Romany Fortune Telling Cup (1935) Wilkinson

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Romany Wilkinson cup & saucer
Romany Wilkinson cup interior
Romany Wilkinson cup backstamp
Romany Wilkinson cup additional backstamp
Romany Wilkinson booklet
The instruction sheet for a 1935 Romany Fortune Telling Cup by Wilkinson; tattered, torn, but still readable and carefully preserved by a loving former owner

According to its instruction booklet, "How to Read the Romany Fortune-Telling Tea Cup," the Arthur J. Wilkinson Romany Cup of Fortune was "given with the Good Wishes of the Editors of Weekly Welcome, Woman's Way, Red Letter, Red Star Weekly, Family Star, My Weekly, and Secrets."

These were cheaply printed magazines for working-class women, and it was quite common for them to host sweepstakes consisting of small "domestic" prizes. As late as 1975, fortune telling tea cups were still being distributed to letter-writers and giveaway winners in women's magazines in Great Britain.

This cup, informally known as "the Wilkinson Romany Cup of Fortune," or "the Romany Cup of Fortune with the Big Red Heart" is not to be confused with the identically-named and equally art deco, but entirely different, Creative Art Products Romany Cup of Fortune manufactured by W. S. George in the USA


catherine yronwode
curator, historian, and docent
The Mystic Tea Room

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