19th C Hand Painted Wooden Solitaire Game Board Three Sides
This rare form of solitaire game has three playing surfaces with hand painted decoration. I have never seen this form before. No maker's mark. One side is for the classic game of solitaire and fox & geese while the other is a spiral game. Inside is a whole different game. This is the response we received when we wrote to the Museum of Childhood in England about the two sides of the board...
1. Fox & Geese: This version of the fox and geese is known as 'Asalto' - distinguished by the fort design in green and is based on an army attacking a stronghold, where the army has 24 pieces and the fortress.
2.Spiral: I do like the design of the spiral game with its starting and finishing points in red. I would imagine this is a simple race game using dice where the object is to reach the centre first. If two players find themselves in the same hole then the first returns to the start. As with most games of this type, the landing on the end hole would have to be exact.
3. Inside is a game called "The Siege of Paris", (RULES INCLUDED) which came out in 1870 as part of a games compendium. The game was produced at the same time as the actual siege of Paris by the Germans in that year. A game inspired in the UK by the Prussian siege of Paris. The game is played on a 12x16 grid which has a fortress in the center consisting of eight circular spaces. Thirty-six attackers, eighteen from each end of the board, attempt to immobilize the eight defenders in the fortress. The defenders win by capturing all besieging soldiers and six officers. The attackers draw by entering the fortress or win by having an officer and two or three men in the fortress.
The board is almost certainly English, dating to the second half of the 19th century. Very few solitaire boards have any sort of makers mark on them as the design would have been ubiquitous.
References: Botermans, Jack. The Book of Games: Strategy, Tactics & History. Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 2008. ISBN 978-1-4027-4221-http://jeuxstrategieter.free.fr/Siege_de_paris_complet.php
Approximate Dimensions: Full Width 15 3/4", Height 9 1/2" .
Condition: As found, no damage - some wear as expected with age and use, see photos