Monday, November 4, 2013

The Art of Play: The Circle of Knowledge, A New Game of the Wonders of Nature, Science and Art, 1845

The Circle of Knowledge
E. Wallis and J. Passmore, 1845
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This board game dates to 1845.  The playing board is divided into four concentric circles, three of which contain 16 pictures each. The inner ring depicts the signs of the Zodiac and the four cardinal points of the compass. The 16 pictures of the outer ring each display one title, relating to two other pictures on the two inner rings. These are Europe, Asia, Africa and America; Earth, Air, Fire and Water; Electricity, Chemistry, Optics and Astronomy; Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

It’s very attractive, but I suspect playing it would have been excruciatingly dull.  The rules to the game are long gone, but it is possible that the game was played in a similar manner to the previous games published by E. Wallis and J. Passmore who produced this example.

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