The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries Tagged as 'Liminal Graphics'

The Salt Packets of Buenos Aires

March 25th, 2014 · 2 Comments

When I travel, my favorite souvenirs are the small, overlooked items, particularly those sporting liminal, anonymous graphics.  Here, for example, are some of the salt packets I collected on a trip to Buenos Aires last year.  I particularly like the first.  It’s Attic salt! (Posted by Doug Skinner)  

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Tags: Liminal Graphics · Places


March 20th, 2014 · No Comments

Spring is here.  It’s been a particularly harsh winter here in NYC.  I hope that this magic lantern panorama slide heralds better times. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Liminal Graphics

Fortune Telling Cards (5)

July 11th, 2013 · No Comments

“Madame Le Normand’s Gipsy Fortune Telling Cards” bears no indication of date or publisher.  Its previous owner has written the meaning of the cards over the simple black and white illustrations, thereby increasing its graphic charm.  There are 36 cards in the deck, from #1: Cavalier to #36: Cross; tattered instructions in English and German […]

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Tags: Card Games · Liminal Graphics

Fortune Telling Cards (4)

June 14th, 2013 · 5 Comments

Whitman’s “Zodiac Circle Playing Card Game” dates from 1931.  There were Zodiac Cards, which were to be laid out in a circle, and the other cards were to be correlated to your sun sign.  I haven’t tried it.  I like those colors. (Posted by Doug Skinner.)  

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Tags: Card Games · Liminal Graphics

Fortune Telling Cards (2)

May 17th, 2013 · 1 Comment

“The Military Fortune Tellers” was published by H. V. Loring, in Chicago, in 1917.  The deck is 52 cards; but the four suits are stars, hearts, bells, and doves, and the face cards are Jack, Nurse, and Soldier.  The instructions are curiously garbled: “This is a Military Sectional Fortune Telling Chart forming a square when […]

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Tags: Card Games · Liminal Graphics

Fortune Telling Cards (1)

May 3rd, 2013 · 5 Comments

Well, I’ve given you 200 children’s card games to eyeball, so now it’s time for a change.  Here’s the first of a series of fortune telling cards. You can, of course, tell fortunes with ordinary playing cards, or with the tarot (or, it must be said, simply by free association); but card manufacturers have nevertheless […]

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Tags: Card Games · Liminal Graphics

Shakespeare’s Apocrypha Illustrated

April 23rd, 2013 · 4 Comments

Today is Shakespeare’s birthday, maybe; the exact date is uncertain.  But it’s a good uncertain date to appreciate that Stratfordian ullage, Shakespeare’s apocrypha. Although the canonical plays have long inspired artists, the apocrypha have been largely unillustrated.  Many of them are perfectly fine plays, but suffer that curious stigma of being once ascribed but now […]

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Tags: Liminal Graphics · Literature

Children’s Card Games (200)

April 18th, 2013 · 2 Comments

For our 200th example of that curious, under the radar, often anonymous graphic genre, the children’s card game, please contemplate “Choice Thoughts by Longfellow,” an 1890 offering from Milton Bradley.  The player collects sets of five (a title and four quotations from a poem), as well as a binding card that affects the scoring.  I’ve […]

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Tags: Card Games · Liminal Graphics

The Pointing Finger

July 15th, 2012 · 5 Comments

I found these drawings at the flea market.  They’re all 4 3/4″ x 6 1/2″, done with ink and shading film on board, and unsigned.  Enjoy them.   (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Ephemera · Liminal Graphics

Pareidolia Training

November 9th, 2011 · 5 Comments

We have a remarkable ability to see patterns where there are none, to see pictures in clouds, smoke, and rocks.  We’re particularly prone to see faces, perhaps because facial recognition is such an important survival skill. “Images d’Epinal,” an old French firm that provided popular prints for generations, has long published pictures with hidden images, […]

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Tags: Education · Forteana · Liminal Graphics