Monte Carlo Bond, 1924-1938
offset lithograph in red, black, green, and yellow on wove paper
31.9 x 21.8 cm irregular; image: 31.4 x 20.3 cm irregular
National Gallery of Canada (no. 18395)
© Estate of Marcel Duchamp / ADAGP / SODRAC
While in Monte Carlo in 1924, Duchamp devised a system to underwrite his new interest in gambling: he would sell bonds with a face value of five hundred francs and promise their buyers a dividend of twenty percent, which would be funded from his eventual winnings at the roulette table. On each of the bonds Duchamp included this hilarious photograph of himself (by his friend Man Ray), his head covered in shaving cream and his hair shaped into little horns like the mythical Pan, the son of the gambling god, Hermes. He sold only one or two of the bonds.