Jeu des antiques (Jeu de l’oie). Paris, Jean, c. 1820.
Copper engraving. Size: c. 49 x 66 cm. Outside of the image somewhat browned, otherwise in very good condition.
Very rare classical game of goose, with 63 game spaces arranged in a round spiral. The theme is the antique world. The game spaces feature gods, rulers, personalities and objects pertaining to the Egyptian and Greek-Roman mythology. The four corners show short biographies of the Roman gods Neptune, Apollo, Pluto and Asclepius. The game starts with a scene showing the figure of Amor (Cupid), Roman god of love, whereas the last god depicted is Mars, god of war. Other figures depicted in the game squares are: Bacchus, Hercules, Mercury, Venus (depicted several times in various instances), Clio, Faunus, Asclepius, Neptune, Saturn, Pompey, Marsyas, Julius Caesar, Numa Pompilius, Adonis, Lucius Cornelius Cinna, Ganymede, Apollo, Silenus, Chiron, Seneca, Plutarch, Cleopatra, Isis, etc.
Some of the rules listed at the center of the game are:
– players who land on space 6 (Neptune) must advance to space 12;
– players who land on space 19 (Chiron) will skip two turns;
– players who land on space 42 (Apollo) will advance to 50;
– for an initial throw of dice of 6 and 3, the player will land on „Antique“ (9) and automatically advances to 26;
– players who land on space 31 (Bacchus) will have to wait there until another player reaches the same space and then exchange places with them;
– the classical „death“ space on number 58 (Asclepius) forces the player to start the game again;
– the role of the geese in this game is played by various antique figures, present on spaces 5, 9, 14, 18, 23, 27, 32, 36, 41, 45, 50, 54, 59.
As in all games of goose, if a player lands on these spaces, they are allowed to move again, according to the number on the dice.
Literature: Henry-Renè d’Allemagne: „Le noble jeu de l’oie en France, de 1640 à 1950“, Paris, 1950 (page 221).