Spiel der Hoffnung of 1799 revisited

Alexander Glueck


any who are exploring the origins of Lenormand might be interested in the following re-edition:


It's different from any former editions of this game as it's not a strictly limited 50-copy-printershop-edition but a professional work of Germany's top publishinmg house for Tarot and other oracle decks. Second, this leads to a price that is set up at a quarter of the others. Third, my work was not esoterical but historical, so it might be something with somehow less white smoke around it.

If anybody has a question or likes to get in contact, please reply.

Best regards,

Alexander Glück


.... :) ...

... well, the book advertisement says:

"Der Kulturforscher Alexander Glück, Autor von "Wahrsagen à la Lenormand" (BuchVerlag für die Frau), hat die spannende Geschichte recherchiert."

... which I translate with "The culture researcher Alexander Glück, author of "Wahrsagen à la Lenormand" (BuchVerlag für die Frau), has investigated the exciting story".

So, in short words, what's new in your investigation? And what do you mean with "with less white smoke around it"?

The Königsfurt Verlag, which you praise for "a professional work of Germany's top publishinmg house for Tarot and other oracle decks" is not so much known for a big interest in Tarot history. Indeed - thanks to this condition - German history of Tarot cards, as far the German book market is concerned, is in a horrible weak state. Naturally also the German common Tarot users suffer from this. If you look through the most populated Tarot Forum in German language (tarot.de), you find there a lot of contributions, but if you look for something about Tarot history, you more or less find nothing. If you look through the publications of the German Tarotverband, you find a similar desert. German Tarot publishers followed the idea to earn quick money with Tarot, and trivial books sell well. Ideas of some "Tarot culture" (and Tarot history is a sort of culture) weren't interesting.

If you spoke about "white smoke around it", you possibly meant this, what you experienced in Germany. Well, I would understand this statement. But unluckily you're possibly here in the situation, where you attempt to carry "Eulen nach Athen". Owls don't sell well in Athen.

So ... what's new in your book and in your exploration? What did you really explore yourself? I don't mean that, what you've found in the web ... I hope, you gave references to such findings in your publication, that's the common style here.

I know the Bieling passage, cause I detected it ....

The German Lenormand deck origin has been described by DDD "Wicked Pack of Cards" at p. 141.
It developed as "Spiel der Hoffnung" (Game of Hope) and it was a race game (made with cards, which were composed to a playing board in the mid of the table), , produced by G.P.J. Bieling in Nuremberg in Germany.
I looked it up and found an announcement of the year 1799 in a book made by the publisher G.P.J. Bieling. The book itself has humorous aspects and nothing to do with the game, the author writes with pseudonym.


Bieling was just a publisher, it's not naturally given, that he was the author. The printing house existed since 1760.

Depaulis notes, that the primary interest was in the running game, but thatsome explanation text offers the iea, tha one could also useit in a diviniatory manner, but would have to keep 4 cards aside (so they likely knew a 32-cards-divination-system, but not a system with 36 card).

The divination cards (DDD states, that they existed about 1850) later took the name "Petit Lenormand". But: It was never produced in France, though beside in Germany in Belgium, Austria and Switzerland. The version is still rather popular and it's a question, if in Germany Petit Lenormand or Tarot decks have the higher acceptance.

... at 20th of February 2002 here:

Helen - also active here occasionally - found the connection to Hechtel, which I overlooked.

Later we both had some communication about the case with some further research. You find this communication, when you type "huck helen lenormand" in the most frequented search engine.

Well, and if you've really found something new of interest in the case, we're eager to hear about it.
Anyway, welcome to the forum.

Alexander Glueck

Thank you...

I like provocative replies, but for a welcome it's a little bit late, because I've already contributed here before.

So, you're right in many ways, no discussion. I know about the setup of the german market and the disadvantages of media which are aimed to the mass. On the other hand, the common reader/user has no scientific background. The most important information for the forum was that here is another 1799 reedition in print, and not made by the aficionados who make a huge blabla about their 50 copies for 50 $ each. As I tried to get in contact with the Mr. Cat troop some time ago, there was no answer. There is much concurrence sentiment and no will for cooperation.

To me it's equal to work about fortune telling cards or about old waffle irons. I've studied book/media history and folklife/german ethnology and I see the cultural history behind the things. With less smoke I meant that I do not serve the mystical way. Please take a look at any auction website and search for Lenormand, you will find lots of courses and services full of folly. If anybody wants it, he may do it, no problem, but the only thing of interest seems to be the way people behave. THIS is magical, even today!

The pre-Lenormand history is pure cultural history, and this makes it interesting to me.

Besides, I've had very much work with "Wahrsagen à la Lenormand", as I've re-designed every single card. Now I've got much work again and you should not blame me for making a stuff just to earn the quick money. If I would, I would not have chosen this topic in this country!!

