First, I visited the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library at UCLA. The grounds, building, and collections are all spectacular. The staff could not have been more helpful. I had a chance to look at eight 18th century editions of Hoyle, some of which are quite unusual.
|Piquet. Osborne reissue.|
Clark Library copy
The Quadrille reissues are fairly common--I've seen eight copies and know of several others. The reissue of Piquet is quite scarce, with only four copies known. The copies at the Bodleian, the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the American Contract Bridge League are bound with Whist, the Osborne reissue of Cogan's Quadrille, and Backgammon.The copy at the Clark is the only survivor that appears to have been issued individually.
I wish that Piquet had survived in its original binding. Cogan likely sold it in Dutch paper wrappers, an example of which can be seen online in the digital collections of the Beinecke Library at Yale. I suppose that Cogan did not go to the expense of putting on the decorative paper of his entire inventory, but only when the book was displayed in his shop for sale. Osborne, on the other hand, sold the Hoyles in drab blue wrappers, such as the one pictured here. How was the reissue sold? Was it originally in Dutch paper wrappers? Would Osborne have removed them? We'll probably never know.
|Whist. Webb piracy|
|Piquet. Osborne reissue. Clark Library copy|
|Whist. Webb piracy. Levy copy|
|Whist. Webb piracy. Binder's stamp.|
How did two identical bindings come to be and how did they end up in different collections? I purchased Whist at auction in 2004. It bears the bookplate of William Tarun Fehsenfeld, a Baltimore antiques dealer who died in 1995. The Clark acquired Piquet in 1970 from the Nottingham bookseller Ian H. R. Cowley. It is probable, then, that Baytun bound both books some time before 1970, perhaps for the Nottingham dealer, or perhaps for a collector. I can't help but wonder if other books--other Hoyles?--might have been bound at the same time. I'll get in touch with Baytun and see if they might have records to fill in more details.
Seeing Piquet was the highlight of my visit to the Clark. There were some other notable items:
- An Osborne collection of Hoyle, as discussed here. The Clark copy consists of Whist.6, BG.2, Quad.2, and Piquet.2 with each of the individual treatises autographed by Hoyle. It may have once contained a copy of the Laws of Whist. The impressions left on remaining pages were not as convincing as those pictured here. If the Laws were present, the book would fit perfectly in the third group of Osborne collections.
- One of two surviving copies of Reeve.1750, a reissue of Hoyle's treatises discussed here. The other is at the Bodleian.
- A French translation of Whist dated 1765 that I had never seen before. It does not have a place of publication or a publisher, so more work is required to learn more about it.