[ W. Gurney Benham; Playing Cards ] Substantial Autograph Letter Signed "W. Gurney Benham" to a "Mr Leftwich" [presumably B.R. Leftwich, author of "Customs and Excise History", etc], answering a question about duty on playing cards at length.

Sir William Gurney Benham (1859–1944) was a newspaper editor, published author and three times Mayor of Colchester.
Publication details: 
[Printed heading] Essex County Standard Office, Colchester, 22 Nov. 1941.

Two pages, 8vo, tipped on top slightly larger backing page, information about author typed under the letter, good condition. He thinks an author is wrong in a statement, saying "The duty levied under Charles I (fixed in 1628) was 36 pence [underlined] per gross on all playing cards, not 36 shillings [underlined]. Actually the duty was 2s. pergross but there was a further 1s. pergross payable to the Officer appointed as Receiver of the Duty.

[De La Rue Company Limited, manufacturers of playing cards and currency.] Typed Letter Signed from company chairman Bernard C. Westall to Viscount Portal, presenting a copy of the company history.

Bernard C. Westall [Bernard Clement Westall] (1893-1970), President of the De La Rue Company, manufacturers of playing cards [Charles Portal, 1st Viscount Portal, Marshal of the Royal Air Force]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of The De La Rue Company Limited, De La Rue House, 84/86 Regents Street, London W.1. 19 July 1963.

1p., 4to. In fair condition, lightly aged and creased. Salutation ('Dear Lord Portal') and valediction ('I hope you are well. | Kindest regards | Yours sincerely | Bernard C. Westall') in autograph, the rest typed. Addressed to 'Marshal of the Royal Air Force, | the Rt. Hon.

[ Printed item with ownership signature of John Carter. ] The Cardboard Court. Playing Cards Through History.

Frank N. Jones, Director, Peabody Institute Library [ Peabody Institute of the City of Baltimore; John Carter [ John Waynflete Carter ] (1905-1975), diplomat and bookman ]
Publication details: 
'An Exhibition on the History of Playing Cards, Peabody Institute Library, Baltimore. 1 November - 31 December 1960.

42pp., 8vo. Duplicated stapled typescript, with text on rectos only. Not illustrated. Introduction by Jones, in which he explains that 'the list is arranged chronologically under the country of origin, plus special types of cards as, for example, transformation, etc. A selected bibliography has been included for those who may wish to go into these matters more extensively.' A scholarly production, with 264 entries and four-page bibliography. Aged and worn, with printed card cover (on which a playing card has been laid down as part of design) detached and chipped.

The History of Playing Cards and Card-Conjuring. Les Cartes a Jouer et la Cartomancie par P. Boiteau D'Ambly. (Illustrated with forty curious woodcuts.)

P. Boiteau D'Ambly [John Camden Hotten]
Publication details: 
London: John Camden Hotten, Antiquarian Bookseller, Piccadilly. 1859.

12mo: [ii] + ii + 390 pp. In contemporary quarter-binding with burgundy leather spine ('CARTES A JOUER' in gilt) and red paper boards. Top edge gilt. Binder's ticket of Bone & Son, Fleet Street. Tight copy, on aged and spotted paper, in worn binding with damage and loss to spine. In French, with Boiteau's preface dated 'Juin 1854'. Evidently the sheets of the French edition, with Hotten's new title-leaf. An interesting and informative work, with attractive engravings in text by Coppin. Scarce: the only copies on COPAC at the British Library and the National Library of Wales.

Autograph letters and notes to John Russell Smith, publisher

William Andrew Chatto
Publication details: 

Miscellaneous writer on subjects such as angling, ports and harbours, tobacco, wood-engraving - and playing cards (see below(DNB):Three ALs, signed (1) and initialled (2) to Smith, [1848], total 4pp., various formats, one in poor condition with minor loss of text.(March) Chatto asks Smith for specific books.

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