Two of Kind: Gambling Memorabilia, Playing Cards, and More

by Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
May 21, 2016 10:00 AM CST Live auction
Chicago, IL, US | Auction Details

557 Lots

4: Bonville, Frank. The Little Secrets. Chicago: Author, 1904. First Edition. Publisher’s red cloth stamped in gilt. Portrait frontis. of the author in top hat with cane. Photographic plates and illustrations, some full-page. 8vo (4 ¾ x 6 ¾”). 3 leaves, [1 – 7] 8 – 152 + 3 blank leaves. Vintage circular dealer’s label (Stratford & Green, Los Angeles) on front pastedown. Minor smudging on spine; a few dog-eared pages. Near fine. Rare. Extant copies of this edition may be as small as two, and no previous public offering of it can be found. Undoubtedly far fewer copies of this book are known than of other classic works of the period exposing cardsharps’ methods, including Erdnase and Hardison. It has been reprinted just once (see next lot), and even then in severely condensed form. That reprint, by Gambler’s Book Club, is stripped of large parts of the author’s introduction, including not only more on Bonville’s impetus to write it but also an oval portrait of the man from Michigan, J.V. Schuyler, “who named this book.” Also omitted from GBC are some five dozen sections veering away from the card table, including advice to restaurateurs, saloon operators and bartenders, on pawn brokerage, horse selling, and other tracts of Bonville’s cracker-barrel wisdom. It also leaves out many illustrations, some of them glaringly racist, as well as full-page photographic plates of a saloon, a lumber camp, and the Barnum & Bailey sideshow giant Hugo.
Est: $6,000 - $8,000

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