Memorabilia – 1922 Print Ad of Chinese Good Luck Ring with Fanny Brice

This scan if from my private collection of print memorabilia and curiosities – a 1922 print advertisement for a “Chinese Good Luck Ring” sponsored by Fanny Brice of the Ziegfield Follies.  For those not familiar with the name Franny Brice, you might want to look up both her and the Barbra Streisand movie, Funny Girl. Unfortunately, I am not sure what magazine or print material this came from.  It’s original size is 5″ x 5.75″

I did, however, include an image of the back cover. Hey, I’ll take an indian blanket for only $5.95! But that seems to be a lot of money for 1922.  Just for the fun of it, I plugged in the price of the ring and the blanket into a price inflation calculator to let us know how much these items would cost today in 2021:
That $5.95 blanket?  That would be around $93.00 in today’s money
the 25 cent silver plate version of the ring would be $3.91 today.
the $1.50 sterling silver ring would be close to $23.50.
the $2.50 14k gold filled version would run us a little over $39.00

I hope you’re enjoying these vintage advertisements as much as I do collecting them. You will notice that they all have some sort of metaphysical theme, which is what draws my interest. Let me know in the comments. Below is the  word-for-word text version of the advertisement.


Will Make This Your Big Year

Fanny Brice, of Ziegfeld’s Follies, says “My Chinese Good Luck Ring surrounds me with good fortune.” An eminent Psycho-Analyst remarks, “Undoubtedly the wearer of a symbol of Good Luck such as the Chinese Good Luck Ring will experience Good Luck. It stimulates the imagination; the wearer is alert to the idea that good fortune is just around the corner. The owner of this mysterious talisman is in a sub-conscious mental state which makes him ready to meet Good Luck and Opportunity at least half way—instead of passing on the other side of the road.

From far away China, out of Asiatic Antiquity, comes a symbol of Good Luck. You may call it mysticism of the Orient, but the fact remains that this charmed Chinese Good Luck Ring has stood for health, happiness, prosperity and prolonged life during hundreds of years. This odd finger circlet first attracted New York’s smart set. The demand swept across the country almost over night. At the exclusive clubs, in society, in the Theatre world, even in the foreign legation at Washington, you see this unique token being worn. Stories of amazing fortune have begun to multiply among the owners of the Chinese Good Luck Ring.  Write today. You will admire this unique ring. It comes in silver plate, sterling silver and 14k. gold.

This odd-looking ring excites great interest when observed on your finger—the unusual gift. Write at once for this odd Chinese Good Luck Ring Obtainable either in Silver Plate with Platinum Finish, or Sterling Silver, or 14 Karat Gold Filled. Order by No.

No. 8235. Silver Plate, Platinum finish .. . .25c

No. 8236. Sterling Silver. Price $1.50

No. 8237. 14 Karat Gold Filled $2.50

Chinese Good Luck Tie Clasp Amazing stories of Good be Luck are being told by wearers of this Good Luck Tie Clasp. Gold plated, with very handsome enameled tops with Mystic lucky Chinese symbols.

No. 8238. Good Luck Tie Clasp, 25c




Water Witching illustration by Frank T. Merrill

“Water Witching” is said to have begun as far back as the late 15th century in Germany, where a forked stick is used to locate underground water. While found all across the world, it is most often recorded as an Applachian tradition in America – most likely because of the Scotts-Irish and Germans that settled in the area. Most of the time, the “water witch” was a man, and the forked willow or hazel tree branch was the preferred tool for what is calling ‘dowsing for water.’  Since digging a well was a fairly expensive and difficult thing to do, the first step was always to call in the local water witch before any ground was broken.

While I could easily write a much longer article on this topic (maybe in the future, I will), my main purpose of this post was to share this wonderful illustration of a water witch (the term wasn’t considered a negative thing.) It is taken from the 1900 book, Myths and Fables of To-day by S.A. Drake. This illustration, as well as others in the book, was drawn by Frank T. Merrill.

Drake, Samuel Adams. The Myths and Fables of To-day. Lee & Shephard Publishing, 1900. Illustrations: Frank T. Merrill

Fortune Telling postcards by Dwig

When I began co-authoring our book, THE STRANGER IN THE CUP – HOW TO READ YOUR LUCK AND FATE IN THE TEA LEAVES, with Catherine Yronwode, I discussed that our company, aromaG’s Botanica was working on a special blend of tea for tasseomancers (tea leaf readers) which we named Fortune Telling Tea by aromaG’s – a balanced blend of black teas and puerh  So, I began my search for the perfect public domain image for the label. That is when I ran across the series of postcards by the artist known as ‘Dwig’ who created a serious of Fortune Telling art.

It turns out Catherine (Miss Cat) knew all about Dwig and began telling me about this prolific artist. Clare Victor Dwiggins (June 16, 1874 – October 26, 1958) was an American cartoonist who signed his work Dwig. Dwiggins created a number of comic strips and single-panel cartoons for various American newspapers and newspaper syndicates from 1897 until 1945, including his best-known strip, the long-running School Days (which appeared under a number of different titles). (bio info from wikipedia)

I have since then began collecting these original Fortune Teller postcards from the 1910’s. These are the first four in my collection. I’m currently waiting for 10 more to arrive in the mail, which I can’t wait to share with you!