1829. London: Edward Wallis, Skinner Street, [c. 1829].
30 circular wooden playing discs (63 mm. diameter), 24 with printed letters on one face; the obverse with 24 hand-coloured lithographic images and six remaining discs with letters (alphabets and sections of the alphabet) on both faces; five discs with splits, one repaired, due to tension of the wood when drying out, a few minor abrasures and a little spotted; housed in the original treen cylinder (80mm diam. 180mm h.) in two sections unscrewing in the middle surmounted by a screw lid with printed label on yellow within circular bands of black and red lines; lid rubbed; bottom inscribed in ink “A New Years Gift for little Eliza Bruce. from her Aunt Emily. January 1st 1830”, one word from label cut out and replaced with the word Aunty in direct ink lettering on wood.
§ A rare alphabet game with unusually large pictorial and alphabetic disks. Issued by one of the leading Regency game manufacturers, the delightful images range from Ark, Boy, Cow to Xury (the slave Robinson Crusoe helped to escape), Yew and Zebra. What had started as a single-sheet ABC primer in the 16th century became an educational toy in the late 18th. ‘The underlying concept was the use of simple pictures to reinforce the phonic impact of initial letters. As with the ABC primer, the idea migrated from the classroom to the nursery and the hearth. It became recognised as an “improving” toy’ (Rickards, The Encyclopaedia of Ephemera, p. 2). Usually these games are not dated; however, we can for once give this example a rough date from the presentation inscription. Item #104367