Best wishes,



If you're after honorable ethnological studies, I don't mind. Good luck with your project.

But what's new in your book?

Well, here's something new to you and the general Lenormand research:

TITLE of paper


Announcement (at end of paper)


That's one year down, from 1799 to 1798, it happened in Regensburg and a Mich. Emmerling, bookbinder in a Wallerstr. offers some games, between them some divination cards and also a game "Spiel der Hoffnung", this, as it seems, in two different editions, one with French cards and another with German cards, a passage, which likely has to be interpreted "with French and German suits". Or both suits at one card, as it is given in British Museum.


The "Staats-Relation der neuesten europäischen Nachrichten und Begebenheiten" runs (at least ?) since 1746, this edition is just a Mitteilungsblatt, I would assume, 4 pages printed on one piece of paper. With a single business announcement, just that, what you see. The publisher is given as "Neubauer"


It looks like a very nice production and certainly a wonderful price. Thanks.


It looks like a very nice production and certainly a wonderful price. Thanks.

...:) .... the value is in the year "1798", not in the "30 kr."

Bieling in 1799 took also "30 kr."

Possibly the new document in 1798 means, that Bieling not necessarily must have been the publisher.

Likely ...
8 Heller = 4 Pfennige = 1 Kreuzer
4 Kreuzer = 1 Batzen
60 Kreuzer = 1 Gulden


Hi Huck--I was talking to Alexander.

The images look good, and the price (12.99 euros) is obviously much better than the first recent reproduction, which was $49.99 (from Tarot Professionals).


Needed is a "first" Lenormand deck, adn I love Urtexts (being a musician and all), and I can't wait to get this deck!


These are the images from the British Museum, but I didn't notice on your site that you mentioned them. Looks like they the British Museum has become a popular source for these cool old cards!


Needed is a "first" Lenormand deck, adn I love Urtexts (being a musician and all), and I can't wait to get this deck!

Well, if we would be in the question of the "Ur-Tarot" as far, as we are in the question of the Ur-Petit-Lenormand, we would be happy.


Following the common research strategies I get, that Mich. Emmerling is, as expected, "Michael Emmerling", and he was active with the profession "Buchbinder" already in 1785 (though with another address, then: "neben den Herrn Keller".

For this year 1785 we have already from Emmerling a business relation to Bieling in Nürnberg, which means, that he took Bieling products in his shop, likely as Kommissionsware (he got the products and paid, when he sold them).
So we still have to assume, that Bieling was the producer of the Spiel der Hoffnung (before August 1798 now)

Emmerling announced 1785 in the same Mitteilungsblatt as in 1798.

The newpaper appeared three times in a week, and the name of the publisher was "Conrad Neubauer" (earlier I had only "Neubauer").


Hechtel died December 1799 in a Blattern epidemic, short for the begin of new century. It's said, that many children died in this time cause of that plague. His death is noted in the ...

Monathliche historisch-litterarisch-artistische Anzeigen zur ältern und neuern Geschichte Nürnbergs: für das Jahr 1800
by Johann Carl Sigmund Kiefhaber

Before the text which reports about Hechtel there's a death announcement of a 3-years-old girl named Lina (a girl in its 3rd year), which notes the many children, who had died cause the plague. In this story it's said, that the child had announced her own death a few days before she died.

The priest, who served at the funeral of the girl, was the same who was active at the burial of Hechtel: Valentin Karl Veillodter


There's a book ...
... written by a Karl Valentin Veillodter: "Vom Wiedersehen in Jenseits". The text says, that it is a reprint of an original edition of 1866, but the biography tells about a book production
of Veillodter „Ideen über Leben, Tod und Unsterblichkeit (Nürnberg 1809. 3. Aufl., 1818)"

Probably a later title change. The original title means translated "Ideas about life, death and immortality". The book seems to be rather popular.

So - somehow - very romantic conditions around the death of the young Hechtel, who just had made a humble running game with cards, but also had very idealistic ideas about education of young persons, as in "Sammlung freundschaftlicher Denkmale und kleine Lehren der Weisheit und Tugend. Zum Gebrauch in Stammbücher und zur Geistes- und Sittenveredlung junger Leute bestimmt." (Hechtel at Bieling 1798).





This is partly a first-time-research. As there is some hype around the "Spiel der Hoffnung", I just add that, what common politeness between researchers demands: that, if you get ideas from a specific source, that you note the source ... and don't claim, that it was your idea, if it wasn't. Research means "work", and there are a lot of places, where you find nothing. And "good results" are that, what stays after often "long nothings".

In the case, that you can use these results for your publication, it's enough, if you refer to the "researchers around Trionfi.com". Or a link to this discussion, that's also a common habit.