(Games, Flower)


(Paris: chez Basset, rue St. Jacques, no. 64, ca, 1815). "Les Jeux d'Oie" have long been a venerable form of family entertainment, education and even propaganda. This particular version, the jeu instructif des fleurs, is pretty enough to be viewed as a game for young ladies (which it probably was), but John Grand-Carteret's LES JEUX D'OIE( lists it with the "Jeu d'actualites politiques." He notes that the winning position is the crowned Lis blanc, the symbol of virtue and, of course, "Gloire Aux Lis", a sentiment in favor during the French Restoration. But there is also botanical instruction here. Along the promenade or route of the game are 63 numbered "cases" or squares, each with a handsomely engraved flower portrait, many accompanied by captions citing the flower's emblematic meaning, or one of its physical properties. Thus: marigold, "emblème de la douleur"; jasmine, "originaire de la Province"; myrtle, "dédié a Venus par les anciens"; and finally, embowered and marked with sun's rays, the lily. The rules for traversing the promenade and reaching the lily are printed in the center of the text. For example, whoever arrives at no. 42, the violet, "a flower lost in the woods," must return to no. 30, lily of the valley, and pay a sum agreed on at the outset of the game. The shape of the course or promenade is oval, thus leaving space at the corners of the sheet for charming little views of the Jardin des Tuileries seen from the terraces of the chateau, the Jardin du Luxembourg seen from the water bassins, the Jardin du Roi seen from the river bank, and a view of the labyrinth of the Jardin du Roi. Though not found in the usual library catalogues, we do find reference to a copy in the Collection of Baron de Vinck at the Bibliothèque Nationale. "Gloire aux Lis" Single sheet, 45.5 x 61 cm., engraved overall, with text in center.

Engraved sheet unevenly folded with a few minor tears along folds; one corner torn and mended, with some rust spots, not affecting image.

ID#: 16115
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