Shakespeare on the Game of Draw Poker
Greeley Printery of St. Louis, Missouri: 1st Quarter 20th Century
Color process print
14 x 18 inches sheet overall
16 x 20 inches framed
Unusual novelty print displaying nine different five-card-draw poker hands each wryly accompanied by a quotation from a Shakespeare play that humorously applies to the cards in it. For example, a hand that otherwise would be a Royal Flush in spades except that it has a Six of Hearts instead of the requisite Queen of Spades is captioned, “‘The queen being absent ’tis a needful fitness that we adjourn this court.’ King Henry VIII.” In another hand a Queen of Spades, in this instance present in the middle of a 3, 4, 5 and 6 of diamonds, goes with the quote “A Lady Walled About With Diamonds” from Love’s Labor Lost. The realistically portrayed cards are displayed in a trompe-l’oeil arrangement above captions in white lettering, boldly against a black background. The print is set in its apparently original simple black wood frame.
The Ace of Spades in one of the hands bears the name of the printer (and perhaps publisher), Greeley Printery of St. Louis. References to the firm can be found in business directories in the first and second decades of the 20th century.
Condition: Print mounted on stiff card, as issued. Print and frame generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear.