By: William Spooner
Date: 1852 (Published) London
Dimensions: 19.5 x 24.5 (49.5 x 62.2 cm)
This charming map is in fact a mid-nineteenth century game called ‘The Travellers of Europe; With Improvements and Additions’. The highly decorative map serves as the game board, and covers all of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, northern Africa, and the Near East as far as the Caspian Sea.
It is graphically rich with iconic imagery including cities, important buildings, local flora and fauna, indigenous peoples, seagoing vessels of a wide variety and shipwrecks all illustrated in vignette form. For example, in Russia one finds "Finlanders attacking bears" and "sledge travelling," while in the North Atlantic is a scene showing the "perils of the whale fishery."
According to the Victoria and Albert Museum's catalogue, five players take the parts of The Travellers, who are from Austria, Sweden, Russia, Prussia and England. They must make their way to their respective capital cities, each starting from a different city in Africa, or on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. This game is played with a teetotum or spinner with four sides marked N., S., E., W. representing the directions they must move in. Unfortunately, there are no tokens, or teetotums accompanying this map. The instructions will be included on purchase.
This is one of Spooner's more sophisticated and effective educational games and proved popular with youth and armchair travelers alike. The map appeared in at least five editions starting with the first edition in 1842, and ending at about the time this edition was published in 1852.
Condition: This fascinating folding map/game board is in A condition. The image on the cover is slightly worn as is the inside of its spine. Beautiful original colouring with keyboard boarder on original linen.
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