Delightful playing board for a geographic game

Published by William Spooner, 377, Strand, Decr. 1st. 1842. / W. Clerk, Lithogr., 202, High, Holborn, THE TRAVELLERS ; OR, A TOUR THROUGH EUROPE. London, Dec. 1, 1842.
Lithograph with full original hand color, segmented and mounted on linen. Folded and tipped into blue-cloth-covered boards with pictorial paper label on recto and trade card of Dunnett's Toy Warehouse pasted on verso. Map 18 ¾"h x 24"w plus title and margins, ca. 7"h x 6 ¾"w when folded.

A charming board for a geographical game, featuring a pictorial map of Europe, the Near East, and Asia with dozens of pictorial vignettes depicting major cities, landmarks and images such as “Finlander attacking a bear” and “Perils of the whale fishery.”

Neither the spinner nor the rare booklet of instructions are present, but the web site of the Victoria & Albert Museum summarizes the basic rules:

“Five players take the parts of The Travellers, who are from different nations, Austria, Sweden, Russia, Prussia and England. They must make their way to their respective capital cities each starting from a different city in Africa, or on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. They play with a teetotum or spinner with four sides marked N,S,E,W representing the directions they must move in.”

The British Museum describes William Spooner as a “Print publisher, specialising in lithographs of a semi-popular and humorous character.” He was active in London between at least 1833 and 1847 and published a number of other geographic games, including A Voyage of Discovery or The Five Navigators, The Pirate and Traders of the West Indies, and The Journey or Cross Roads to Conqueror’s Castle.


Minor soiling and minor-dog earing at some fold intersections, some soiling and rubbing to boards.