The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries from January 2014

Fortune Telling Cards (13)

January 31st, 2014 · 3 Comments

“Fan-Tel,” issued in 1937 by Schoenhut, wasn’t really a deck of fortune telling cards.  It consisted of 48 wooden slats, each illustrated with a symbolic picture.  You selected 14 of them, and assembled them into a fan, holding them together with a metal bolt.  You then interpreted the result, using the guide provided.  For these […]

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Tags: Card Games

Pierre Gustave Brunet and the Literature of the Insane

January 27th, 2014 · No Comments

Pierre Gustave Brunet (1805-1896) compiled bibliographies.  I know nothing else about him.  His output was remarkable, though, as were the subjects he chose: Pope Joan, Biblical apocrypha, theological curiosities, imaginary libraries, fictional publishers, literary frauds, scatological texts, facetious literature, and lost books, among others. His best remembered work is probably his 1880 compendium, Les Fous […]

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Tags: Books · Literature

Fortune Telling Cards (12)

January 20th, 2014 · No Comments

“The Secret Practices and the Tremendous Game by Mademoiselle Lenormand,” published by B. P. Grimaud, is unusually complex: 54 oversize cards, containing a wealth of graphic and divinatory information, accompanied by a 180-page book of instructions. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games

Who Was Marion Kinnaird?

January 15th, 2014 · 3 Comments

In 1932, a certain Marion Kinnaird had a choice assignment: to write children’s books based on two grand old comic strips, Frederick Opper’s “Happy Hooligan” and James Swinnerton’s “Little Jimmy.”  They were published by McLoughlin Bros. in a large format (10″ x 13″), with four-color  covers and three-color interiors.  For Opper, he or she came […]

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Tags: Books · Cartoons · Mysteries

Illustrations and Designs for General Use

January 6th, 2014 · 4 Comments

Happy New Year!  I’ll get started with a few pages from Illustrations and Designs for General Use, published by Speed-O-Print in 1944.  It’s a box containing a hundred sheets of artwork, to be traced for stencil duplication.  There are many graphic delights on those pages; here are three examples.  As always, please click to enlarge. […]

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Tags: Ephemera