A while ago I was tempted by an item on eBay namely a copy of “The PAN Book of Card Games” from 1960 which appeared to be hollowed out to give a secret compartment. I was wondering if this was an amateur job but quite the reverse. The seller told me her husband was a sales rep for PAN in the 50/60’s and he gave these away as a novelty including two packs of cards. Unfortunately mine didn’t so I’m showing it with a couple of packs of a later date but if anyone does have a contemporary set then I’d love to hear from you. I did wonder if the cards were the ones shown on the back cover of the book but on trying my packs found they were too big. These cards were printed by the Thomas de la Rue printing company in 1957 for their 125th anniversary and the First International Playing Card Week. The designs are by the French tapestry designer Jean Picart le Doux. I see someone is asking $1200 for a couple of packs on eBay.com so I’d better take more care of mine! I’m hoping to met up with the rep in Chepstow later in the year as he says he has some PAN related photos from his time working for them but he wants to remain anonymous.
The artwork for the book is by Glenn Steward who began working as a book cover artist in 1957 and worked for several firms including Digit Books (1957) and Panther (1958) and then PAN Books producing nearly 150 covers in six years although he continued to work for Pan until at least 1968. According to Simon Marsh-Devine he was still working in 1994 but I can find nothing after this time. As usual if anyone can add any further information I love to hear from you.
I’ve also added another screen capture to the ‘As Seen on TV’ section as the opening credits for the series “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is” shows one of the presenters, Philip Serrell, standing in front of a book case with at least three PANs in it. I can definitely identify two X86 “The Intruder”and X434 “YOLT” but not the sixth from the right as it is newer than the others. If you click on the picture below you should be able to see it but it’s not as clear as I would like. My guess is ‘Majipoor Chronicles’ by Robert Silverberg with the Josh Kirby cover from 1983?