With time on our hands during the Coronavirus lockdown, we are reviewing the prices of some of our older stock and adjusting prices of books to ensure that they are the most attractive offering in the marketplace, as it is a reality of the antiquarian market for books that less expensive and mid-level material the trend has been inexorably downward, to the chagrin of booksellers and to the benefit of collectors. Consequently, we have slashed prices anywhere between 20 percent and 60 percent of these books we have had listed for five years or more. So we hope that anyone visiting the site might find something that might have become overpriced but now legitimately qualifies as a bargain.
N.d., circa 1880s. Twenty cards, as called for, with colorful chromolithography and box. Lacking instruction booklet. The five families, or suits, are the Melons, the Bulls, the Corns, the Cods and of course, the Busbys. The Melons are a black family, and its members are Caesar Melon, Dr. Busby's Coachman, Dinah Melon, his wife, Cantaloupe Melon, his daughter, and son Washington Melon. Besides the watermelon symbol on each of these cards, the ludicrousness of the caricatures can leave no doubt of the creator's prejudices -- the Corns and the Busbys are depicted as funny caricatures, of course, but not with anywhere the same level of exaggeration and mean-spirited absurdity. This version of the game should be understood as a period piece and a relic that is a reflection of late nineteenth century popular attitudes on race. The game itself was a very popular card game, originating probably in the 1840s, and there were many graphic versions of the game, as well as similar games with slightly different names. While we believe rules might have been furnished in the box, the rules of the game were such that most people would have known them anyway and so the rules would not have been essential. The cards have light soiling here and there. The box has unattractive tape repairs along all its sides, both of the lid and the base, but the top title graphics survive.