eBay and Goodall card-game sets — “Penchant” . . .

Preliminary note:  If you haven’t done so already, please see the preceding post about my new planned book on S.W. Erdnase.

I want to discuss briefly an educational component of eBay as it relates to card-game booklets and to Goodall card-game sets.

For various reasons, I almost never mention active eBay auctions in this blog.  I know I have done it, and I am sure I had pretty good reasons, or rationalizations.  But on the whole I am very uncomfortable about mentioning any active auctions here, in part because of the following.  If you have toiled and labored to find a listing for a certain booklet or game set — or even if you have simply been super-lucky in running across one — it does not seem right to me to mention an auction — when  my reference to it might alert someone else to it who might never have known about it otherwise and buy it out from under you.

Of course, if I plan to bid on a certain item, I am definitely not going to mention that auction here.  In recent times, that has not come up much.  I can hardly remember the most recent time I bid on something (card-game item) on eBay.  I think it was probably six months ago or so.

Now I know that some people would disagree vehemently with some of what I said above.  But the purposes of this blog — whatever they may be — have little or nothing to do with pointing out things that are for sale.

As I have said before on this blog, I have (at least for the time being) reduced my dedication to searching on eBay for stuff, and this applies especially to card-game materials.  Yes, I have perhaps a few mild regrets in that respect, but overall I am glad of it.

Well, what kinds of things have I mentioned here when they were the subject of active auctions?  I’m not really sure.  I think I have mentioned a few Khanhoo sets.  But I don’t consider those particularly scarce, and Khanhoo continues to be a game that I am pretty interested in for purposes of this blog.  And I may have mentioned a few more mundane items, like copies of the Goodall bezique booklet.

Or I may have mentioned things that I think readers here probably would not be much interested in bidding on — like maybe a cribbage set, or maybe examples of the Draw-Bridge apparatus.  I think the Draw-Bridge apparatus is typically (but not always) seen in one or another of its very common forms.

But, okay.  I have also drawn attention to auctions that have closed.  These might be things I bid on and didn’t get, or things that I didn’t bid on, or things that I didn’t even know about until it was too late.

In that last category was a Penchant game set (by Goodall) that was on eBay not long ago.   Here is a link:  Penchant.  This is a game you basically never see.

The silver lining, in a sense, was that the set did not include the instruction booklet, which is one of the scarcest Goodall booklets, so, for me, frustration levels were quite low.

I don’t know whether the cards were original to the set.  The cards look “sort of old,” but I can’t guess more closely than that.  Collectors know that such sets often have replacement cards, so while they may well be original, I don’t know whether anyone could be certain.  The fact that the cards are portrayed as being in great condition does not really confirm that they are original.  And the fact that there are two extra cards, ditto.  I am not criticizing the listing, which I think was fair and well-done — just raising a few interesting points.

The box is a bit shabby, but it is that or nothing in this case.  The markers are quite cool, but to me they seem a little modern, like plain cardboard.  Nonetheless there doesn’t seem to be any concrete indication that the game is other than a “first issue.”  In any event, it’s a highly desirable item.  There were four bidders, each of which bid sensibly high amounts, and it sold for 70.60 pounds.  That seems about right to me.  With a decent Goodall Penchant booklet, I suppose a price of three times that would not be absurd.

The English Catalogue of Books indicates that the Goodall booklet appeared in 1893, so that is when I think the set probably came out.

—Tom Sawyer

July 27, 2014

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