Friday, September 19, 2008

Tarot and Cigarettes

Via JCB's enchanting blog, I came across a fantastic link for the digital archives of the New York Public Library. I entered 'fortune telling cards' into the search engine ('Tarot cards' came up empty) and came across very interesting playing card themed cigarette papers.

Each paper features a card from a standard playing deck, with an image or vignette underneath. They appear to be part of the Fortune Telling series released by Carreras in the mid 1920's. Cigarette papers, which were included as promotional items in cigarettes from the mid 19th through the first decades of the 20th century, could feature a variety of themes, with sports subjects and celebrities being especially popular.

I found these in particular to be intriguing, to say the least. The images and scenes portrayed certainly lend themselves to interpretation, and it would be fun to discover meanings for each of the cards.

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