Surrealist Racing Forecast Cards. Austin Osman SPARE.

Surrealist Racing Forecast Cards.

London, Privately Published by the Author, (circa 1936?). First Edition. An original set of 26 "Surrealist Racing Forecast Cards" - also known as "Obeah Cards" - produced by Austin Osman Spare. Each card measures 3.75" x 2.5" and bears a reproduction of (the same) 'automatic' design of a face by Spare, numbered in the top right corner 25 - 50. The back of the cards is blank. They are housed in their original small manilla envelope, with printed title. (Harper A13) The "Surrealist Racing Forecast Cards" were apparently designed by Spare with the intention of divining winning horses at the race track. Only 26 sets of these sets of cards are known to exist - these having come from the estate of Spare's friend Denis Bardens.The overprinting on the wrappers refers to "instructions" but these are not present, and indeed only one set is know to exist - apparently incomplete - in typescript. The text of this, and other material pertaining to Spare's cards and his system of divination are described in the book "Two Tracts on Cartomancy," Fulgur, 1997. According to Harper the cards were listed as item 176 in the catalogue of the 1936 Walworth Road studio exhibition as "Obeah Cards - for forecasting racing results." Spare is also said to have advertised them in the British printed precursor to "Craigslist", the weekly "Exchange and Mart." The cards themselves have just light age toning and are in VG + condition, although the envelope is rather brittle and shows some wear, including a number of chips and tears, mostly to the corners. The flap of the envelope is now detached from its body and loosely inserted. Item #49918

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