1788 Dutch board game

Neerlands Staatkundi[g] Werpspel [Dutch Political Throwing Game],1788. Engraving and letterpress on laid paper. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019-in process The Graphic Arts Collection acquired this scarce Dutch dice game, published one year after the defeat of the Patriotic party by an avid follower of the Orangist party. A simple sheet with an ingenious optical illusion […]

Board games on view

Ellen Liman, Georgian and Victorian Board Games: the Liman Collection. Arthur L. Liman, foreword; A. Robin Hoffman, introduction (New York: Pointed Leaf Press, 2017). Graphic Arts Collection -On order   Our colleagues at the Yale Center for British Art are presenting the exhibition Instruction and Delight: Children’s Games from the Ellen and Arthur Liman Collection, […]

Game of the Great Exhibition of 1851

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired this unabashedly politically incorrect board game, in which people from around the world meet in London at the 1851 Great Exhibition. Caricatures of all races, creeds, and occupations are encountered as players make their way around this ‘game of the goose’ published by William Spooner. For some reason, this […]

The Game of the Goose

“The Royal Game of the Goose–400 Years of Printed Board Games” will open on February 24, 2016, at the Grolier Club in New York. The exhibition is organized by and based on the collection of British historian Adrian Sevelle. “Dating from medieval times,” Sevelle writes, “The Royal Game of the Goose is the simplest of […]


  From 1903 to 1917, the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) served as the leading militant organization campaigning for women’s rights in London. Run exclusively by women, the WSPU was dedicated to political action and civil disobedience led by Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928) and her daughters Christabel and Sylvia. The game’s title, “Pank-a-Squith,” comes from […]

Playing Around the World

Jeu du Tour du Monde. Paris, J. Hetzel & F. Didot, [c.1875]. Letterpress and wood engraving. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process In 2011, the Graphic Arts Collection acquired a board game after the Jules Verne novel Around the World in 80 Days: https://blogs.princeton.edu/graphicarts/2011/01/around_the_world_and_around_th.html. We recently acquired a publisher’s advertisement for that game in […]

The Four Accomplishments

Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806), Go Playing, no date (about 1790). Color woodblock print. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2009.00694. Vertical Ôban. From the series Four Accomplishments (Kinkishoga). The Graphic Arts Collection holds one of Utamaro’s four prints depicting the four cultural activities or arts to be mastered by an ideal Chinese scholar. These include the playing of […]

Hunting Brown Bear in Alaska 1910

      In honor of Ben Primer, and thanks to the Friends of the Princeton University Library, the Graphic Arts Collection has acquired a photography album owned by George Frederick Norton (1876-1917) documenting a hunting expedition in the American West and Alaska, ca. 1910. The album contains 117 mounted gelatin silver prints (slightly photoshopped […]

German Prospectors in California

Fortuna im Goldlande oder das Lustige Kleeblatt in Californien. Unterhaltendes Gesells chaftsspiel. Nürnberg: Verlag von J.L. Lotzbeck, [n.d., c. 1855]. Hand-colored lithograph and illustrated board, folding down into the original card slipcase with a hand colored label. Graphic Arts Collection 2019- in process   On the morning of January 24, 1848, James Wilson Marshall discovered […]

Playing shatranj

In the back of the first volume of our newly acquired specimen albums from Godefroy Engelmann’s Société Engelmann père et fils, is this chromolithographed game board. At one end is an image of men and women playing Shatranj (the Persian word for what became chess). At the other, the men are smoking from a water […]