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Card game - Grandmama's New Game of Natural History

Grandmama's New Game of Natural History

  • Object:

    Card game

  • Place of origin:

    England, Great Britain (published)

  • Date:

    ca. 1850 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    [Box and lid] Wood with hand coloured lithograph
    [Playing sheet] Lithograph, hand coloured

  • Museum number:

    E.1786:1 to 63-1954

  • Gallery location:

    Museum of Childhood, Temporary Exhibition Gallery, case B2

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This is a card game which is enhanced by the use of a playing sheet rather than a board game that uses cards. The centre of the playing sheet shows an elderly woman seated at a table surrounded by 24 compartments with fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters. There are the same number of cards with these characters together with another 36 cards showing birds and animals printed with descriptions and four lines of verse. Some of these are placed in the compartments. Players take turns to draw the character cards and collect the verse cards from the corresponding compartment. The winner is the player with most verse cards at the end of the game.

Physical description

Game set consisting of a playing sheet showing in the centre an elderly woman seated at a table and 24 surrounding compartments representing fairy tale characters; 24 cards showing characters corresponding with those on the playing sheet; 36 cards showing birds and animals, on the backs of which are printed descriptions and four lines of verse; a printed sheet of rules; a list of games issued by the same unidentified publisher. All in a wooden box divided into two compartments with a sliding lid with a lithographed pictorial label. The lithographed pictorial label on the sliding lid of the box shows a man with women and children looking at a stuffed gorilla in a museum, and below a woman with a boy and girl looking at lions in a zoo; on the left a bear at the top of a bole is being fed a bun; whilst on the left a monkey throws a coconut from a palm tree to a boy and girl.

Place of Origin

England, Great Britain (published)

Date

ca. 1850 (published)

Artist/maker

Unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

[Box and lid] Wood with hand coloured lithograph
[Playing sheet] Lithograph, hand coloured

Dimensions

[Box and lid] Height: 18.4 cm, Width: 15.2 cm, Depth: 3.8 cm
[Playing sheet] Height: 23.5 cm, Width: 36.8 cm

Historical context note

Rewards: unknown
Forfeits: unknown
No. of Players: any
Equipment required: cards, playing sheet

Rules:
Playing sheet shows in the centre an elderly woman seated at a table and 24 surrounding compartments representing fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters. There are 24 plain backed cards showing the characters corresponding to those on the sheet, 36 cards showing birds and animals on the backs of which are printed descriptions and four lines of verse. There is also a printed sheet of rules.
The characters represented on the playing sheet and also on the plain back cards are:-
Valentine and Orson Bo Peep
Puss in Boots Sinbad
Giant with Two Heads Red Riding Hood
Jack & The Goat The Wolf
The Sleeping Beauty Children in the Wood
Jack and Jill Cinderella
The Silver Penny Crusoe
Aladdin Hop o'my Thumb
The White Cat Jack the Giant Killer
Beauty & the Beast Jack and the Bean Stalk
Old King Cole Goody Two Shoes
Bo Peep's Sheep Blue Beard
The other cards with four lines of verse printed on the reverse show:-
Camel Kanguroo (sic) Lion
Porcupine Tiger Bear
Rhinoceros Elephant Monkey
Leopard Dog Ourang Outang (sic)
Ass Reindeer Wolf
Horse Giraffe Goat
Cat Hippopotamus Goose
Sheep Cow Cuckoo
Rabbit Ostrich Peacock
Lynx Duck Parrot
Pig Cock Turkey
Zebra Hen Pigeon
Examples of the descriptive verse are:
The Hippopotamus. Native of Africa.
An animal both large and strong,
With four sharp teeth twelve inches long,
And jaws that wide asunder spread:
And such a body - such a head.
The Turkey Cock of the Poultry Yard
Though proud and vain this creature be,
The smallest thing will make it flee.
I would not be so proud and vain
For all the wealth in France and Spain.
The Cat.
The cat is useful in a house
To catch and kill a rat or mouse.
How anxious is the cat to please:
An how she loves to take her ease!

The rules are printed on a single sheet of paper.

Sort the cards, and place those which have not printed backs face downwards, in the centre of the picture sheet. Twelve of the cards, with descriptive letter press, are then to be taken from the box, and laid picture parts upwards upon any of the pictures round Grandmamma. Each player in turn to take one of the first named plain backed cards and if one of its counterpart in the margin of the pictures sheet a card of the other sort lies, such is to be taken up, read aloud and retained. When all the plain backed cards are used, whoever holds most of the descriptive ones wins the game, which must then be recommenced by taking more of the latter cards from the box, and playing with them as at first; and so on, till no more (each round being a game). The game may also be played by requiring that something should be named about each card before turning it over.

Descriptive line

Boxed game, Grandmama's New Game of Natural History, published in England about 1850

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria & Albert Museum : Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings : Accessions 1954. London : HMSO, 1963.
The full text of the entry is as follows:

'ANONYMOUS : Sports and Pastimes

Children's Games : Board Games

Grandmamma's New Game of Natural History. Playing sheet showing in the centre an elderly woman seated at a table and 24 surrounding compartments representing fairy tale characters, cards (24) showing characters corresponding with those on the playing sheet, cards (36) showing birds and animals, on the backs of which are printed descriptions and four lines of verse. Also a printed sheet of rules, and a list of games issued by the same unidentified publisher. In a wooden box divided into two compartments with a sliding lid with a lithographed pictorial label. English, mid-19th century.
Lithographs, coloured by hand; wood-engravings, coloured by hand and letterpress. E.1786-1954'

Production Note

Possibly by E. & M. A. Ogilvy. This game is very similar to The Silver Bell or The Crystal Palace published by E. & M. A. Ogilvy (E. 801-1945) which has cards but not a sheet.

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Children & Childhood; Games

Collection code

PDP

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Qr_O26610
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