A Quirky Board Game With Versions Spanning 400 Years
EVE M. KAHN FEB. 25, 2016
Adrian Seville has bought hundreds of board games, but he has hardly any interest in playing them. A retired university administrator living outside London, Dr. Seville has focused on collecting variants of the Game of the Goose, which was invented in the 15th century and remains in production. While its rules may be too simplistic for his tastes — players roll dice and try to beat one another to the 63rd square — he nonetheless described the collecting process as “highly addictive.”
The Grolier Club in Manhattan has borrowed about 70 of Dr. Seville’s finds for an exhibition, “The Royal Game of the Goose: Four Hundred Years of Printed Board Games,” running through May 14. On the boards’ tracks, players maneuver among squares that allow for leaps ahead or lost turns or slogs backward. The squares and the borders on Dr. Seville’s games are printed with images including everything from happy aristocratic lovers to Richard M. Nixon, cannibals, brutalized slaves, shipwrecks, brown envelopes with cash bribes and advertisements for dolls, tires, biscuits, breath mints and gas lighting.
|Adrian Seville Collection|
Given the diversity of themes, Dr. Seville said, “All human life is here.” He has even seen the Game of the Goose adapted to promote sewage pumps. “Some are so dull that they’re actually interesting,” he said. He has paid up to thousands of dollars apiece for the games, which turn up widely at auction houses including
Ground Floor Gallery Exhibition: "The Royal Game of the Goose – Four Hundred Years of Printed Board Games," curated by Adrian Seville. Free public tours of the exhibition, led by Grolier Club member Gretchen Adkins, will be offered every Tuesday, 1 PM-2 PM, during the run of the show: March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, WEDNESDAY APRIL 6, April 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10.
**************************************************Goose or the Game of the Goose, was mentioned in an article I recently posted on January 23, 2016:
Who Invented the Game of Snakes and Ladders?," October 8, 2008).