Cards, Crime, Cons, Cheating, and Poker Related Antiques to Headline Potter & Potter Auctions’ March, 2020 Gambling Memorabilia and Playing Cards Event.

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This annual signature sale includes gaming merchandise spanning three centuries of production.

Chicago, Il, March 5, 2020 – Potter & Potter Auctions is pleased to announce its nearly 750 lot Gambling Memorabilia and Playing Cards sale to be held on Saturday, March 28th, 2020 starting at 10am at the company’s gallery, located at 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL 60613. All lots from this upcoming event will be on display and available for public preview on Thursday, March 26th and Friday, March 27th from 10:00am to 5:00pm in the Potter & Potter facility. All times noted are CST. 

Rare antique publications on poker, playing cards, cheating, and advantage play take several of the of the top lot slots in this auction.  

SW Erdnase's classic gambling tome The Expert at the Card Table

Lot #38, a first edition, near fine copy of SW Erdnase’s classic gambling tome The Expert at the Card Table is estimated at $6,000-9,000. It is illustrated with over 100 drawings “from life” by Marshall D. Smith; in March, 2019 Potter & Potter sold a similar example for $16,800.

 JH Green's An Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling

Lot #54, a first edition copy of JH Green’s An Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling is estimated at $2,000-3,000. This 1843 example is the first gambling book printed in America and is not recorded by Howes or Jessel.

Secret Band of Brothers; or, The American Outlaws,

Lot #60, also by Green, is a first edition copy of his Secret Band of Brothers; or, The American Outlaws, estimated at $1,000-1,500. Printed in 1847, this scarce title is not recorded in Jessel.

 Stephen Burroughs' Memoirs of Stephen Burroughs

Lot #16, a two volume set of Stephen Burroughs’ Memoirs of Stephen Burroughs from 1798 and 1804 is estimated at $1,000-2,000. They are described by Howes B-1022 as “Picaresque adventures, perhaps somewhat exaggerated, of a New England rogue”.

Quality selections of gambling accessories, including dice, chips, and cheating devices are also well represented in this sale, with nearly 250 well-curated lots on offer. 

Haiden’s Horn dice drop

Lot #561, a set of gaffed leather devices comprising one dice cup and one Haiden’s Horn dice drop, is estimated at $3,000-5,000. Each is outfitted with hidden electro-magnetic coils, allowing the operator to remotely control the roll of dice dropped through or into the objects.

American made, exceptionally handsome set of 250 ivory chips from 1899

Lot #519, an American made, exceptionally handsome set of 250 ivory chips from 1899 is estimated at $3,000-5,000. It is housed in a tiger oak case which is decorated with sterling silver corner ornaments and an engraved lid plaque bearing the initials “BBMcG/1899.” The lot incudes a leather dice cup, poker dice, and three packs of cards from the of American Playing Card Co.

gaffed round table roulette wheel most likely made around 1930 by H.C. Evans of Chicago

Lot #570, a gaffed round table roulette wheel most likely made around 1930 by H.C. Evans of Chicago is estimated at $3,000-5,000. This rare accessory allows the operator to controls where the ball lands.

gambler's kit including a pack of Steamboat 999 poker size playing cards, ca. 1915; three MOP poker chips and two bone dice, ca. 1900

Lot #520, a gambler’s kit including a pack of Steamboat 999 poker size playing cards, ca. 1915; three MOP poker chips and two bone dice, ca. 1900; and an antique Remington .41 Caliber “Over & Under” Derringer, ca. 1884, is estimated at #2,500-4,500. The set is housed in a handsome, locked purple silk-lined hardwood box and is accompanied by an explanatory letter describing the background and history of each object in the case.

an unusual, small scale c. 1880 Will & Finck brass corner rounder

Lot #523, an unusual, small scale c. 1880 Will & Finck brass corner rounder with a rosewood knob is estimated at $2,000-3,000.

