Vintage Delight

I LOVE vintage divination decks. The papery feel of cards stained by time, and wrapped with an aura of mystery like a new lover that suddenly has full hold over your body and mind. And now, possessed by new love, you find yourself sneaking away from daily responsibilities just to spend a few hours of delight; basking in the light of an attractive stranger, and wondering who were the ones caressing this wonderful obsession before it was yours.

Yes, this is how I feel about a vintage carta mundi deck I received this week. Supposedly from 1900, it came without a box or booklet. The colors are faded with time and stained in many places. The backs are a mesh of blue and red lines.

According to the seller, it is a Lenormand produces by EtsBrepols S.A. of Turnhout, Belgium. The cards are dated sometime c.1900-1916.

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5 thoughts on “Vintage Delight

  1. loishastings says:

    These cards look amazing! I can see why you would treasure them. And I’d be the same as you, wondering whose ‘fortunes’ they have told, and what they revealed to them. As a writer, you’ve just given me the idea for a new story…many thanks!xx

    • Madame Nadia says:

      Hi Lois!
      I’m happy to be your muse 😉
      Yes, I can loose myself for hours imagining who might be the previous owner of these cards, and how their long history would influence my own divination practice.

  2. Marina says:

    I loooooove vintage decks and their paper-feel! I have a historical reproduction of a civil war era playing card that has no lamination… it’s wonderful to shuffle it, even though it feels frail because of the lack of plastic. I also have a deck from the beginning of the century… given to me by someone I love very much (though he broke my heart, lol)… which also have that old feel to it. And gilt-edges!

    Thank you for sharing pictures of this deck. I see there’s a big Lenormand frenzy going on of FB… I used to really like this oracle but for some reason i feel disconnected from it right now. I still find the cards gorgeous though. ❤

    • Madame Nadia says:

      Marina, the Lenormand frenzy is EVERYWHERE, lol. It’s funny because I have decided to take up learning this system around New Years, and suddenly realized that there’s a whole army of people reviving this method. Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of the aficionados are trying to dress Lenormand in tarot.

      I am particularly interested in this system because I feel a strong affinity to my European background and roots, and find the symbols to be very meaningful. I also find the system intensely accurate.

  3. andybc says:

    What lovely cards, Madame Nadia!

    They are, I believe, the Mlle. Lenormand Cartes de Bonne Aventure by Carta Mundi. The deck is what I use professionally.

    Carta Mundi was founded in 1970, by the merger of three companies, one of whom was Bretplos, whom I believe published the pattern initially. The oldest ones had the standard double “B” on the background with intricate styling.

    The prototype for the design is the Etit jeu Lenormand, which had the playing card, poem and a small symbol – and the red and blue cross hatching on the back which was adopted in this pattern. I thought this occurred around the period of the First World War.

    The Etit jeu is my favourite historical Lenormand, and I think why I use this pattern professionally.

    I hope you treasure this gem! I really like my old decks – I think a few card companies should look back to them. I don’t think any have got close tbh – not even so called “authentic reproductions” 😉

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