Comments on an interesting item relating to The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards, namely a presentation “case,” from 1921, for a 1921 edition of Goodall’s publication of Ernst Bergholt’s booklet on “Royal Auction Bridge” . . .

Mike Goodall kindly sent me scans of (a) the title page of a 1921 Fourth Edition of Ernest Bergholt’s Royal Auction Bridge, and (b) the interesting little case that goes along with it.  (The scans appear to be black and white.)  The two appear to comprise an item that was distributed at the December 15, 1921 “Inauguration Banquet.”  I wonder whether that would have been the time at which officials for the following year were installed.

According to the website of The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards, F.A.B. Lord (who is mentioned on the case) was the Master for 1921.  A picture of him may be seen on the Ace of Spades for the 1921 installation deck.  The card may be seen on that same website.

On the surface, one might think that the case is the more important item of the two.  And that is actually what I think.  However, I am of the opinion that the booklet itself was specially bound for insertion into the case.  (On the other hand, that might not be so.)  In any event, the two items together are basically an inseparable unit, conceptually.

I suppose that in 1921, the Bergholt booklet would have been considered almost “cutting edge” with respect to what was going on in the card-game world at the time.  I can’t think of a more appropriate booklet for distribution at the event.

If I understand correctly, Mike also has another fourth edition with 1920 as the date.  (As I mentioned in another post, I have a copy of a fourth edition with the date 1922.  This presumably is further evidence that the publisher’s edition-numbering was a little unpredictable.)

Mike states that the booklet pictured below has a “smooth black” cover and that it has 84 pages.

I assume that there are advertisements after that.  In my fourth edition, the text ends on page 84, and it is followed by advertising, and, unexpectedly, by a blank leaf.  (Well, one might have expected it after seeing another blank leaf in front of the title page.)

Booklet mg Royal Auc Bridge Worshipful item

The fourth edition of Royal Auction Bridge is actually the fourth edition of a booklet that had borne two different titles in earlier incarnations.  I have discussed that somewhat in earlier posts, but even in the course of a long post on the fourth edition, I did not draw attention to the fact that the title of the fourth edition was different.

It is strange to think that 1921 was more than ninety years ago.  Somehow, it doesn’t seem like it.  It wasn’t long before the Depression hit in 1929, then 1939 and World War II, and that practically leads to the middle of the twentieth century.  Then the sixties and seventies were a blur, and everything after that is practically current events.

—Tom Sawyer

February 2, 2013

About 458 words.

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