Walnut Solitaire Board

Walnut Solitaire Board

c. 1860 to c. 1900 England

Offered by Baggott Church Street Ltd

£395 gbp
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This example is particularly large and is for playing the French or Venetian version of Solitaire. As such, it has four extra marbles (37 in total) making play more challenging than the traditional version of the game, which can also be played on this board. The board with moulded rim and groove to collect the played marbles. Stands upon turned oak bun feet.
European, circa 1860 - 1900
Board Diameter 15.5” (38cm)
Stock No. 9898
The object of the game is, by making valid moves, to empty the entire board of marbles except for one central one. The traditional game is played on a board using 32 holes, whereas the more unusual, French/Venetian solitaire expects the user to fill every one of the 33 plus 4 additional holes on the board with any peg to be removed at the beginning and then replaced in its original hole at any time during the remainder of the game. To complete the puzzle, there must still be the solitary marble in the central hole. Therefore, the player can start anywhere, but must always end in the middle. For more than 100 years, it was considered impossible to start this particular version of the game in the centre and to end there leaving the solitary peg. It was a retired teacher from Aalter, Belgium, by the name of Frans Cremers, who was to eventually work out the key to the solution.

Legend has it that a mathematician by the name of Pelisson in the court of Louis XlV (1638 – 1715) was the inventor of the game of Solitaire. The first evidence of the game is seen in an engraving of the Princess of Soubise, Anne de Rohan-Chabot, made in the year 1697 by Claude Auguste Berey, which depicts the puzzle by her side. Also in that year, the August edition of the French literary magazine ‘Mercure Galant’ contains a description of the board and its rules. This is the first known reference to the game in print. The German mathematician, Leibnitz, also wrote about the game in 1710. Another version of the invention of the game is that a bored, French nobleman, incarcerated in the Bastille, devised the game using an old ‘Fox and Geese’ board, a board widely used for a variety of games from as far back as the time of the Vikings.
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Baggott Church Street Ltd

Baggott Church Street Ltd
Church Street
GL54 1BB

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