Vilnius [but printed in St. Petersburg]: n. p., [ca. 1906]. First edition. 8vo, original pictorial drab wrappers, 23 pages. 7 plates (including one printed in red and black, and a double plate showing a view of the casino floor with the house spies marked), illus. Wrappers a bit rubbed and browned; faint residue of a small decal on the inside rear wrapper; a very good copy. Item #15747
A detailed firsthand exposure of (as the subtitle would have it) the supposed “schemes of croupiers and spies in the casinos of Monte Carlo,” Astrom’s description of an elaborate conspiracy on the part of the casino to cheat its clientele, in part through an elaborate system of surveillance. Includes an illustration in the text of Astrom’s casino pass, dated 14 11 05, which in part suggests the publication date. A search of the standard catalogues turns up only a copy the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich (catalouged as ca. 1902) and a record in the catalogue at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin with the note “Kriegsverlust möglich” (“war loss possible”) suggesting their copy is unlocated; a 32-page German edition published under the title Wodurch ich gerettet wurde vom sicheren Ruin in der Spielhölle von Monte Carlo (catalogued as ca. 1906) is noted at Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin only. Several of the illustrations appear to have been done by the Dresden postcard publisher F. S. Jahn. Attractive red ink private library device stamped on the verso of the title page and at the foot of the final page; small faint ink number stamped at the head of the front wrapper.