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Board game - Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and Ladders

  • Object:

    Board game

  • Place of origin:

    England, Great Britain (designed)
    Germany (manufactured)

  • Date:

    ca. 1900 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Chromolithographed paper on card

  • Museum number:

    E.173-1950

  • Gallery location:

    Museum of Childhood, Good Time Gallery, case 1

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When it was originally devised, Snakes and Ladders was a moral game. The virtues, in the shape of ladders allowed the players to reach heaven quickly. The snakes were the vices for which the players were punished by having to move backwards. The game is generally considered to be a version of the Indian Moksha-Patamu religious instruction game. This version was made in Germany for the British market. Its design follows the more usual pattern of 100 playing spaces. Very moral themes and characters are used as illustrations. For example, Punctuality leads up a ladder to Opulence while Robbery leads down a snake to a beating. The games ends with a scroll of names of people well-known for their hard work and virtue.

Physical description

Design: chromolithography mounted on card and folded into three sections.
No. of squares: 100
Squares illustrated: some
Square numbering: all
Squares titled: some
Subject of starting square: ?
Subject of ending square: ?

Place of Origin

England, Great Britain (designed)
Germany (manufactured)

Date

ca. 1900 (published)

Artist/maker

Unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Chromolithographed paper on card

Dimensions

Height: 36.2 cm, Width: 19.3 cm folded

Object history note

Very moral themes and characters are used to illustrate the various aspects for example, Perseverence lead up a ladder to moral sayings or names of reformers or heroes while vice such as cruelty lead down a snake to some form of punishment
This is likely to have been produced in Germany (Bavaria) to an English design as it is a chromolithograph. Possibly the product of Globe, Chad Valley or Spears.
CGG-Games & Puzzles, 1991

Historical context note

Rewards: forward movement along the ladders
Forfeits: backward movement along the snakes
No. of Players: any
Equipment required: markers, dice

Rules:
This is likely to have been produced in Germany (Bavaria) to an English design as it is a chromolithograph. Possibly the product of Globe, Chad Valley or Spears.

Rules placement: none

Descriptive line

Card board game of Snakes and Ladders made in Germany about 1900

Categories

Games

Collection code

MoC

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Qr_O26347
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