Indoor Croquet Set
Indoor Croquet Set
Indoor Croquet Set

Indoor Croquet Set

c. 1880 to c. 1900 English

Offered by Baggott Church Street Ltd


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Polished pine box labelled CROQUET with playing instructions to the reverse. Polished pine display stand accommodates a set of eight boxwood headed mallets and 8 naturally coloured balls. The box includes: start and finish posts, ten hoops and a facsimile copy in French with rules and diagrams, also four table clips to secure a cloth.
English or French, circa 1880 – 1900
Box Height 3.5” (9cm_ Width 12” (30cm) Depth 6.5” (17cm)
Stand Height 12” (30cm) Diameter 8.5” (22cm)
Stock No. 9538
The oldest document to bear the word “croquet” with a description of the modern game is the set of rules registered by Isaac Spratt in November 1856 with the Stationers’ Company in London. This record is now in the English Public Records Office. In 1868, the first croquet all-comers’ meeting was held at Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, and, in the same year, the All England Croquet Club was formed at Wimbledon, London.

One explanation for the origins of the game was that it was introduced to Britain from France during the reign of Charles ll of England and was played under the name of ‘paille maille’ (or pall mall) deriving ultimately from the Latin words for ball and mallet. In his 1810 book entitled “The Sports and Pastimes of the People of England”, Joseph Strutt describes the way that Pall Mall was played in England in the early 17th century. “Pale-maille is a game wherein a round box ball is struck with a mallet through a high arch of iron, which he that can do at the fewest blows, or at the number agreed upon, wins.”

The game was a fashionable amusement in the reign of Charles ll, and the walk in St James’ Park, now called the Mall, received its name from having been appropriated for the purpose of playing at ‘mall’, the pastime in which Charles himself and his courtiers frequently indulged for their exercise.

Another theory is that the rules of the modern game of croquet arrived from Ireland during the 1850s, perhaps after being brought here from Brittany where a similar game was played on the beaches. Records show that the similar game of “crookey” was being played at Castlebellingham in 1834, which was introduced to Galway in 1835 and played on the bishop’s palace garden. In the same year, it was played in the genteel Dublin suburb of Dun Laoghaire (then Kingstown) where it was first spelt as “croquet”.
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Baggott Church Street Ltd

Baggott Church Street Ltd
Church Street
GL54 1BB

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