Chess and Playing-Cards. Catalogue of Games and implements for Divination Exhibited by the United States National Museum in connection with the Department of Archaeology and Paleontology of the University of Pennsylvania at the Cotton States and Internati

Author: Culin, Robert Stewart (1858-1929) inscribed

Publisher: Government Printing Office

Location: Washington

Year: 1898



665-942 pages with fifty plates, tables, figures, illustrations and maps. Royal octavo (9 3/4" x 6 1/4") bound in three quarter leather with marbled boards. Original wrappers bound in. Inscribed by the author. Contained in the Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution 1896, part 2. (Betts:5-5) First edition.

The object of the collection on exhibition was to illustrate the probable origin, significance, and development of the games of chess and playing cards. Both games are regarded as being derived from the divinatory use of the arrow, and as representing the two main methods of arrow divination. The catalog gives illustrations and descriptions of a wide variety of ancient games. Chess and its variations are treated on pages 857-868; they a regarded as forming a stage in the development of divinatory games, a step forward from the various dice, knucklebones or staves games.


Hinges and corners rubbed, pages slightly age darkened, inscribed "with the complements of the author" on the front wrapper which is bound in. About a very good copy.