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Games, Poker, Comic Scenes, Bernhardt Wall, Pair Antique Prints, New York, 1905


Bernhardt T. Wall (1872-1956) (after)
Your Ante
Only a Small Pair
[Pair of Comic Poker Scenes]
[N.P.], New York: 1905
Color-process prints
Signed, dated and titled in the matrix
9 x 13 inches, image
11 x 15 inches, overall
$575, the pair

Pair of prints of humorous poker card game scenes. Your Ante shows two young men and an older one smoking pipes, drinking and playing poker at a table in a room decorated with Harvard and Yale pennants and a football emblem but otherwise a feminine décor. The title may be intended as a pun for “your Auntie,” because one of the men, who appears to be slightly older than the other two, has dropped his pipe, startled by the appearance of an elderly woman dressed in black who presumably he was not expecting to walk in on the game. The title Only a Small Pair is also a pun, showing two portly, leering older gentlemen with large piles of poker chips in front of them, clearly taking advantage of a pair of smaller, naïve-looking younger men; one of the grinning gentlemen has a pair of aces tucked into the cuffs of his pants under the table. At the time Wall made these prints, he was a highly successful illustrator known for his postcard designs.

Product description continues below.


Bernhardt T. Wall was an American illustrator and historian. In the early part of his career worked in New York and Buffalo as a lithographic illustrator and was best known for designing over 5,000 comic postcards, for which he earned the nickname “The Postcard King.” He is also well regarded for his later Western Americana works and fine press books, done from a historical prospective. In 1915, he visited Colorado, Nevada and California, making etchings of Native Americans, cowboys and major cities that were later published in the portfolio Under Western Skies. The success of the collection encouraged Wall to shift his emphasis to fine art etchings of the American West. By 1930 he had also become a respected historian of the region. He also was a master craftsman of the fine press book, printing and binding his books, which were collected by prominent collectors, museums and university libraries. He etched portraits of U.S. presidents and historical figures. His papers are in the collection of Cushing Memorial Library at Texas A&M University.

Condition: Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified with minor remaining toning, wear, handling.  Few marginal tears and chips professionally restored.


“Inventory of the Bernhardt Wall Collection: 1922-1994.” Cushing Memorial Library, Texas A&M University. July 2004. (18 September 2017).

Additional information


20th Century