Types of Hand
There are seven types of hands, which may be distinguished by the shapes and general appearance of the fingers and thumbs, but for simplicity’s sake these seven be reduced to four-in practice. The seven types are classed according to the forms of the fingers, and are as follows:-
The Artistic or Conic
The four important types are the first three and the last, and actually the first three are those which include the most important varieties. Practically all types are included in these as regards the tips of the fingers; the distinctions must be noted, of course; the more or less rounded, pointed, or square tips, which are modified or accentuated by the forms of all the fingers.
Therefore we may accept as a fact, that all hands are Square, Spatulate, Rounded, or Pointed, and the other types enumerated (so far as the fingertips are concerned) in the two last-mentioned also. This may read “a little complicated,” but it is perfectly simple.
The Square; the flattened or Splay-shape; and the (more or less) rounded include all, in fact, for practical purposes; and perhaps this further reduction to three shapes of tips may simplify matters. Having reached this conclusion you will proceed to note the shapes of the fingers-and thumbs of course: though the Thumb is truly a study in itself, and will be so treated at length.
The Spatulate Hand
These Spatulate Fingertips indicate activity and energy self-reliance; constancy; a seeker after plenty and a desire/to benefit one’s-self and make one’s-self useful. At time these splay-tips are annoying, as they must be doing something, and are inclined to worry-the owners. A lady with such fingers and thumb will be always `tidying-up,’ dusting, or spring-cleaning or anxious to have things put to rights.” Usefulness, materialism; no art, no taste for literature there.
These are the obvious indications of the spatulate tips. Now look at the Fingers below the nails.
Are they smooth or “knotted”? Are the joints not evident or are they developed? The strikes one at first glance. Take the former appearance, the smooth variety.
The smoothness of the fingers indicate a slight inclination towards art and ease; but though, people thus gifted may appreciate art, they will not make much of the inclination. They may appreciate it, but will not succeed in practice. But they will have some taste for the beautiful, the elegant, in their houses, and comforts, and will not mind working with their hands either. They are active also and resolute in action; and if the fingers be long as well as smooth, the owners are fond of details of a useful type, a reality will intrude and gardening and agricultural pursuits find favour. The brain and the mind are active as well as the body and sports will be followed-riding, shooting, cricket, and so on, while music will find them votaries as executants-not as singers.
If the fingers be short, details are ignored, and only the “mass” is accepted; quantity not quality is the characteristic and the impressions are quick. Spatulate fingers denote a man or a woman, fitted to build up a colony, because they are not afraid of work, has little sentiment, and is fond of tilling, sowing, ploughing, and all real actions. Being self-reliant they do not mind camping out alone, and are generally able to “rough it,” as their appetites and passions are not greatly in evidence, and luxury is dispensed with.
If the Spatulate lingers be knotted-that is, develop at the joints-there is great order indicated. An accurate and very practical mind, no sentiment, and something even a want of consideration and roughness are apparent; but such fingers carry things in masses. Action, resistance, perseverance, aggressiveness are the outcome of these fingers and they push their owners to the front.
In excess this type is irritating, selfish, and tactless. These are some of the indications which the spatulate type presents us with but they may be modified or even increased by the size of thumb and the texture of the hand. A large thumb will give more of the qualities than the small thumb, while the hard hand also accentuates the character desirous to rule around intolerant of restraint. In these we find the Revolutionist, the fighting man, and the daring, Spatulate must do something.
The softer type will be more indolent, and fond of vicarious movement, if we may use the phrase. He likes the appearance of movement, but is too lazy (if his thumb be small) to make much effort himself. So he will ride or drive or travel in luxury if possible, and read in his easy chair the adventures of others. If his thumb is large and his hand soft the will of the thumb may, be sheer force of character, drive the man to action or most likely cause him to put others upon the work and see it done.
Thus the student will perceive that the Spatulate Fingers, their action, work, agitation, and combativeness are regulated, in a measure, by the whole hand-its texture, the size of the thumb and the developments of the joints, the length and smoothness of the fingers themselves. Just remember that smoothness is not “practical,” but knots are. The former gives intuition or inspiration, an artistic taste; the latter are practical, orderly, reflective, reasonable, and even scientific. These traits govern the hand in proportion as they exist, and must be considered to that extent.
The Square Type
It’s owner has many of the qualities of the Spatulate-such as perseverance and love of ruling, and yet is able and willing to obey.
The fingers of this hand need not be square at the tips. They will be found planed at the sides; the fingers of which are truly four-sided, somewhat smooth with the lower knuckles and the knot of Philosophy (q.v.) developed. The nails are rather short (here is argument, self-defence, always ready), the thumb is obstinate, but with a tactful “waist” on it.
These fingers, I am of the belief, indicate obedience to authority and to polite requests, to orders from those entitled to give them, but they will resent interference from interlopers. They will not make a disturbance, however, because they detest a fuss, but will grumble while they accede. They are punctual and cannot bear unpunctuality; their love for outward neatness and politeness and social observance is marked and general. They like others to be polite, civil and respectful as they are and dislike brusque manners. They sometimes judge people by appearances and manner, unfavourably for unpunctuality, coarseness of speech, and impolite or rough behaviour. Appearances are with such fingers, or their possessors, nearly everything and as they do not always act up to this rule themselves, through some imaginative or artistic vein in the character they are sometimes thought hypocritical and are, in fact, inconsistent, if the fingers be smooth.
