Comments on an early Chas. Goodall & Son “Patience” set . . .

I suspect that Chas. Goodall & Son did not issue any patience sets until at least 1900, when the first edition of Professor Hoffmann’s Patience Games was published. (See illustration below.) However, I am not aware of any Goodall patience-set issued that early.  But I suppose it is likely that a set was issued quite soon after the appearance of the 1900 booklet.

By the way, note the superiority of the foregoing scan to the following earlier scan of the same booklet, which I included in an earlier post.

Anyhow, another edition of that work (the only other one I know of) was dated 1902.

But, as though to confuse matters, a second-series booklet appeared in 1901. I discussed the confusing nomenclature regarding these booklets in another post.

Now, my impression is that Goodall patience sets appear on eBay with a fair degree of frequency.  Right now I see four or five sets that appear to me to be from the pre-1922 era, but it appears that none of those I see at the moment have a booklet included. There appear to be several from the 1930s or so that have Selected Patience Games booklets that may or may not mention Goodall, but those are obviously from the De La Rue/Goodall era, and probably were issued by Wills.  I did not study any of the listings, nor did I undertake a serious search, so don’t rely on the foregoing, since I am just trying to convey a general picture.

Anyway, the earliest Goodall patience set I have seen is pictured below.  The first scan shows the open box, which was designed to hold two packs of cards, which could be slid in and out of the opening toward the bottom of the scan when the little flap (at the very bottom) was opened. The green fabric on the interior would demonstrate that the booklet shown later indeed accompanied the box originally. The booklet was Patience Games (Second Series), 1901, by Professor Hoffmann.

Note:  In the following scan, the box and the front of the booklet are included in the same scan, so this scan correctly indicates the relative sizes of the booklet and the box.  The lid of the box is not much bigger than the booklet. The box, in other words, is quite small, and the playing cards were of the dinky size often seen in patience sets.

I am not showing the cards that were part of the set when I obtained it, because they were manufactured by an American firm, and are highly unlikely to have accompanied the set when it was issued. (But I would not stake my life on that.)

Of interest in the foregoing image of the front cover is the lower-right corner, which seems to show that the cover was not applied over the normal printed front-cover, but was affixed to an unprinted surface. (The fabric is turned back a little there.)

Below is shown the inside front-cover and the title page:

—Tom Sawyer

March 17, 2017

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