Fair fortune-tellers in a dark Danish wood

If you encountered three enchanting ladies in a wood at dusk, and they offered to tell your fortune, would you accept?

In the land of Hans Christian Andersen, anything is possible….

Danish fortune-tellers 2


I have yet to find any information about the photographer, P. Christensen.  Sonderburg is the German name for the town of Sønderborg, in southern Denmark, near the border with Germany.



27 thoughts on “Fair fortune-tellers in a dark Danish wood

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  1. The clothes are fabulous, this sort of photo always makes me wonder whether they put on some kind of costume for the photo or whether this was their Sunday best.
    Interesting to see the German inscription on the card. I come from the German side of the border, but to this day the German and Danish populations overlap in that area. There is a Danish-speaking minority in northern Germany and a German-speaking minority in southern Denmark. Danish-German marriages are quite common as well, and names such as Jensen and Petersen are commonplace in my hometown. Not that the people with these names are necessarily Danish, but they hint at a common past.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My guess would be that these are just costumes, but who knows! Thanks for sharing thoughts about your homeland. I’ve never been to Denmark or northern Germany, but I did have the impression that people in the border area have much in common, much shared history, and a regional identity.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a wonderful photo, Brad. I’m not surprised you bought it. I’m fascinated by their clothes – particularly the translucent fabric that is over their skirts. I don’t think I’ve seen that before. It should be possible to find out more about it, I’d think. My thought is that they’re not actually wearing costumes as the clothing looks too ‘fine’ for that. The upper parts (over-bodices) look like velvet.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Val, it’s really interesting that you don’t think they’re wearing costumes. You’ve spent a lot of time thinking about fabrics and styles for coloring photos, so I appreciate your perspective on this. Given the quality of their outfits, it seemed to me that the sitters must be from a wealthy background.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I’ve held this photo in my thoughts this week. The woman in the center looks gentle to me. If I was going to have my fortune told I think I would want her to do the telling. They are dressed so similar that it’s almost like a uniform, lace and head coverings and flower details just so. I wonder if they read palms although it does look like there are a few cards scattered upon the table. I wonder at them having their photo made. Perhaps I’m wrong but I imagine them not being very well received at this point in time. I don’t know exactly but this has conjured all sorts of stories in my mind. Thank you for the intrigue! Have a wonderful weekend Brad. 🌷

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Suzanne! Your comments lead to thoughts about identity, authenticity and social acceptance. It’s ironic that three women dressed in costumes for a party or festival might be socially acceptable, while three women wearing styles representing their actual heritage might be ostracized. I agree with you about the gentle appearance of the woman in the center. The woman on the left looks like the wise-cracker of the group, so I’d ask her to tell my fortune. If she could read this comment, she’d undoubtedly let me have it! I hope the three of them went on to lead full and happy lives and that their friendship endured long after this moment together. Thank you again!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Like you said, knowledge always comes with a prize to pay in fairytales so I’d probably just run from them! 😁
    And I don’t think those are costumes either, it was usual to dress up for these special occasions to have your picture taken so I tend to the Sunday’s best. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

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