Revisiting my earliest Goodall booklet and set, namely a two-pack Bezique set from 1868 or thereabouts . . .

I discussed my earliest Goodall set (a two-pack Bezique set) in an earlier post, in 2010. The scans for that post were really quite poor.  I have a different scanner now, which easily produces much better scans than the earlier scanner did. I decided to do this new post regarding that same set. In a sense, this is a revised version of that earlier post, but it is overall quite different.

Based on Frederic Jessel’s 1905 bibliography, it appears that the earliest rule-booklets issued by Goodall were a booklet on Bezique, first published in 1868, and a booklet on Check, published in 1869. In his main book on the Goodall firm, Mike Goodall reproduces two covers of the Bezique booklet (a second edition and a sixth edition), and a cover of the Check booklet (not sure which edition, if there were multiple editions).

Back in 2012, I ran a post based on a January 1869 article entitled “Bezique,” which ran in The Westminster Chess Club Papers. David Levy had kindly provided me with images of the article, which is well worth reading for anyone studying early booklets on Bezique. As I noted in the 2012 post, the article says:

The first book of rules brought out here in a separate form was “The Royal Game of Bezique ‘Standard Rules’ as played by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh,” (Goodall and Son) now in its third edition.

Since the article appeared in the January 1869 issue, this makes it highly likely that the third edition appeared in 1868, and all but certain that the second edition appeared in 1868.

As to the frequency of appearance of early editions in the marketplace these days, I have never seen a copy of the first edition, and I have never heard of a copy being offered for sale (or even of any in existence anywhere). Regarding the second edition, I have at least three copies (including the larger-format version discussed a few posts back), and I believe I have seen another copy (on eBay). I think I know of a few others in other collections, as well.

Below are new scans.  These are far superior to the earlier ones I posted, and they cover more aspects of the set. The first scan is mainly to show the relative sizes of the items.  The rest of the scans are largely NOT TO SCALE. That is, you cannot necessarily discern the relative sizes of the items based on those images.

Patience Games set 3 10 17 9

Patience Games set 3 10 17

Patience Games set 3 10 17 2

Patience Games set 3 10 17 5 copya

Patience Games set 3 10 17 7

Patience Games set 3 10 17 6

Patience Games set 3 10 17 8

Patience Games set 3 10 17 3

Patience Games set 3 10 17 4

Of interest in the playing-cards shown are the “unturned” Queen of Diamonds and Queen of Spades (pips in upper-right corners), the earlier-style Ace of Spades (vastly different from the “nested pips” version discussed a few posts back), and the square corners, as well as, of course, the absence of indices.

—Tom Sawyer

March 14, 2017

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