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April 2, 2014

Antique Psychic Arts

Chiromancy, the act of palm reading, has been practiced for over 2,000 years.  Aristotle wrote,
"Lines are not written into the human hand without reason. They emanate from heavenly influences and man's own individuality." 

Condemned by most formal religions, the psychic arts of palmistry, tarot card reading, and fortune telling have a 'shady' and fascinating history.

Antique and vintage palmistry paraphernalia are sought
after by collectors and are extremely hard to find.

A deck of vintage German tarot cards:

A 1930s tin of tarot cards:

An unusual set of Lenormand cards that
belonged to the Ivanova family.

Game of Palmistry, 1887

A rare 1937 "Gipsy Caravan" biscuit tin:

1920s gypsy-themed bank:

Antique metal game board manufactured between 1919-1922:

Antique fortune telling machines:


"The Golden Age of Automata" was between 1860 to 1910 with the
greatest concentration of manufacturers in Paris.  Ironically, this period
was also the height of the Industrial Revolution and, yet, the belief in
psychic readings flourished.

A vintage fortune telling machine was
 converted into a bubble gum machine.

Gypsy costumes, c. 1930:
Since the mid 16th century the Psychic Arts have been associated with
European gypsies.  The nomadic lifestyle depended on the gullibility of
the public to invest in tarot card predictions and palm readings.

Gypsy circus poster, c. 1890

Photograph of a Romanian gypsy girl, 1895
The Runaway Gypsy

Who wouldn't love to have a gypsy wagon in their back yard?

Ranch Willow Wagons

 I want one!


The Painted Blackbird


I'm ready for a road trip.  Who's with me?!


  1. You've left me wanting to write a story about a circus and the wonderful colors brought to life by the people who fill the place...

  2. Those gypsy wagons are awesome, aren't they? I'd love to have one in the back yard!

  3. Replies
    1. Wouldn't it be cool to turn one into a guest cottage? They're all so different and colorful.

  4. What an interesting collection you've shown us today. I love the gypsy caravans, so romantic looking, but I don't know that I would have liked to spend my life in one. I'm too soft.


    1. Yeah, me, too - got to have my modern conveniences!

  5. I have always liked the gypsy wagons I would park one in my back yard.
    The picture of the gypsy girl 1895 looks like a flea market girl today or a Boho dressed gal of today , all the rhinestones and long necklaces she would fit right in at any Texas flea market