I spotted this article in the New York Times Magazine one Sunday afternoon while relaxing at home. It was long and rambling -- about four times the length we gave it. And typically for a news magazine, the piece spilled the beans up front, telling readers how much the exquisite card table had brought when auctioned at Sotheby’s. I asked our cutters to recast the piece as a suspenseful chronology spanning the table's 200-year history and climaxing with the auction price. I also reminded them to alter as few words as possible, invoking old-time Digest editor Ken Payne’s famous dictum: “If it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.” Here is the wonderful result.

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