Game of Hope History

The Game of Hope originated as the parlor game Das Spiel der Hofnung by J.K. Hechtel who created it some time during the late 1790s. It contained 36 cards. The game required that the cards be laid in lines of 9x4 as if squares on a modern day board game.

In 1896 Lady Charlotte Schreiber, an avid collector of Tarot and other cards, bequeathed her collection to the British Museum. Among the many decks was this one, complete and well used. As the British Museum describes them, "Cards with French suits: a complete pack of 36 playing-cards in a pale blue cardboard case, with printed label on the outside: 'Das Spiel der Hofnung, mit einer neuen illum. Figurenkarte. Neue Auflage. / Le Jeu de l'Esperance, accompagné d'un jeu de cartes a figures.' Hand- coloured etchings with plain backs."

Cards of all descriptions were used by fortune tellers throughout Europe for centuries. When the most famous of these fortune tellers, Mlle Le Normand, died in 1843 decks containing 36 cards with images, numbers and playing card inserts were published and attributed to her creation. The symbols used were the same as the ones appearing on the cards in the Game of Hope. 

Once the British Museum's Game of Hope cards were seen by modern Lenormand aficionados they noted that the cards not only contain the same images but are in the exact sequence as latter day copies of Lenormand cards. Therefore, these very Game of Hope cards are the actual originals of the cards we now know as the Lenormand Petit Jeu.

For this limited edition, I crafted an elegant back elements contained within the cards. These cards are made to delight Lenormand collectors who appreciate the beauty and simplicity of the antique cards.

Thanks to the British Museum they are available for you, a faithful reproduction of Lady Charlotte's own cards.

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