The purpose of creating the Antiquarian Lenormand was because I wanted a personal reading deck of my own design with an antique aesthetic. My focus at first was the late 19th and early 20th centuries but I strayed from this at times.
I first began looking for antique playing cards that I could use as the card inserts you see in historic Lenormand decks. I searched for a deck from the late 1800s or early 1900s. My search ended with the 19th century Les Modes Godey Nasco Playing Card Co deck that I found at a flea market for $5.00!
Each of the original cards are handmade 8.5” X 12” collages upon which I applied various techniques to create its distressed appearance. Some of the elements didn't need to be aged, like the letter from the schoolgirl in the Letter card. It took about seven months to assemble the 36 cards, plus the extra Fox card. (I liked both, so included both in the pack. Pick the Fox you prefer to use in your readings and leave the other out.)
I found a book that describes in two chapters Josephine Beauharnais' first visit with Marie Lenormand: The Romance of Alexandre Dumas from the D'artagnan Edition, Little Brown and Co., 1894. The Les Blancs et Les Bleus (The Whites and the Blues) Volume 2, written by Alexandre Dumas in 1867-1868; Chapter 28, The Sibyl and Chapter 29, Fortune-Telling.
The chapters recount the social call that Josephine and her Spanish companion, Therese Cabarus (Madame Tallien, the daughter of a famous Spanish banker), make to the famous sibyl of Paris, Mademoiselle Marie Anne Lenormand.
The first excerpt below is from Chapter 28, The Sibyl, pages 28-31:
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Maree Bento is a collage artist and practitioner of the mystical & healing arts.
She’s a professional tarot reader and veteran deck creator born under a Sagittarius Sun with a Libra Rising & Capricorn Moon conjunct Pallas Athena. She's been stepping up her astrology studies the last few years, after a years-long hobby interest in the subject.
Maree has been a licensed massage therapist for 17 years practicing various holistic modalities for body, mind, and spiritual well-being & connection.
Her background in the healing arts deepened her intuitive abilities and inspires her present approach to tarot, creativity, ritual, and divination.
She loves to travel and enjoys connecting with family, friends, & animals. She lives in Pacific NW U.S.A. with her beloved, David, and their huggable hound, Dante where they hike rain or shine.
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