the circle of knowledge

Board Game
ca. 1845 (published)
Not currently on display at the V&A

Place Of Origin

Design: engraving, coloured by hand; 16 sections mounted on linen; 64 pictures
No. of squares: 64
Squares illustrated: all
Square numbering: all
Squares titled: see rules
Subject of starting square: Europe
Subject of ending square: ?


object details
Category
Object Type
Additional Titlea new game of the wonders of nature, science and art (manufacturer's title)
Brief Description
Educational, English, The Circle of Knowledge
Physical Description
Design: engraving, coloured by hand; 16 sections mounted on linen; 64 pictures

No. of squares: 64

Squares illustrated: all

Square numbering: all

Squares titled: see rules

Subject of starting square: Europe

Subject of ending square: ?
Object history
No rules are available but it is possible that the game was played in a similar manner to the previous games published by E Wallis and J Passmore.

Passmore was at the Fleet Lane address from about 1840 to 1869; in 1847 he took over Wallis's production.
Historical context
Rewards: extra turns and forward movement and possibly receipt of counters

Forfeits: missing turns, staying in one place, backwards movement; possibly the payment of counters

No. of Players: any

Equipment required: markers, counters. For spinning a teetotum or dice would be needed, however, as this is a Passmore game it is possible that a card with numbers and blanks together with the letters all to be cut up was provided as given in the previous couple of games. In that case the rules were probably similar.



Rules:

The playing sheet is divided into four concentric circles, three of which contain 16 pictures each. The inner ring illustrates the signs of the Zodiac and the four cardinal points of the compass. The sixteen pictures of the outer ring each have a title, which has a connection with the two other pictures of the two inner rings adjoining.

These are:

1,17,33 Europe 5,21,37 Asia 9,25,41 Africa 13,29,45 America

2,18,34 Earth 6,22,38 Air 10,26,42 Fire 14,30,46 Water

3,19,35 Electricity 7,23,39 Chemistry 11,27,43 Optics 15,31,47 Astronomy

4,20,36 Spring 8,24,40 Summer 12,28,44 Autumn 16,32,48 Winter



Examples of the pictures under these main headings are:

SPRING

4. Dancing round a maypole 20. A Rainbow 36. Birds feeding their young

AIR

6. A Balloon and a Parachute 22. A Shipwrecked Sailing Vessel 38. Windmill

CHEMISTRY

7. Alchemist 23. Scientific Lecture 39. Interior of a chemist's shop

FIRE

10. Volcano 26. Burning Farm 42 Pit Explosion and fire

OPTICS

11. Giant Telescope 27. Perspective of a tunnel 43. Magic Lantern Show

AUTUMN

12. Harvest Supper 28. Hop Picking 44. Pheasant Shooting



Players would progress round the game on the spin of a teetotum or the selection of a numbered card. At each stop, they would be required to describe the events happening in the illustration and it is possible that forfeits and rewards would be given depending on each. It is possible to given forfeits and rewards to each squares and some are more obvious that others such as a fire or ship wreck go backwards or perhaps start again.



Rules placement: possibly in booklet
Production
J passmore, 18 fleet lane farringdon street
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.161-1969

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record createdMarch 4, 2000
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