A set of 36 'Petit Etteilla' cards, estimated $800-1200 at Turner Auctions.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

They follow the writing of M Etteilla, professeur d’algebre at 48 Rue de l’Oseille, the pseudonym of the French occultist Jean-Baptiste Alliette (1738-91) – Etteilla is Alliette reversed.

He founded La Société des Interprètes de Thot, an organisation specifically dedicated to the study of the tarot and astrology, at a time when the French Revolution left many Parisians fearful of what the future held.

The cards, which lack a printer’s name and remain uncoloured, are now housed in a later leather box. They are estimated at $800-1200 as part of Turner Auctions’ September 9 Fine Melange sale in California.