A complete and very rare "quartets" type card game, probably called "American Poets," made by John M. Wolff, Stationer of Philadelphia c.1851-1865. Wolff is not mentioned in the 8th edition of The Game Catalog of the Association of Game and Puzzle Collectors (formerly American Game Collector's Association). The only thing that I have been able to learn about Wolff is from listings in AbeBooks and alibris of a copy of "Christmas Carol, The Visit of Saint Nicholas" by Clement Clarke Moore. [This publication, in turn, is thought to be the first broadside appearance of Moore's poem that would come to be known as "The Night Before Christmas."] These listings note that John M. Wolff, Stationer was active in Philadelphia during the years 1851-1865, and so these are the inclusive dates I have adopted as the likely date for this card game. The original "Directions" card with the game concludes with this statement: "The BRITISH POETS are issued uniform with the above, and both can be used together, should the party consist of a large number of persons." From this I infer that these cards were called, "The American Poets," and certainly each of the 13 "quartets" in this game features an American poet and certain of his/her poems. The 13 poets represented are: Hannah Gould, George Boker, Edgar A. Poe, Elizabeth F. Ellett, Wm. Cullen Bryant, Fitz-Greene Halleck, T. Buchanan Read, Francis S. Osgood, Henry W. Longfellow, Richard H. Dana, John Pierpont, George P. Morris, and Linda H. Sigourney.
The game consists of 53 cards: 13 "quartets" and the Directions card noted. The cards measure 92mm x 58mm and have square corners. There is no box.
The cards are in good condition. But for considerable soiling/foxing, it would be possible to describe the condition as very good, as there are no tears or creases. Considering that this is a card game, primarily used by children approximately 150+ years ago, the cards are in surprisingly good shape. Pictures of the faces of each card are provided to assist in evaluating condition.
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