This auction’s collectible, vintage, and antique playing card selections are a royal flush.  

a collection of 50 out of 52 James Y. Humphreys' Seminole Wars

Lot #249, a collection of 50 out of 52 James Y. Humphreys’ Seminole Wars playing cards from the early 1800s is estimated at $7,000-10,000. In this extraordinary and historically important example, courts are hand colored, engraved full-length portraits, with the Jacks as Indian chiefs, the Queens as classical goddesses, and the Kings as American Presidents.

a double deck of Jacquemin Gringonneur playing cards from c. 1868

Lot #233, a double deck of Jacquemin Gringonneur playing cards from c. 1868 is estimated at $4,000-6,000. The clubs, diamonds and heart pips all have flowers or birds delicately inscribed inside their forms, the spades represent spear points, and the courts are all named. 

a magnificent deck of c. 1830 Hodges Astrological playing cards - printed in London by Stopforth & Son

Lot 234, a magnificent deck of c. 1830 Hodges Astrological playing cards – printed in London by Stopforth & Son – is estimated at $3,000-5,000. The set includes one unembellished Hiems card; the court cards represent mythological gods and the remaining cards represent constellations with superimposed suit symbols.

12 pack brick of unopened poker card decks from Jerry's Nugget

Lot #461, a 12 pack brick of unopened poker card decks from Jerry’s Nugget Las Vegas casino is estimated at $2,500-3,500.

complete deck of Tiffany & Co. Harlequin playing cards from 1879

Lot #448, a complete deck of Tiffany & Co. Harlequin playing cards from 1879 is estimated at $500-700. Designed by C.E. Carryl, this humorous, beautifully color lithographed set is widely regarded as the most artistic and skillful American transformation deck.

Prints, posters, unusual Americana antiques, and gaming related fine art round out this comprehensive gambling sale. 

label from the French c. 1890 Le Petit Magicien magnetic game

Lot #218, a label from the French c. 1890 Le Petit Magicien magnetic game is estimated at $150-250. This color lithographed example depicts a wizard in conical hat and an alligator suspended above his table.

Alice in Wonderland colored wall illustration from 1921

Lot #214, an Alice in Wonderland colored wall illustration from 1921 is estimated at $800-1,200. It was printed by Macmillan in London and is one of six large lithographed posters featuring the scene from A Trial of the Knave of Hearts

Black Americana carnival papier-mache toss figure

Lot #671, an exceptional Black Americana carnival papier-mache toss figure in the form of a seated black dandy character, is estimated at $4,000-6,000. It sits upon a wooden base and was made in Germany in the late 19th century.

The Gamblers, an oil on canvas painting by Spanish artist Genis Capdevila Puig

Lot #209, The Gamblers, an oil on canvas painting by Spanish artist Genis Capdevila Puig (1860-1932), is estimated at $2,000-3,000.  This work, featuring three gaming men, has provenance to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and collection of Theodore L. Menzel. 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, “Our annual gambling sale is one of the highlights of our spring auction calendar. This year’s auction is one of the most expansive – and diverse – in recent memory. Several of the crooked gambling devices in the sale are the first examples we have ever seen, which is always exciting. And the selection of fine and rare playing cards being offered in the auction is one of the best we have ever brought to market.”

Potter & Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana – antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. For more information, please see www.potterauctions.com.  Follow us on Facebook (potterandpotterauctions) and Instagram (potterauctions). 

Media contact:
Gabe Fajuri, President
Potter & Potter Auctions
email: [email protected]
phone: 773- 472- 1442

Captions:

LotItemLow Estimate High Estimate 
16Burroughs, Stephen. Memoirs of Stephen Burroughs$1,000$2,000
38Erdnase, S.W. The Expert at the Card Table$6,000$9,000
54Green, JH. An Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling$2,000$3,000
60Green, JH. Secret Band of Brothers; or, The American Outlaws$1,000$1,500
209Puig, Genis Capdevila (Spanish, 1860-1932). The Gamblers$2,000$3,000
214Carroll, Lewis Alice in Wonderland Coloured Wall Illustration$800$1,200
218“Le Petit Magicien” Game Label$150$250
233Jacquemin Gringonneur Playing Cards$4,000$6,000
234Hodges Astrological Pack of Playing Cards$3,000$5,000
249James Y. Humphreys “Seminole Wars” Playing Cards$7,000$10,000
448Tiffany & Co. Harlequin Playing Card$500$700
461Brick (12 Packs) of Jerry’s Nugget Playing Cards$2,500$3,500
519Set of 250 Ivory Poker Chips in Wooden Presentation Case$3,000$5,000
520Gambler’s Kit $2,500$4,500
523Will & Finck Corner Rounder$2,000$3,000
560Gaffed Cold Deck Baccarat/Chemin de Fer Shoe$4,000$6,000
561“Juiced” Remote Control Dice Cup and Haiden’s Horn Dice Drop$3,000$5,000
570Gaffed Round Table Roulette Wheel$3,000$5,000
671Black Americana Carnival Toss Figure$4,000$6,000