Note: I have decided to make this a multi-part post. In this post, I have listed all of Professor Hoffmann’s “major works.” They are listed according to my opinion of (or guesses as to) their scarcity (approximately), with the scarcest first, and the most common last.
In my next post, I hope to explain quite a few things about this list. For one thing, some of you may be puzzled that I have listed Baccarat Fair and Foul so far down the list.
This sequence is not set in concrete. I’ll probably revise it somewhat, maybe even within the near future.
This list refers only to first editions! If it included later editions, a book like Modern Magic would probably be at the bottom of the list, as being more common than any other Professor Hoffmann title.
On Saturday (April 26, 2014), there was an auction which included, amidst a lot of magic items, two scarce or rare Professor Hoffmann books. One was The Game of Skat, which was published by Routledge in 1893, and which Hoffmann translated from the German. The other was Home Gymnastics, which Hoffmann authored, and which was published by Routedge in 1892.
Another collector bid for me on both items, and I was successful in winning the copy of Home Gymnastics. The final price was $600, plus a 23% buyer’s premium, or $738 in all. Anyway, this got me to thinking further about the relative scarcity or relative rarity of various Professor Hoffmann books. So, I thought I would get into the subject in detail in this post. This post will not deal directly with card-game booklets, but some of the concepts discussed here may carry over into the booklet field.
In this listing, I am going to concentrate on first editions, but in a future post I expect to discuss earlier editions where they seem especially germane to the discussion, as well as some other factors.
Needless to say, there is not necessarily a direct correlation between scarcity and desirability (or typical selling-price).
The Code of Civil Procedure
The Indian Penal Code
Tips for Tricyclists
The Game of Skat
Hoyle’s Games Modernized
The Modern Hoyle
Conjurer Dick (I might lower this.)
Dominoes and Draughts
Card Tricks Without Sleight-of-Hand
Magic at Home
The Cyclopaedia of Card and Table Games
Every Boy’s Book of Sport and Pastime
The Games of Greco (I might raise this.)
Baccarat Fair and Foul (I might raise this.)
Tricks With Cards: A Complete Manual of Card Conjuring
The Secrets of Conjuring and Magic
The Secrets of Stage Conjuring
Puzzles Old and New
The Illustrated Book of Patience Games
April 28, 2014