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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Walnut Solitaire Board"
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Diameter 9.5” (24cm)
English, circa 1900 - 1930
Stock No. 1257
A similar board manufactured by John Jaques of London, circa 1920, is displayed in the V&A Museum of Childhood. These boards are also known as General Grant’s boards after they were given to Civil War soldiers as they waited to go into battle. (General Grant 1822-1885, Commanding General American War of Independence (Confederate) 18th US President).
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.