Antiquarian Auctions

US Auction #2 begins on 28 May 2020

SA Auction #82 begins on 07 May 2020

CALIFORNIA Photographs: Picnics and Horseshoes [and Poker]. – ['The Optimists']

A leatherbound album recording in words & photographs the ‘meetings’ of a social club / poker school called 'The Optimists'

Published: [California], [1932-1935, and later]

Lot closed

Sold for: Register or Sign In to find out

Bids: 1

Visits: 30

Have a similar item to sell? Contact Us with the details.

How it works


CALIFORNIA Poker, Picnics and Horseshoes. – ['The Optimists'] A bound leather album recording in words and photographs the ‘meetings’ of a social club / poker school calling itself 'The Optimists', incorporated for the mutual benefit of its members, based in and around San Francisco. [Entries dated between 21st January 1932 and August 1935]. Oblong folio (11 x 15in; 280 x 381mm).  20 thin-card leaves, including 26 pages mounted with a mixture of typed and manuscript text recording where and when 'The Optimists' met, who attended, what they got up to: the usual options were beach parties or poker evenings. In addition there are 48 photographs (most circa 4 x 2 3/4in.), all recording the beach parties.  5 leaves of later family photos towards the rear. (Most leaves loosely inserted). Leather loose-leaf binder, 'General Records' in gilt on the upper cover  (worn). Provenance: Howard W. & Anna K .Kemper.

An interesting compilation, recalling life in California during the early '30s. The album opens with the 1-page 'Charter of the Optimists founded January 21. 1932', noting that the seven founder members  (who have signed at the foot) 'have on this day … associated ourselves for out mutual benefit'. In addition there is also a 'Revised Charter’ dated ‘March 15th, 1934’. The places mentioned include  ‘just above' Martin's Beach (close to Halfmoon Bay); Stinson Beach; the El Cortez Hotel; San Bruno; Burlingame; Emerald Lake; Beresford and San Francisco. The 'personnel' taking part included: Howard W. Kemper (1904-1988)  & Anna Kay Kemper (b.1907); Syl Bacigalupa; Bob & Mella Bergman; M. Charles 'Charlie' Henker (1905-2002)  & Helen Henker;  Vinal Peterson & Venus Henker (and their son Bobby); Len F. Taylor & Janet Taylor; John R. Weisel & Lilian Weisel; Manfred Anderson & Kay Anderson. There are also some more transient participants: Edgar Bronson & Clara Ryder; Leonard Goodhew & Maxine Goodhew; 'Babe' Stolte & Lois Stolte, Elanore De Martini and Clare Ryder.

  • Binding Condition: Worn
  • Overall Condition: Acceptable
  • Size: 11 x 15in; 280 x 381mm
  • Sold By: Shadowrock Rare Books
  • Contact Person: Adam Langlands
  • Country: United States
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 001-860-248-1547
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Paypal, US$ checks and wire transfers, major credit cards through paypal
  • Trade Associations: AA Approved

© 2020 Paul Mills trading as All rights reserved. Use of this website is regulated by our website Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.