c1770 [ or earlier ] FORTUNE TELLING PLAYING CARDS.
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 - https://goo.gl/JzSWR2 ]
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.
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