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Hardcover | $40.95 Trade | £30.00 | 336 pp. | 7 x 9.25 in | 220 color illus., 24 b&w illus. | June 2017 | ISBN: 9781907222443
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Lost Envoy

The Tarot Deck of Austin Osman Spare
Edited by Jonathan Allen


In the spring of 2013, a seventy-nine-card, hand-painted tarot deck created c.1906 by the mystic and artist Austin Osman Spare, was identified within the collections of The Magic Circle Museum in London.

Austin Spare’s lifelong interest in cartomancy is well documented, yet very few of his own fortune-telling cards were thought to have survived. This compelling new example of the artist’s early work demonstrates his precocious involvement with the currents that shaped the British Occult Revival at the beginning of the twentieth century, and his interactions with some of the period’s artistic and political protagonists including Aleister Crowley, Arthur Ivey, Sylvia Pankhurst, and Pamela Colman Smith.

Magic Circle Museum curator and artist Jonathan Allen set about tracing the deck’s provenance, its place in the artist’s oeuvre, and within the wider histories of cartomancy, potentially re-writing the history of popular Tarot in the early twentieth century.

Lost Envoy reproduces Austin Spare’s tarot deck in its entirety for the first time, alongside new written and visual contributions from Jonathan Allen, Phil Baker, Helen Farley, Alan Moore, Kevin O’Neill, Sally O’Reilly, and Gavin Semple.

About the Editor

Jonathan Allen is a London-based artist, writer, and educator whose work has been exhibited and published widely. He is a curator of the Magic Circle Museum in London.