I have been collecting vintage fortune telling cards and small-press and out of print tarot decks for about seven years. This deck was one of the first decks I bought - well, sort of. That copy was incomplete, and it didn't have the box or the instructions. I thought the imagery was terrific, though, and bought it anyway. I've since upgraded to a complete deck, and passed the other copy on to another friend who reads tarot.
The box says "Teuila Fortune Telling Cards / The US Playing Card Co. Cincinnati USA/ Copyright 1899 by Isobel Strong/Copyright 1923 by Isobel Field/International Copyright Reserved." There are 45 cards in the deck, numbered 1-45. Here's a scan of a few of the cards in the deck; the card in the upper right shows the image on the back of the cards.
The cards and their meanings:
- Dark Man
- Dark Woman
- Fair Man
- Fair Woman
- Man who is neither fair nor dark
- Woman who is neither fair nor dark
- Peacock - Pride
- Flowers and Butterflies - Affection, Kisses
- Engagement Ring - Proposal
- Green Eye - Jealousy
- Sun - Success
- Mountains - Distance
- Fish - Disappointment
- Snake - Malice
- Fireside - Home
- Fan - Flirtation
- Life Preserver - Succor, Help
- Money - Wealth
- Laurel Wreath - Honors, Fame
- Blue Birds - Happiness
- Box - Gift
- Open Gate - Opportunity
- Palette, Violin, etc. - The Arts
- Tea Table - Gossip
- Valise, Bag, etc. - Travel
- Devil - Calamity
- Jack in the Box - Surprise
- Bottle and Medicine Glass - Sickness
- Dagger - Danger
- Heart - Love
- Castle - Romance, Adventure
- Tear Vial - Tears
- Volcano - Excitement
- Letters - News
- Books - Law or Study
- Maid - Visitor
- Ship - Wish Card
- Wheel - Change
- Loving Cup - Popularity, Entertainment
- Factory Chimneys - Business
- Horseshoe - Luck
- Kettle - Emotion
- Bees - Work
- Dog - Fidelity
- Fate - Represents person having fortune told
Some combinations are defined in the instruction booklet:
- Marriage - 15, 30, and 11 in a row
- Death - 26 touching 28
- Insanity - 33, 42, and 26 in a row
- Divorce - 15 and 44 with 26 between them
- Parting - 15 and 25 with 26 between them
- Birth - 15, 21 and 28 in a row, or 11 in place of any of the three
- Triumph - Good being stronger than evil the meeting of 11 and 26 signifies triumph
The two dominant cards of the pack are Good and Evil represented by 11 and 26. When 11 touches any card (on either side, top or bottom) it intensifies it for good. Money becomes wealth; luck overwhelming; happiness deepens to bliss. If it touches 13 it means that an event looked forward to as unpleasant turns out to be agreeable, like going up for a reprimand and receiving a compliment. When the sun (11) shines on 14 or 29 it means malice averted and danger overcome. When touching 32 it means tears of happiness; when touching 28, recovery.
On the other hand, 26 turns any card it touches into evil. Pride (7) becomes shame; affection (8) dislike or distrust; flirtation (16) intrigue; succor, help (17) accident; wealth (18) poverty; honor (19) dishonor; happiness (20) unhappiness; gift (21) loss; opportunity (22) temptation; gossip (24) scandal; surprise (27) dismay; excitement (33) rage; change (38) reverses; popularity (39) unpopularity; emotion (42) worry; fidelity (44) treachery, and when it touches sickness (28) it fortells death.
The wish card (37) brings the realization of the wish only when it comes out in the third line of the fortune. When it is met with elsewhere it is descriptive of the wish. If near money (18) the person wished for wealth, if near 31, the wish is a romantic one, etc.
Success (11) coming out in the fortune anywhere brings the realization of the wish.
To do a reading, have the person make a mental wish while shuffling the cards, then cut the deck twice to make three piles on the table. The top card on each deck defines the outlook. If they were 30, 29, and 45, for instance (love, danger, fate), perhaps the querent is in a dangerous love affair.
Have the querent put the cards back, reassemble the pack, cut once. The reader takes the pack and lays out five cards face down in a row on the table. Discards 5. Deals 5 more on top of the other five. Discards 5. Keeps going until all the deck is dealt. There are now five divisions of five cards each.
The first pile of five cards is "To Yourself."
The second pile of five cards is "To Your House."
The third pile of five cards is "To Your Wish."
The fourth pile of five cards is "What You Don't Expect."
The fifth pile of five cards is "What is Sure to Come True."
I did a reading for a friend with these cards right before she traveled to visit her family at the holidays. I recall two of the outlook cards were luck and opportunity, and while she was gone I emailed her and asked her about her luck and opportunity. She reported she won $11 in the lottery. :)
She also got the "woman neither dark nor fair" card in the reading, and felt it represented a redheaded family member by its position to other cards; I thought that was interesting.
Anyway, I enjoy this deck, and I look forward to trying it some more soon.