Christmas is approaching and fireside family images spring to mind. But how about a look at the sort of games and toys being played in the 18th and 19th century.
Dissected puzzles better known as jigsaws these days, (only called this after the jigsaw tool had been invented in the 19 th century) but when they were first introduced into the UK around the 1760's these puzzles were cut and often coloured by hand from wood like mahogany, a timely and difficult process. Hence the royals, the rich and elite boarding schools were the only ones which could really afford these puzzles. In the main they were used as an educational tool. Later puzzles were backed on to card and became more intricately shaped when the jigsaw tool was introduced. They also became cheaper and more affordable to the mass market in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Two that are currently in stock are a rare puzzle of Asia with the countries that were known at the time, not including Australia, dated 1792 in a mahogany box and by the toy manufacturers William Darton. The. other is a puzzle made in the mid 19 th century of kings and queens up until Queen Victorias reign.
Carrying on the educational theme with the spelling and writing tiles, what a lovely way to learn to spell!
If it's English literature that interests you how about a game of quotes from Shakespeare,
rules are as follows ......"Distribute the Cards indiscriminately amongst the party, only observing that the White Cards are for ladies and the Pink for Gentleman. Then let the character which has fallen to each be read aloud by some person who will give due effect to the gravity or the gaiety, to the wit or the wisdom of the quotation.The enjoyment of the game consists in the harmony or the incongruity of the character thus accidentally shown, with the real qualities or obvious peculiarities of the individual."
Or maybe a game of Happy Families but not as we know it It's collecting Shakespeare characters from plays he wrote!
Less taxing of the brain a game of mini indoor croquet complete in its original box with mallets and balls for 8 people!, or a game of hoopla or roulette. The Antique Noah's Ark toy was popular with Victorian households but would have only been brought out to play with on a Sunday. There are the antique treen spinning or humming tops a real favourite with children, cribbage boards,, I could go on the choice is diverse!
Any of the items mentioned here are available to buy from Opus Antiques, if they are not on the web site please email me for more information.