Monday, February 24, 2014

Cheiro's Guide to the Hand by Cheiro.

Cheiro's Guide to the Hand by Cheiro.  Hardcover book with embossed pictorial cover (no dust jacket) published by Herbert Jenkins (no date, fifteenth printing), 128 pages with some black and white illustrations.

Cheiromancy.  Now there’s a word you don’t here or read that often.  It’s another word for Palmistry or Palm reading, which is the art of fortelling the future based around the lines on someone’s hands.  That is the lines that we are all born with and can’t really change… So Cheiromancy is the interpretation of our future based around our hands… ???  Sorry, I’m just having a little bit of difficulty in understanding this concept.  Surely there are other factors involved in our futures.  Maybe where we live, our economic backgrounds, our education, our star signs*, random luck (or lack of it)… aren’t there thousands of factors that go into our big pictures? Surely this all can’t be under the control of the lines on our hands… the lines that I never ever pay any attention to?

Moving along.  Cheiro (William John Warner) obviously took his name from his art, the art he acquired in India from ancient texts written in gold on human skin (… I think the skin was no longer attached).  He then became a famous palm reader in Europe and America and had many famous clients.  The guy obviously had some sort of skill as he did have a successful lengthy career expounding this malarkey upon the world.  What that skill actually was, I’ll leave to your imagination.

But I haven’t written about Cheiro and his book to attack his skills or craft... even though that is what i have just done.  What I want to write about is the wonderful binding on this particular volume.  It’s hard to tell from the scan but the front cover is a real eye opener in book design.  This has something to do with the graphics, the colours and the fact that the whole design is slightly embossed.  Put simply, this book is beautiful and a real joy to behold.  It’s obviously a vintage binding and has held up extremely well over time.  I wonder if this longevity was something that Cheiro saw in his own palm? 


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