Further comments on an inscribed copy of “Patience Games,” 1900, inscribed by Professor Hoffmann . . .

In an earlier post, I listed many inscribed Professor Hoffmann books of which I am aware, and I listed among them an inscribed copy of Hoffmann’s Patience Games, 1900. As I mentioned in that post, H. Adrian Smith, one of the leading magic-book collectors (now deceased) and one of the biggest supporters of my various publications, was the owner of that copy, which I assume is now at Brown University.

Adrian kindly sent me a photocopy of the booklet (inside front-cover and title page).  I reproduced that in The Hoffmann Collector (a periodical I edited and published).  Later I showed the image in The Hoffmann Collector:  The First Ten Years, 1986, which is basically a compilation of the text of the first ten years of the periodical.

Below is shown a page from The Hoffmann Collector:  The First Ten Years.  You can see the image of the Patience Games booklet.  Also shown is the inscription in a copy of Hoffmann’s translation of The Games of Greco, 1900.  That image was very kindly provided to me by Byron Walker, a well-known magic-book collector.

The inscription in the Patience Games is none too clear.  The booklet was inscribed by Hoffmann to Dr. Saram R. Ellison, whose name you can almost discern at the top of the title page.  The next line says “With Professor Hoffmann’s” — and underneath that is “kind regards.”  That transcription may not be precisely correct, because of the difficulty in reading it.

—Tom Sawyer

September 29, 2011

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