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Autograph Authors

Object Name: Card game
Date: 1886
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Medium: Cardboard, paper
Dimensions: Container (box): 1 x 4 3/8 x 6 1/4 in. (2.5 x 11.1 x 15.9 cm)
Place made: North America, United States, New York
Description: "Autograph Authors" card game with 32 playing cards in a paper covered cardboard box; box cover chromolithographed with a medallion portrait Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) surrounded by a laurel wreath; box cover inscription, "POPULAR/ EDITION/ AUTOGRAPH/ AUTHORS/ Copyrighted-1886-By McLoughlin Bros.".
Credit Line: The Liman Collection
Object Number: 2000.528
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The game of Authors, produced in a multiplicity of versions, was one of the best-selling educational card games of the late 19th century. Players build "suits" of cards composed of authors and their major works. The stars of Autograph Authors are famous writers of the time, including Mark Twain, (a.k.a. Samuel Clemens, who appears on the cover), James Fennimore Cooper, James Russell Lowell, and William Cullen Bryant.


Hofer, Margaret K. "The Games We Played: The Golden Age of Board & Table Games." New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2003.


"The Games We Played: Victorian Games from the Liman Collection," New-York Historical Society, December 4, 2001-March 24, 2002.