Monday, January 30, 2017

Guest Post: Bill Mullins on Allan Lambie

I came across an image of this irresistible card on an old auction web site.  Observing that collector Bill Mullins - who has generously shared information on this site in the past - had secured this interesting piece -- which advertised Lambie and "Vogue" Playing cards, I asked him to submit images and a short discussion.  His gracious and thoughtful response follows.  J.B.

Hugh Glover Allan Lambie (1890 – 1964) was a Canadian magician, active in British Columbia.  He was born in Scotland
and came to Canada sometime between 1891 (when he appears on a Scottish census) and 1911 (when he is on a Canadian census).

His first appearance in the magic literature is in the Sept. 1911 Sphinx, in a letter complaining about having bought a book from Burling Hull and never receiving it.  In Thayer's Magical Bulletin of Nov 1918, he has a classified ad selling apparatus and books.  He was a working magician, mostly doing shows in the BC area, but went up and down the Pacific coast and into America, as far as Indianapolis. But most of the time he appears in magic magazines, it is as a salesman or as a trick creator.

He was an early member of the I.B.M., with membership #34.  The Sept 1926 issue of The Linking Ring featured him in his role as president of the Vancouver ring, and had several tricks that he created.  He continued to create dozens of tricks until his death.  Some were published magazines, others he sold directly via mail order, and others he sold outright to other dealers who would market them at retail. (Fergus Roy’s book on the Davenports tells the interesting story of a negotiation in which Lambie offers “exclusive rights” to some of his tricks, and George Davenport points out that being marketed by other dealers!) Many of his tricks were collected in The Magic of Allan Lambie (1970), from Micky Hades.

This card is more likely a business card than a throw-out card.  “Vogue” was one of USPCC’s brands, and was sold in America as well as Canada.  Like many pictorial-backed cards, they were often sold in pairs of decks for home game play.

Thanks for that terrific contribution, Bill!  If any other readers would like to submit a guest post, please contact me or any of the other contributors to Propelled Pasteboards!  We would be delighted to feature your information and prized collectibles here.

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