Comments on “The Royal Game of Bezique,” circa 1869 — my earliest Goodall card-game rule-booklet — and comments on a cool and instructive Bezique set

Note:  I am back to posting “new” posts now.

Based on Frederic Jessel’s 1905 bibliography, it appears that the earliest rule-booklets issued by Goodall were a booklet on Bezique, first published in 1868, and a booklet on Check, published in 1869.  In his main book on the Goodall firm, Mike Goodall reproduces two covers of the Bezique booklet (a second edition and a sixth edition), and a cover of the Check booklet (not sure which edition, if there were multiple editions).

I am not certain of the date of the second edition of the Bezique booklet, but for a couple of reasons I suspect that it appeared in 1869 or thereabouts.  First, since the first edition was published in 1868, it seems a reasonable guess, in view of the overall popularity of the booklet, that the second edition appeared shortly thereafter. Moreover, Mike Goodall states that the Goodall trademark with the heart and the words “GOOD” and “ALL” were used in the booklets on Bezique and Check in 1869. The second edition of the Bezique booklet does not bear that trademark, which suggests 1868 or 1869 for the second edition.

As to the frequency of occurrence of early editions, I have never seen a copy of the first edition, and I have never heard of a copy being offered for sale.  Regarding the second edition, I have two copies, and I believe I saw another copy (on eBay).  And, as mentioned, the cover of the second edition is shown in one of Mike Goodall’s books.

Below is shown the front cover of one of the two copies in my collection.  The booklet is of a somewhat larger format than the later editions–smaller than two cards, however. It is the largest Goodall rule-booklet in my collection, and of course larger that the general run of 32mo booklets, but still it is a nice item.

The actual booklet looks much better than it is shown in the scan.  Color-wise, the scan is very inaccurate.  The actual cover looks very white, or off-white, and any discoloration is extremely subtle–bordering on unnoticeable.  (Note [11-28-12]:  I have adjusted it, so that it now looks more accurate.)

That copy of booklet was part of a Bezique set issued by Goodall.  Below I am showing scans of some of the components of the set.

Above is shown top of the box.  The original scan was so far off, color-wise, that I went ahead and adjusted the color.  It is now reasonably close.  But in case you are interested in seeing what the original scan looked like, this is it:

Next is a scan of one of the “markers” from the set.  The original is a beautiful pink, so this scan also misses the boat.  (There was a second marker as well, in green.)

Next are shown a few of the playing cards from the set.  (There were two Bezique packs in the set.)  Notice that the courts are “unturned.”  Three have pips in the upper-right (and lower-left), and one has pips in the upper-left (and lower-right).

Next is the back-design of that pack.

Here again, the scan is rather inaccurate.

As mentioned above, there was another marker, in green, and (as mentioned) another pack, with the main back-color being dark pink. So, the packs and the markers were color-coordinated.  Here is a scan showing both backs, green and pink:

So, it is an interesting and educational set!  I am glad that it is in my possession!

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