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Published March 14, 2012 Updated July 15, 2022

Carreras Fortune Telling Cards

Carreras Fortune Telling Cards.

1926 Germany United Kingdom Carreras Ltd Cartomancy Tobacco Add to Collection

Printed by B. Dondorf in Germany.

The Carreras Fortune Telling Cards were published in 1926 for W.D. & H.O. Wills, Bristol, and issued by Carreras Ltd in various sizes (wide and narrow size) and formats (playing-card inserts or figures). The cards were printed by chromo-lithography by B. Dondorf in Germany, based on the “Dondorf Lenormand” fortune-telling cards made in the 1880s. A single card was enclosed inside every packet of “Black Cat” cigarettes. “Black Cat” was launched in 1904 and became the first cigarette in the United Kingdom to contain coupons which were redeemable for gifts. These coupons evolved into the collectible cards which became a huge marketing success.   See also: Wikipedia articleCartes Lenormand by H.P. GibsonMlle Lenormand Fortune Telling cards by Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken.

Carreras Fortune Telling Cards with playing card inserts, 1926

Above: Carreras wide-sized Fortune Telling Cards with miniature playing card inserts, 1926. A single card was enclosed inside every packet of “Black Cat” cigarettes and in this case two missing cards have been made from repeated cards to complete the set.

Carreras Fortune Telling Cards with figure inserts, 1926

Above: Carreras wide-sized Fortune Telling Cards with figure-head inserts, 1926. The fortune-telling images are exactly the same as in the example above, but in this case the miniature playing-card inserts have been substituted by figures. As far as we know the interpretations in the accompanying booklet remained the same for both versions, i.e. with figure inserts or playing card inserts.

Carreras narrow-sized Fortune Telling Cards with figure inserts, 1926

Above: Carreras narrow-sized Fortune Telling Cards with figure-head inserts, 1926

Carreras Fortune Telling Cards explanatory leaflet, 1926

Above: Carreras Fortune Telling Cards leaflet, 1926   more →

Carreras also issued Domino Cards, Alice in Wonderland cards and miniature playing cards.   See also: Fortune Telling & Cartomancy :: Cartes Lenormand by H.P. Gibson.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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