Le Destin Antique was first published in Paris in 1868 by Eugène D’Auriac as a booklet titled “Le Destin Antique rétabli d’après les anciens manuscrits Chaldaïques, Syriaques et autres avec une introduction historique sur le jeu de cartes”, accompanied by a 32-card cartomantic deck printed lithographically by Grimaud and hand-coloured, titled: “Le Destin Antique” with plain pink backs.
The originals may be viewed on the Bibliothèque Nationale de France website here and here whence it can be seen that all later editions of the deck, including other 19th and 20th century ones, like the one shown here published by Piatnik in 1986, are based on this original version, inspired by Eugène D’Auriac’s study of ancient divinatory sciences more →
I love the little vignettes in the top RH corner. Each card is numbered and has a miniature playing card in the corner, but no title. The small vignettes provide additional nuances to the cartomantic interpretation.
Card games in general and tarot/cartomancy cards in particular, like children’s and adult games, make a particularly strong appeal to the symbolic imagination. Whereas the standard pack of cards has been able to serve as a tool for divination mainly by combining the interpretation of signs with chance procedures, cartomancy cards have added to this function the desire to tap the secrets of the gods, by including a system of references and symbolic connections of an esoteric type, correlated with the planets and the cosmic hierarchies.
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Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.
His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.
Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.
Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.
His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.
Comic Fortune-Telling Cards published by Reynolds & Sons, c.1850.
Playing cards are used for fortune-telling, predicting the future or even as a psychological adjunct to folk medicine and therapy.
Fortune Telling cards by Whitman Publishing Co., 1940.
La Sibylle des Salons facsimile of 19th century deck published by J M Simon, 1979.
Facsimile of Swiss William Tell deck from c.1870 published by Lo Scarabeo.
A facsimile of an early 19th century French-suited deck from the collection of F.X. Schmid.
Le Jeu du Destin Antique, originally published by Grimaud in XIX c., republished many times since...
Caleb Bartlett patriotic deck (reproduction), around 1835-40.
Playtex - le jeu de la beauté et du destin, Grimaud, 1971.
Reproduction of Richard Blome’s Heraldic playing cards, 1684, presented to lady guests at WCMPC Summer Meeting in 1888.
Facsimile of ‘Wilhelm Tell’ Hungarian deck by Salamon Antal, Keczkemét, 1860.
Facsimile of “Le Jeu de la Guerre” designed by Gilles de la Boissière in 1698.
“El Oráculo de la Bruja” fortune-telling cards, 2003.
A Motley Pack - transformation playing cards & ‘On The Cards’ book facsimile published by Sunish Chabba, 2019.
Facsimile of patriotic 1878 Tyrolean playing cards published by Piatnik in 1992.
Kinney Bros Transparent playing cards with hidden images and fortunes, c.1890.
Facsimile of Dondorf’s “Musikalisches Kartenspiel” (c.1862) published by Lo Scarabeo, 2004
Facsimile edition of Swiss suited deck first published by Johannes Müller in c.1840.
Georgian Fortune Telling Cards, c.1800.
Black Cat Fortune Telling Cards published by Parker Bros, 1897
Wüst Lenormand deck, c.1860
“Jeu de Géographie” educational playing cards etched by Stefano Della Bella (1610-1664) and published by Henry le Gras, c.1644.
Baraja ‘Goyesca’ facsimile of original deck published in Madrid by Clemente de Roxas, 1814.
Cartes des Rois de France (1644) facsimile edition by Edizioni del Solleone, 1986.
Reprint of Lapin’s Historical Belarusian playing cards.
“Jeu des Quatre Saisons de l’An II” facsimile of French Revolution deck originally published by J. B. Debeine (Reims) 1793.
The Cagliostro Tarot was first published in 1912 as “Il Destino Svelato Dal Tarocco”.
English Fortune Telling cards probably published c.1770.
“Antike Götter” - facsimile of antique playing cards originally manufactured by C. A. Müller, Berlin, 1830.
“Le Grand Tarot Belline” after drawings by Edmond Billaudot (1829-1881).
“Dames de France” published by J-M Simon based on originals by Armand Gustave Houbigant, Paris, c.1817
Facsimile edition of 19th century I. Hardy Exportation deck complete with reproduction tax wrapper, c.1990s.
Aleister Crowley Tarot - Crowley and Lady Freda Harris worked on the illustrations between 1938 and 1943
The designs of these fortune-telling cards are largely taken from nineteenth century Austrian "Rural Scenes" Tarock cards.
“Jeu de l’an 2” by Grimaud is a facsimile of French Revolutionary cards first published by Veuve Mouton in c.1793
“Jeu Romantique de Nanteuil” published by Éditions Dusserre, Paris, based on originals published in 1838.
‘Cartes de Luxe’ first published by Biermans in 1877 was reproduced in facsimile by Amstel Beer in c.1980.
Nine Lives Tarot by Annette Abolins, 2013
The ‘Housewives Tarot’ designed by Paul Kepple & Jude Buffum, published by Quirk Books, 2004.
“Naipes Tu Destino” Cartomancy Cards from Peru will ease any stress in your interpersonal relationships c.1975.