Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Piquet and Quadrille Literature

In "Eighteenth Century Whist Literature," I looked at early works in English on the game of whist other than those by Edmond Hoyle. In a similar vein, this essay will examine early works on quadrille and piquet. As I noted in "Bibliography of the Cogan Hoyles," Hoyle published Piquet in January 1744 and Quadrille in October 1744 and the text remained in print well into the 19th century. What literature predated Hoyle? What else was published in the 18th century?

Editions of The Compleat Gamester and The Court Gamester, discussed in "The Predecessors of Hoyle" mention both games. Unlike whist, there were also separately-published books on both games that predated Hoyle.

For piquet we have the 1651 work The royall and delightfull game of picquet. Written in French: and now rendred into English out of the last French edition. London: printed for J. Martin, and J. Ridley. The French literature on piquet goes back another two decades to Le jeu du picquet, Paris: Charles Hulpeau, 1631, the earliest book in French on any card game. It was reprinted a number of times in the 17th century and is likely what was translated into English in 1651. (See Depaulis, Les Loix du Jeux.)

The only other 18th century book on piquet is A New Treatise on Piquet; in French and English, London: printed and sold for Mess. J. Walter; and R. Davis about 1765. The author is "Mr. de Chateauneuf, captain of the Conde Regiment of Infantry. Acknowledged to be the most able player at Piquet in Europe." I date the book from an advertisement in the Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser of December 31, 1765.

de Chateauneuf, Piquet
The book is curious. Each opening consists of French text on the left and English on the right. Interestingly, the French title page gives a cost of 18 sols, while the English title says one shilling and sixpence, suggesting that the book was sold in both countries.  It is quite rare, with ESTC recording a copy at the Huntington and two incomplete copies at the Bodleian.

One work on quadrille predates Hoyle—The Game of Quadrille; or Ombre by Four, with its establish'd Laws and Rules, As it is now Play'd at the French Court. The book was printed in London for R. Francklin and is undated, but the book was likely printed in the mid-1720s. It is advertised as "this day is republish'd" in the August 13, 1726 issue of the Daily Post. The title page indicates that it was "done from the French, just printed at Paris." It is an extract from the 1724 work Les Jeux de Quadrille et de Quintille, printed in Paris for Theodore Le Gras.

Hoyle's Quadrille was published in 1744 and two decades later the game must have surged in popularity—three new books appeared in short order. The May 1, 1764 issue of the Public Advertiser notes two of them in adjacent advertisements. The first is A Brief and Necessary Supplement to all Former Treatises on Quadrille, by No Adept, printed for T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt in London. Julian Marshall writes that the book:
...consists mainly of a criticism of Hoyle's quadrille, favourable on the whole, but particularizing the points on which the writer differs from our author. In the dedication "To the Ladies," he tells them that "After reading this little book, you will understand what Mr. Hoyle says as well as any man in England..." ("Books on Gaming" in Notes and Queries, 7th S. IX. February 22, 1890, page 144).
Interestingly, other advertisements (for example, the London Evening Post of February 12, 1765) note that  the book "will go into a fan," suggesting that the text was incorporated into a ladies fan, perhaps like the ones I describe in "The fans of Hoyle."

The second of the advertisements is for another book with parallel French and English texts:
In the press, and next week will be published, at the particular desire of several persons of distinction, in French and English, A Treatise upon Real Quadrille, A work published within these six weeks at Paris, which is totally different from that of Mr. Hoyle, and all other treatises that have hitherto appeared upon this game.
It is not clear what Parisian book the advertisement refers to—no such work appears in Depaulis, the standard bibliography of French books on card games.

Martin, Quadrille
The book was printed in 1764 in London for G. Burnet from the original French of Mons. Martin. Although the publisher is different from the one who published de Chateauneuf's Piquet, the appearance of the book is identical. French and English appear on facing pages. Unlike de Chateauneuf, both title pages give the price of 2 shillings sixpence, in English currency for a sewn binding. Like de Chateauneuf, the book is rare, with institutional copies only at the British Library and the University of Missouri.


de  Bergeron, Free Masons Quadrille.
A third quadrille book appeared about the same time, The Free Masons Quadrille; with the Solitary. Printed by order of the Prince of Conti, Grand Master of the Lodges in France; and revised by Mr. De Bergeron...In French and English. London: printed for J. Walter and G. Burnet, 1765. The book is not recorded in ESTC or Depaulis; Jessel had not seen the book, but found it mentioned in a monthly list of books for 1764 (item 1404 in his bibliography). The price is listed as one shilling in both French and English.

Update April 29, 2015: In addition to my copy, there is one in the Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London, shelf mark A 750 FRE.

Note that Walter and Davis published de Chateauneuf, Burnet published Martin, while Walter and Burnet published de Bergeron. An advertisement in the Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser of December 12, 1731, brings the three works and the three publishers together:
This day is published, A New Treatise upon Real Quadrille, printed for R. Davis..., J. Walter...; and G. Burnet...where may be had, A New Treatise on Piquette, French and English, by M. Dechateauneuf; and the Free Mason's Quadrille
The three rare works, each with the facing French and English text, are also brought together in my copy, in the elegant contemporary tree calf binding, pictured below.

two views of binding
The bibliographer in me wonders if this was a publisher's binding. The prices of the individual works, both in the title pages and the advertisements, suggests they were sewn rather than leather bound. Indeed the Martin title page explicitly said it was sewn. The one advertisement which mentions the three titles, does not offer the three bound as a single volume. Yet my copy shows no evidence of other sewing, as was apparent in a number of Hoyles, discussed in "Hoyle's 'sixth' edition and progressive ornament damage" here or in "The Osborne Collections of Hoyle (1745-7)" here. Having seen many copies of Cogan Hoyles bound together, I concluded in another essay that Cogan issued collections of Hoyle's separately-published works.

With the overlapping publishers of the three works, their similar appearance, and the single advertisement offering each of them, it seems possible that this is a publisher's binding, though one fancier than I am used to seeing on English gaming books. It is more typical of the bindings of contemporary French gaming books. There are so few copies of these titles, each of which was issued separately, that likely we'll never know if this is a publisher's or a bespoke binding. 

References:

The bibliographical writings of Marshall, Jessel, and Depaulis are detailed in my essay "Where can I learn more about Hoyle's writing?"





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