jigsaw puzzles & board games
Posted by Bob Whitworth on August 17, 1998 at 11:55:32:
In response to Bob, would you happen to know?, written by Barbara on August 17, 1998 at 01:39:13
First, I would offer a caveat. Even if it’s “broke” don’t fix it. But, if you are intent upon it, in order to help guide you, I must know what needs repair. I know of an excellent puzzle restorer, who also might be able to restore an old Victorian game--or suggest someone else who might. I have restored old jigsaw puzzles, and it is a timely and expensive process to do it right, using period wood and paper. Board games are a bit different, but the technique is much the same. You might want to have it “reproduced” and then have the reproduced “board” put into a state of perfection, leaving the old one as it is, so that it retains its historical
and reseal value.
I would not say that children’s literature was “virtually ignored” before the Victorian era. Quite the opposite, in fact. Children’s literature was beginning to emerge during the mid 17th century, and grew steadily. Perrault’s Fairy Tales were first published around 1697, if memory serves me correctly. There were even children’s magazines, like “The Children’s Week-work” as early as 1712. This is an unillustratred work.. By 1740, Thomas Boreman and Mary Cooper both demonstrated that there was a place for playfulness in children’s books; and they were the first to incorporate a “children’s list” or group of books edited for the times. Boreman’s “Gigantick Histories (1740-43) were miniature illustrated books which treated the child-reader as a human being rather than as a receptable for information.
Mayr Cooper, through books like “The Child’s New Play-thing (1742), introduced a new light-heartedness into the business of learning to read. She was also responsible for publishing “Tommy Thunb’s Pretty Song-book” (ca. 1744), the first published collection of nursery rhymes.
Thomas Carnan and John Newbery rise to the top of the list after this; with Elizabeth Newbery taking over the helm, after John’s death in 1767. Edward Harris succeeded her in the early 19th century, to be joined by William Darton, Sr.--and Jr.; plus John Wallis and others.
Now, as to board games. There were plenty of board games during the Regency period. In fact, the first purely English board game was created by Thomas Jeffrys and published in 1759 by Carington Bowles. Patterned after the old gambling game famous at inns (called “The Game of Goose”)Jeffrys took a map of Europe and made a game that was wholly acceptablt to children and their parents. He made the map into a race game that allowed travellers to move along a track through all the countries by the throw of a dice (actually a tee-totum). Jeffrys called the game A Journey Through Europe, or The Play of Geography. The game carried the inscription: “Invented and sold for the Proprietor John Jeffrys, at his house in Chapel street near the Broad-Way, Westmr. Writing Master, Accompt Geographer, &c.” It was mounted on canvas and folded to fit into a cardboard slipcase, as travelling maps of the period were.
The first board-game jigsaw-puzzle combo appeared in 1790, and was the joint adventure of Elizabeth Newbery and John Wallis. It was titled “The New Game of Human Life”, and was first published on July, 14th 1790. Shortly thereafter it was dissected, boxed, and sold as a game to be assembled before playing.
By the early 19th Century, John Wallis, John Harris, and William Darton, Jr. were publishing a number of board games, which were packaged in slip-cases. Among these were “The Cottage of Content”, “The Game of Twelfth-night”, “The New Game of Emulation”, “The Mansion of Bliss”, “The Mansion of Happiness”, “Virtue Rewarded and Vice Punished”, “The Mount of Knowledge,” and many others--including travel games with European maps and illistrations. There is a company in England which is reproducing some of the earlier Wallis and Darton games which are in the Victoria and Albert Museum. I do not remember the name of the company, but a place called “The Old Game Store” in Manchester, VT sells them.
The jigsaw puzzles we make were originally produced for children, although adults did enjoy them, too.
I vaguely remember them being mentioned in a couple of the Jane Austen books--perhaps “Emma” and
Mansfield Park. It’s been a long time since I read them.
Hope this helps.
- Board Games Captain Everett 19:24:33 8/17/98 (0)
- Fairy Tales and The Game of Goose SuzanneR 15:39:05 8/17/98 (0)
- Fairy Tales and The Game of Goose SuzanneR 15:38:21 8/17/98 (6)
- Fairy Tales Bob Whitworth 02:08:32 8/18/98 (5)
- jigsaws in Mansfield Park Caroline 14:34:30 8/17/98 (0)
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.