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Tarot and Fortune Telling Playing Cards


The cards were first advertised c1690 and sold until c1750 and produced and sold by John Lenthall, a map and printseller, who was the predominant seller of playing cards in London during the first half of the eighteenth century.

They include the names of astronomical pioneers (Copernicus, Tycho, Ptolemy) as well as occult figures (Cornelius Agrippa, Hermes Trismegistus, Dr Dee and Dr Faustus). This set has a red Garter tax stamp on the ace of spades.

The Kings [ XIII ] are represented by Nimrod, Herod, Holophernesand Pharof.

The Queens [ XII ] are represented by Clytemnastra, Dido, Prosperina and Semiramis

The Jacks [ XI ] are represented by Cupid, Mahomett, Wat Tyler and Hewfon [ Hewson ] the regicide and possible card maker ?

Each suit was numbered I to XIII. Odd numbered cards had a sign of the zodiac on them; even numbered cards contained a list of thirteen numbered statements. The Kings had a series of questions one could ask. The court cards were given the names of famous people from myth and legend. According to the directions, “When any person is desirous to try their fortune, let them go to one of the four kings and choose what question they please.” This is followed by an elaborate procedure for determining the answer. The explanation ends, “The stars foretell, they love you well.”

Complete deck 52/52 plus two instruction card ‘The Use of the Cards’, closing with ‘Sold by Iohn Lenthall Stationer at the Talbot against St. Dunstans Church Fleetstreet London.’

The cards are in very good condition, there is some card with paper shrinkage, which does not affect the card.

There is minor foxing here and there – all cards are scanned in high resolution so you can judge the condition for yourself.

The Jack of Spades [ XI ] – Wat Tyler, has two wormholes holes and the King of Clubs [ XIII ] Pharoh has 12 wormholes neither card has been affected in the subject of the card by the traces of a long lost friend – all cards have been scanned.


REF: LFT17     




Most probably the second English set of playing cards issued specifically for the purpose of fortune telling, the first being those published by Newman c1690 later published by John Lenthall – his pack number XVIII.

The wording on each card conforms to that found in the work on the oldest cartomancy meanings in English by “Dr. Flamstead’s and Mr. Patridge’s New Fortune-Book containing . . . Their new-invented method of knowing one’s fortune by a pack of cards” published c1729 [ Our thanks to Ross Caldwell for pointing us to this link – ]

We think that these cards were published by S Hooper a Book and Print Publisher of various London addresses during the period 1766 to 1792, Strand, Ludgate Hill, Arundal Street, Dukes Court and Holborn. He is know also for publishing his Conversation Cards.

Lots of ‘thinks’ and ‘most probablys in his write up as this pack is not referenced anywhere to our knowledge.

The pack is missing the 9 of Hearts, the Nine of Diamonds and the Jack of Hearts, one direction card and one Wheel of Fortune Card, Red.

The Court cards are of the early style – Jacks have Fleur de Lils between their feet – Black Jacks feathers in their hats – King of Clubs holds Cross of Lorraine – Diamonds and Hearts are red stenciled cards (including court cards) but excluding borders and legend.

The lack of Aces is explained by the Direction Card [ Direction The First ] – “The conjurer being obliged to multiply the 12 figns of the Zodiac by the four feasons of the year could only employ 48 cards, was therefore commanded by the oracle of Delphos to exclude the 4 aces” – though the referenced source above does have Rhyming Cutlets for the four Aces.

The cards are in good condition with some paper shrinkage ripples. The Black Wheel of Fortune card does have many pin holes in it – as it should – as it is used to select the cards which then reveal your fortune.


REF: CIP3750-0041X      



1863 Comic Fortune Telling Playing Cards

This is primarily a set of Fortune Telling Cards produced by Joseph Reynolds in 1865 Some people refer to this type of playing cards as ‘semi-transformation’ The Court cards are non-standard figures and are single ended The graphics take up most of the card with a framed/un-framed portion at the bottom with the ‘Fortune telling’ phrase, except for the Jack of Hearts, representing CUPID, where the caption appears appears at the top. Some of the phrases would not be PC these days – but this was over £150 years ago! The cards bearing the Club and Spade Suits are printed in Black throughout The Hearts and Diamond suits being in red throughout. This was fairly common with Fortune Telling games of the period 1800-1885. The directions for play is a photo of the original The cards are complete [ 52/52 ] and in very good condition; there is age related edge spotting which does not interfere with the content.
The cards have a plain pink back
A few examples are shown here but for the complete set click on the link below.

