Friday, December 28, 2012

The Art of Play: The Laughable Game of What D'ye Buy by Professor Punch

Professor Punch's Laughable Game of "What D'Ye Buy?"
The Victoria & Albert Museum

“The Laughable Game of What D'ye Buy by Professor Punch” was a boxed card game with a picture of Mr. Punch and Dog Toby on the lid. The game is comprised of ten cards which depict people of various professions, and 67 cards which have objects written on them that would be sold by the people depicted on the other cards.

The game is described as being played by giving each player a profession and the cards that are specific to that Profession. One player is elected as the “conductor.”  This player reads out a story, as found in the rule book.  At various points within this story there is a blank space in the text and the conductor looks to one of the vendors who must read out one of the items they sell to fill the gap in the story.

In this example from 1890, five of the printed object cards, and two of the vendor cards are missing.  These have been replaced with hand-written cards. The original rule book is missing but there is a hand-written transcript of it in the box.  Obviously the game was beloved and played to the point that it fell apart.  This version may have been made by the Edwin Wallis Co.

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