Condition and card-game rule-booklets — and a brief look at “Draw-Bridge” and “Royal Auction Draw-Bridge”

The following is a significantly revised and enlarged version of a post that I originally posted on a different blog on September 19, 2010 (at 18:07).

In my view, the “age” of a booklet is almost never a factor that should “qualify” a statement regarding its condition.  The reason that age is almost never an excuse is that, as to most books, they exist in fine condition, somewhere, and a non-embarrassing, very good copy will probably become more or less “available” somewhere, sometime, even if at a price.

As to such booklets by Professor Hoffmann, I believe that J.B. Findlay and I were pretty far off-base on certain points.  We said, in Professor Hoffmann:  A Study, in part:

. . . since they were just rule booklets, usually issued with playing card sets, the comparatively short lives which they often had is understandable.

The fact, though, was that a large number had survived, but they were (largely) more-or-less hidden.  (I think eBay is the main thing which has coaxed many of them out of hiding.)

But they were still relatively fragile, and small, and were possibly referred-to and handled often.  So, sure, many of them survived, but almost all of them are in terrible condition, right?  I mean, overall the surviving copies are in poorish condition, right?

Uh, wrong!

As a matter of fact, a good percentage of them (not just those by Hoffmann) are in outstanding condition! Quite a few are actually in “fine” condition, which is about the highest rating of a book’s condition, regardless of the era.

I think the reason for this is that many copies were never looked at.  And many copies were protected in special compartments in the card-game sets.

Check this out.  It shows the outside of the top of one of Goodall’s card-game sets (as well as a flap):

Draw-Bridge item

The top, and the "flap," of a card-game set issued by Goodall.

Below is shown (mainly) the “inside” of the above “top.”

Inside of top

The inside of the top (also, the flap, and part of the interior of the box).

Following is a scan of one of the booklets, shown outside of the box.

Draw-Bridge booklet

"Draw-Bridge": a 1917 edition.

Below is shown the inside front-cover of the booklet, and the title page.

Below is shown the inside front-cover and title page of the other booklet.

The above two scans make the title pages appear obviously stained.  In the actual booklets, the discoloration is mainly extremely subtle–almost non-existent.

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One Response to Condition and card-game rule-booklets — and a brief look at “Draw-Bridge” and “Royal Auction Draw-Bridge”

  1. Paul Ryan says:

    Does anyone know who “Viator” was?

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