But the truly square-fingered man with knotted fingers is tidy, orderly, truthful, and obedient to authority even if he dislikes the ruler. He obeys the law-not the man. This is generally the case with all square-fingered types, whose possessors are peculiarly sensitive to recognized authority, law, and order and will rather walk a mile than cross a forbidden field as a trespasser. One may be induced to cross, but he would rather not be seen doing so by a stranger.
Order is the first law with the Square-tipped, but the amount of order varies. The smooth-fingered type will know where his books, papers, shirts, collars, handkerchiefs, etc. are and will find the particular article he requires in the dark; but often the drawer, or the table is littered and mixed up to all appearance, in the individual’s own apartment. But in his reception rooms, in all outward appearance, he is neat and tidy.
So he dresses neatly, and looks well dressed even in old clothes, because he is tidy and careful with them. He may and does wear jewellery but is not ostentatious in its display. His taste in dress is quiet and “gentlemanly,” deferential to the old and to ladies, respectful in manner, courteous and will have things “just so.” A muddy dress, splashed boots, an untidy glove, dirty cloak or gown he longs to have cleaned or mended, and will pick threads from a skirt in his desire for tidiness. The individual cannot help doing it and at times, with all his observance of etiquette and his desire that others should observe it, he will involve people in risky situations when his personal feelings are concerned-not from selfishness or rancor, or any wish to compromise the other, but he is simply carried away by impulse which he will repair by the most diplomatic cunning if suspected. Nevertheless he would condemn himself later, and condemn another who had acted in the same way and who had been discovered.
There is, therefore, in the smooth-square type of finger, with a palm showing a sloping head-line, some finesse and double-facedness. Yet, curiously enough, such people cannot willingly acknowledge this soft impeachment.
The real large, square hand is the best and most useful if it be knotted, and not inclined to any artistic type. This hand makes its owner regular and punctual at meals, orderly, neat, tidy, polite, and respectful to authority, truthful and just; not romantic.
The Artistic Type
This is identical with the Conic form of finger. It is familiar to all of us in the hands of artists and singers-the great pianist has not conic fingers as a rule. The conic or the pointed fingers are not useful, and the extremely pointed indicate uselessness-an unpractical person.
The medium Artistic form is good. The hand is supple and soft; the palm, a moderate size; the thumb rather small. In such a hand, if the bases of the fingers be not too heavy, we have a type of the true artist hand. Its owner is impulsive, imaginative, a lover of the beautiful, rather self-indulgent, and inclined to enjoy himself in consequence of his smooth, conic, rather thick fingers. But, as a rule, this type is easily influenced by the surroundings and will pass from grave to gay or even to melancholy at a bound. He cares not for control, and he has no desire to control. Impulse, cheerfulness, carelessness, enjoyment, and love of ease characterize these conic hands with a peculiar obstinacy and absence of real love, for he likes novelty and his nature is not warm long.
As these characteristics become more or les accentuated, they affect the individual. The larger thumb, the larger palm, the smoother fingers, thicker at the bases, show less order, and more love of material pleasures. The small second phalange of the thumb gives tact or finesse with its weaker reason, the larger top joint more will, the full ball of the thumb stronger passions. So we have in these points all the data for enjoyment of a sensual description. The pleasures of the senses-not necessarily evil pleasures-are the delight of the artistic hand, their affections are impulsive, strong and fickle. Finesse, cynicism, falsehood, shrewdness, cunning, with gross sensuality are the bad signs of the soft, thick, large, artistic hand. They seek beauty to enjoy it not for any moral or mental reason, but merely to gratify a taste. They are often effeminate in the face, and eccentric; egotists; fly-a-way ”natures, disdaining the domestic hearth, open-handed to their intimates, close-fisted to creditors, with peculiarly warm imaginings, and a love of posing” in the world. Venus and the Moon rule their palms.
If these hands are knotted, the indications are more favourable. There is less eccentricity and more reason, still a love of the beautiful, but a more refined attachment, but the art will be less inspired and less successful in its originality but the love of form and beauty will be there, and if of good size, thick and short, a strong desire for wealth will be indicated.
There is another kind of pointed fingers, the useless and unpractical. This, in some works, is called the Psychic Hand, and is the seeker of the highest beauty, purity, and goodness, in the world not of it, the best and most lovely form of the artistic instincts. But, though they are not practical hands, such as the square or the spatulate, not fighting for fighting’s sake, the true faith, devotion, and desires to win the good, will make them determined and terrible opponents. These soft, small, tapering-fingered hands may be seen in the warriors of Eastern nations, fanatics dying for the faith that is in them, for what they truly believe is the right; obedient, self-sacrificing and aesthetic.
But for real worldly work? No, They are unable to devote themselves to hard labour, they make things,” they delight in beauty, are not sensual; imaginative, the long, pointed fingers searching, as it were, the Universe for the ideal the mind has imagined. The vague, the dreamy, the unpractical, the non-material, the unorderly,” the poetic, religious: the imprudent at times, the ecstatic. (See the Philosophic and Psychic sections also).
Pointed Fingers, including the Conic, may be associated with other features and in such cases the form of the fingers, their thickness and texture, must be weighed. An artistic (hard) hand may indicate a soldier-an officer whose characteristics has made him highly esteemed and liked, yet in the field he is well-fitted to command by reason of his large thumb and hard palm. As a rule the artistic hand does not indicate habits of command at all, even of self-command. Knots when present accentuate reason and order in the pointed fingers.