Wonderful set of “Old Maid” cards made by Whitman. The 1998 catalogue of what was then called the American Game Collectors Association (now, the Association for Games and Puzzles International) dates it to 1932; it is an extremely reliable source, and I have adopted the date. As confirmation, one of the pairs of illustrated cards in the game is “Flapper Fan,” a strong indication that they date to that they date close to the 1920s. The cards are accompanied by a rules card, but it is a bit confusing. It has the same back as the playing cards for the game, but it announces that there are 11 pairs of cards, when in fact there are 21 pairs. Perhaps it is a typo, or perhaps this rules card was used for different versions of the Whitman game.
The set has 44 total cards: 21 pairs of cards with illustrations of a particular character (i.e., Rudolf Sheik, Hobart Bean, Flapper Fan, etc.), plus the Old Maid card, plus the rules card. The stock is unfinished, much like the stock used in the Whitman fortune telling cards of the 1930s. The cards are bridge size, measuring 89mm x 57mm, and come in the original box.
While the artwork in this game is delightful, it is an 85 year old children’s game that has seen considerable use. I would describe the condition of the cards as fair to good; almost all of them have creases and other signs of use. On the other hand, the graphics are still quite bright and there are no tears. The most damaged of the cards is the rules card noted above. The box is in no better than fair condition; the top flap has separated completely, and a side flap has separated along one side. Frankly, I think that the game is still collectible, even with these issues. A search of the internet suggests that any Whitman set from this decade is going to have similar issues.
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