As a collector of card-game booklets, it is probably natural for me to form opinions relating to the scarcity and desirability of the booklets written by Ernest Bergholt. I thought I would say a few things in this post that relate to their scarcity. In the following post, I hope to take up the question of their desirability.
As to scarcity, it is my impression that all four of Bergholt’s card-game booklets are relatively scarce. An exception to this would probably be the revised versions of Royal Spades or Lily Auction Bridge, considered as a group. At this moment, there are at least four revised editions for sale on the internet. Also, I have two in my collection. Moreover, I have seen at least two others offered for sale, including one in an imitation-alligator cover that was included in a set.
As for the others, at the moment, I cannot recollect ever having seen a copy of Rover Bridge, 1917, for sale, other than the one in my collection, and I cannot remember hearing of another copy in a private collection.
As for A Compendium of Poker, 1918, I do not believe I have ever seen a copy for sale. I do not have a copy, and in fact, the only copy I know of in a private collection is the one that is in David Levy’s collection, pictured in another post. (That is not to say that the booklet does not reside in other collections as well — same with Rover Bridge.)
As for A Compendium of Dominoes, 1918, the only copies I have seen for sale are the two that I bought. I don’t know, off hand, of any other copies in private collections.
Regarding the first and second editions of Royal Spades or Lily Auction Bridge, I only know of one copy, total, for the first and second editions, and that’s the one copy in my collection.
In view of the foregoing, I would have to conclude that all four of Bergholt’s books (other than the later editions — third and later — of Royal Spades or Lily Auction Bridge) are probably very scarce.
And yes, like political polls, the above estimates have some kind of margin of error. The works may be scarcer than I think, or less scarce. For instance, it would not shock me if one or two of the four is commoner than I think.
November 16, 2012