The Gipsy Fortune Telling Cards by Piatnik are a compact deck dating back to 1901 and lend themselves well to the inexperienced cartomancer.
As little as we know about playing cards, we have even less historical evidence to shed light on the origins of cartomancy. However, we do know that during the eighteenth century, fortune-telling cards' popularity were at an all time high, prompting the 'Age of Enlightenment'. It was during this period that the traditions of the magic circles and the revival of interest in alchemy emerged in the form which the have largely retained to present day.
The imagery within the 36-card deck is exquisite and delicate, reflecting a feeling of nobility throughout. Whilst reading with the cards, we were transported to the late eighteenth century, presented with wonderfully dressed characters, ornate backdrops, pristine antique furniture and stylised buildings.
Interpreting the cards was certainly trickier than with a Rider-Waite clone but this is where the challenge lies. After years of using decks of a typical structure, this deck completely changes your perspective of readings, prompting you to interpret each card in an altered fashion and really delve into the meaning behind the imagery and the characters.
Accompanying the deck is a short instructional booklet that explains the history of cartomancy and suggests a spread to read the cards with.