Strange Attractor Press, in association with The Magic Circle Museum, introduce the long-awaited second edition of the long out-of-print book Lost Envoy – the Tarot Deck of Austin Osman Spare and, for the first time, a facsimile reproduction of the artist’s unique cartomancy deck.
In 2013, curator and artist Jonathan Allen discovered a 79-card, hand-painted tarot deck created c.1906 by the famed 20th century London artist and mystic Austin Osman Spare. This extraordinary relic of the British Occult Revival had lain practically unnoticed in the collections of The Magic Circle Museum in London since their accession in 1944.
Allen immediately recognised that Spare’s cards were not only art-historically significant, but also entirely unknown outside of The Magic Circle’s collections, and set about tracing the deck’s provenance, as well as its place in the artist’s oeuvre and within the wider histories of cartomancy.
In 2016, London-based Strange Attractor Press published Lost Envoy, a 336-page hardback book featuring over 200 full colour images. Lost Envoy reproduced 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.
The hardback edition, designed by Fraser Muggeridge Studio, who will also be designing the new edition, sold out rapidly and now fetches extravagant prices on the collectors’ market. We want to make the book available again, in a paperback format, at a relatively affordable price.
This new edition contains a substantial amount of new and revised material, including a major new discovery about Spare’s sources for the attributions on his deck, hitherto unknown.
After many requests over the years, we also want to produce a physical edition of the deck itself, at, most likely, 65mm x114mm, (which is 1.14 times the size of the original cards) so that researchers and tarotists can handle the deck and explore its unique working features for themselves.
We’ll be working with one of the world’s most experienced printers of playing cards to create this hand-on facsimile edition, and ensure that the overlapping divinatory motifs found on many of the cards – a distinctive and unique feature of the original deck – are reproduced as accurately as possible. The deck’s missing Strength card, of which only a black and white photograph survives, will be recreated in full colour and included in the facsimile deck.
We’ll be offering bonus materials, including an enamel badge of one of the unique marginal motifs, a set of postcards and a cloth bag, and a few extremely special stretch goals – all of which will only be available to Kickstarter backers. Once published, the deck will be exclusively available directly from Strange Attractor Press and no other online sellers.
To contribute and acquire: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/strangeattractoruk/austin-osman-spare-occult-tarot-deck-and-book