THE DONDORF FORTUNE TELLING CARDS & VARIATIONS
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image at 200%


image at 600%

Before we start, we would like to show you the fine lithographic printing, for which the company of Bernard Dondorf was renowned. Here above is the image of a Jack of Clubs from the Fortune Telling deck Nr. 1, here below. It's shown at the actual size of the card (13). Enlarged to 200% only the breast suggests that the image was printed in lithography and we need to magnify the image to 600% before we can enjoy the fine details of the portrait and the way it was printed.

 

Between ca. 1873 and 1933 the company of Bernard Dondorf has printed and published a fortune telling deck in the style and method of Madame Lenormand. It was published as "Wahrsage-Karten Nr. 1". The deck comes with a small booklet in which the cards and the way to lay them are explained. This booklet exists in several languages: in German of course, but also in French, Dutch, Danish, Italian and Portuguese. As we live in the Netherlands our booklet is in Dutch. But it came in a box that also carried the title in Dutch: Waarzeg Kaarten Nr. 1. So it's likely that boxes with the mentioned languages will exist too.

variation #1

variation #2

In his book about the Dondorf company Franz Braun distinguishes 4 variations. The oldest one, variation #1, has the company name and place in white letters in a lilac, and later on in a  dark purple or black circle. Variation #2 has a white circle with the company's name and place in black. The place is written as Francfort. In the third variation, here below, this name was replaced by Frankfurt.

variation # 3


Click card 1 to see # 5-12,                  card 2 for # 13-20,                       card 3 for # 20-28,                       card 4 for # 29-36        

 

Franz Braun has qualified the deck here below as variation # 4 and mentions that this deck was published with texts in German, French, Danish and Dutch only. So we cannot offer you an English version here and you'll have to settle with our Dutch version of Fortune Telling deck Nr. 2.  This version was published from ca. 1878 until 1933. The name and place in the right circle are replaced by the dragon logo of the company, with the letters B and D as reference.


Click card 1 to see # 5-12,                 card 2 for # 13-20,                       card 3 for # 20-28,                       card 4 for # 29-36       

 

Neither of these decks were ever published with a booklet or texts in English. However, the British public got acquainted with these designs in another way, as you'll see on the next page.

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VARIATIONS