This sentimental, rural scene by little-known Brooklyn-based genre painter Platt Powell Ryder features an intriguing episode of domestic divination. Dating to 1866, the painting focuses on fortune-telling conducted by the elderly woman reading tea leaves at center and her smiling, younger female companions to either side. The youthful woman at the left appears particularly invested in its outcome. Perhaps she has appealed to her elder for insight into her future prospects for love, marriage, and motherhood? If so, then she would have reason for concern: Prospects for courtship and marriage for young American women were severely diminished by the recently concluded Civil War, which took the lives of over 600,000 men. Ryder’s cozy interior, rendered with a pleasingly warm palette, belies the grim historical circumstances.