Comments on the items in my collection most prized by me — Item 1: An inscribed copy of the 1892 edition of “The Illustrated Book of Patience Games” . . .

In this series of posts, I hope to mention briefly some of the top “treasures” of my (rather small) book collection, without making any effort to confine myself to items that relate to the subject of this blog — although some of the items do, at least indirectly.

I suppose that my most prized item is (again, considering only my book collection) a certain copy of the 1892 first edition of The Illustrated Book of Patience Games, translated by Professor Hoffmann.  The copy under discussion is of particular interest, because it was inscribed by Hoffmann to Marion H. Spielmann, a person who was eminent in his own right.  (I purchased it in May 2010 for $600.)

The copy just mentioned was I think described in the auction listing as “very good,” but I think that is a conservative evaluation — it is quite a nice copy.  You can see pictures of the book here.

The Illustrated Book of Patience Games is quite a common book, especially if one is not choosy as to the edition.  I suppose I have about ten copies of the book, in an assortment of printings.  At this moment, on eBay there are at least eight copies of Routledge editions, including two first editions (including a former library copy which I would never for a second consider purchasing).

The AddALL website seems to list about thirty-five different Routledge copies of the book, probably including several first editions.  This is to be contrasted with Hoffmann’s book on Skat, also published by Routledge (in 1893), for which AddALL lists — zero copies!

To be continued . . . not necessarily at any time soon!  I’m pretty sure that there will be intervening posts that are not a part of the series.

—Tom Sawyer

November 25, 2012

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