Chequers Book Reviews
The Professor, Michael Knapp
Collecting Casino Cocktail Napkins, Donald D. Spencer (1997)138 pages, perfect bound,, $20 plus $3 postage, Camelot Publishing Company, 39-B Coolidge Ave., Ormond Beach, FL 32174
Most of Don Spencer's books are similar in structure: they consist of relatively little text but lavish illustrations. Collecting Casino Cocktail Napkins is no exception. There is one page of introductory text, and the remainder of the book consists of illustrations of the napkins, mostly from Nevada casinos, and six pages of which are in color.
Collect casino cocktail napkins? Why not! Like chips, tokens, playing cards, matchbooks, dice, ashtrays, and even swizzle sticks, the cocktail napkins used by casinos contain their logos and serve as a historical reference to the casinos from which they come. As casinos change ownership, their logos change and so do the designs on their cocktail napkins.
As chips, especially older, classic chips, become more expensive and less available to the average collector, other forms of casino memorabilia seem even more affordable by contrast. That is one of the reasons collectors are branching out into different areas of collecting, and dealers are beginning to stock items other than chips or tokens.
If you are interested at all in casino cocktail napkins, Spencer's book is an excellent starting place. Many of the napkins are obsolete and no longer available, and trading with other collectors becomes so much more important. One of the advantages of the Spencer book is that it can act as a preliminary catalog, with page number references substituting for catalog numbers.