes on to explain that Mlle Sylvia d'Arville is a most celebrated fortune-teller whose grand-mother predicted Napoleon, his greatness and his victories, and his subsequent fall and ruin.

Note: Mary Greer has shown that the earliest forerunner of the Lenormand cards is a 1796 book in English. See her blog: Mary K. Greer's Tarot Blog


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