REF: CFTPC      


Complete set of early Fortune Telling Playing Cards

English Fortune Telling pack of c.1800 [ or earlier see 3 ] by an unknown artist / engraver

The use of the 'long S' - see the 2 of Spades - died out at the end of the 18th which could also point to these cards being earlier

Sets of proverbial or motto cards which had been very popular during the late 18th Century well into the 19th Century.

The cards feature a scene with a two line ‘fortune telling’ motto occupying a 6th of the card at the base.
The cards were etched onto a sheet of paper and pasted on to a ‘one’ thickness card stock, they have then been very crudely cut by shears.

Despite being printed after the introduction of an obligation to have a Tax Stamp on one of the cards this deck does not have such a stamping which was not uncommon and they were often passed off as cards for card games and evaded duty.

In this instance it is more likely that these were produced in small quantities and hawked around coffee shops and pubs and sold in haberdasheries and book shops.

Each card is printed in black throughout but see 4

The value is indicated by a miniature playing card in the upper left-hand corner.

Regarding the miniature court cards, the courts used in these non-standard printed cards are not by any normal card-maker. The assumption is that those who made these cards were not classed as card-makers and were not members of the Worshipful Company. This is further underlined by the fact that in this case the traditional figures mostly don’t appear in the right suits and they would not have been mixed up by a proper card-maker.1

A two-line rhyming fortune-telling prophecy is printed along the bottom of each card and they bear some relationship to a book printed in 1793 which list a similar pack of cards individually.

The book is part of the Google Archive and be found as a free PDF download at – the cards are detailed from page 54 onwards 2

1 Research by Ken Lodge
2 Emma contributed the link to the 1793 book
3 Use of Long ‘s’ [ see 2 fpades ] could date the cards to the 18th Century
4 The British Museum has a similar set, which they date to c1820, the Red suits being printed in Red and the Black suits printed in Black


REF: FT-Fate-R      


52 Cards Complete





A Tarot Deck for all Freemasons by W. Bro P.C. Browne PZ Printed In Belgium 

The deck is based on the principles of the Masonic Craft using symbols drawn from the Craft.

The deck is fairly traditional, in that it follows the four suits. 

First Class / Air Mail Postage: to UK – £4.45 / to Europe – £8.00 / to Other £10.95 Insurance is an additional £5.00 to any Country for the first £250.00 We combine postage and only charge our costs.

REF: SACD – 060



Tarot Playing Cards published 2005 by Elaine Lewis

Hand made playing cards consisting of 22 cards [ 0 to XXI ] plus title card showing this to be pack number 26 of a limited edition of 30.

Each card is highly decorative and includes the following –

The Fool, The Magician, High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Pope, The Lovers, The Chariot, Justice, The Hermit, The Wheel of Fortune, Strength, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower,The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement and The World.

There is also a concertina hand written booklet [ duplicated ] by Elaine describing each card.

Cards measure 6cm by 12.7cm and are housed in a hand made box.

Backs are plain.

[ Graphic show No: 2 of 30 this is in fact No:26 of 30 ]




Tarocco Vedute E Mestieri Di Milano

This Handcrafted, Limited Edition, Reproduction of the 1820 Tarocco Vedute E Mestieri Di Milano [ Taror View’s and Trades of Milan ] is presented in an excellent two part box, bearing the Seal of Quality that is IL MENEGHELLO.
I love the dual language note in the bottom of the best – “ This item is crafted by hand, any imperfections or variations are due to its workmanship and are not to be considered as defects”.
This twenty two coloured card deck comes with the addition of a hand numbered title card.
The backs have a star burst pattern.
This deck additionally comes with a most informative booklet in Italian and English with a wealth of information about the cards. An appendix gives a “Description of the Representation of the 22 Tarot Cards”.
All cards have been scanned to show the excellent work of Giuliano Crippa who work is preserved in museums of playing cards around the world, Paris, Stuttgart, Madrid … For you to enjoy.


First Class / Air Mail Postage: to UK – £4.45 / to Europe – £8.00 / to Other £10.95 Insurance is an additional £5.00 to any Country for the first £250.00 We combine postage and only charge our costs.




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