Backgammon: Its History and Practice - George Frederick Pardon, Kenny Meadows (illustrator) 1844 - D. Bogue, London - First Edition A rare and superior first edition of this wonderfully illustrated little work on Backgammon. Surprisingly for a game that may have originated around 2,500 BC this is one of the earliest English treatise to focus on the game.

Quite comprehensive, the cheeky ‘
Punch’ style vignettes enhancing the more humorous anecdotes and quotes. The final chapter ‘Definition of Technicalities’ is not as dull as it sounds, for example -

“Covering your man to make sure of him” – A procedure to prevent your man being hit in the game – to ensure it in a duel.

“Gammon.” – A thing that abounds in many huge, old, smoky chimneys in the country, and in many well-ventilated public apartments in town’.

“High Doublets” – Twinned sixes or cinqs – frequent and highly ridiculous in operas, when melodious ladies enact truculent warriors.’
  George Frederick Pardon (1824–1884) was an English journalist and writer, especially on sports and games, who wrote under the pseudonym of ‘Captain Crawley’ or ‘Rawdon Crawley’.

The twelve cartoon vignettes and three diagrams are by Joseph Kenny Meadows, (1790-1874), a British caricaturist and illustrator. He is best known for the drawings that he contributed to
Punch and for his illustrations of scenes from Shakespeare's plays. Much of his work was drawn in a humorous bohemian style.

Based on our research, this is the first edition and was penned by George Pardon aka Captain Crawler who revealed his hand and name in the second printing of 1858 (published by C. H. Clarke and also the rival house of Bickers). The author is only hinted to here as ‘the author of ‘Whist’, but to support our theory a little work called “
Whist: Its History and Practice” was also published by Bogue in 1844, and later editions proclaim the great Captain Crawler as the guilty man. There is no detailed bibliography to support this, so it is best contested over the board with a whisky, port or cognac of decent vintage. However the contents of both this first edition and the 1858 printing, which we have seen, are very close as are most of the drawings, and no earlier editions are known.

Duodecimo (book size 16.8x10.9cm), pp. vii [1] 79 [1]. In publisher’s blind embossed decorated purple cloth, front board lettered and ruled in gilt, all edges gilt, cream coated endpapers.
  Condition: Near fine, some light marks to a few pages and to outer edges of one gathering.   Ref: 111508   Price: HK$ 8,000