Returning to “The Royal Game of Bezique” — Part I: Cover designs in general . . .

It has been a while since I have taken up the subject of The Royal Game of Bezique, by Camden.  I have decided to start numbering again, but, this time, in Roman numerals.  So, in the title to this post, it is “Part I,” not “Part 1.”

In my own collection, I now have at least eleven different covers represented for The Royal Game of Bezique, published by Goodall.  To me, they would be considered major cover variants, and not simply covers that are different by virtue of different edition numbers.

Here is a list.  The sequence is my “quick take” on which came first, though that is not necessarily always easy to determine.  But the sequence stated should be approximately correct, at least.

1.  The first cover design was plain, all design components were typographical.  That design was that of the “Second Edition.”

2.  Next was the John Leighton design, printed in black, on white paper.

3.  Next was the John Leighton design, printed in black on a green background.

4.  Next was the John Leighton design, printed in red and black, with a pink background.

5.  Next was the John Leighton design, printed in black, on white paper, omitting the wording about “Patronized by,” and so on.

6.  Next is a completely different design — the only edition I am aware of with that design.

The foregoing are followed by several different covers of what I will may call the “modern” design — a basic design used (with necessary variations) for a number of Goodall booklet titles — at least as far back as the 1870s, which is clear from images Edward Copisarow has sent me relating to The Game of Napoleon.

As to those copies of the Bezique booklet with the “modern” design, I consider variations relating to the price to be important variations.  Below I continue the listing.

7.  Blueish (maybe purple), with price.

8.  Very pale (almost white), with price.

9.  Similar to 8, but with price overprinted in black.

10.  Imitation red-leather, undoubtedly from a set.

11.  Similar to 8, but with no price.

Note!  Those are not the only ones I know of (I know of at least one other one of the Leighton design)!  And there may easily be others I am not aware of at all.

In future posts, I hope to post images of some of the foregoing.

—Tom Sawyer

Saturday, December 29, 2012

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