Auction 117, Lot 452

"Wallis's Tour through England and Wales, A New Geographical Pastime", Wallis, John

Subject: England & Wales - Geographic Game

Period: 1794 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

17.8 x 19.8 inches
45.2 x 50.3 cm

Rare, early and very amusing map game that leads players across England and Wales, stopping at various destinations along the numbered path and following the corresponding numbered instructions and educational information on the side panels along the way. One such bit of erudition mentions that Dunmow (#114) is "Famous for giving a Flitch of Bacon to any married couple who will swear they never repented being married in thought, word or deed." Players purchased their playing pieces separately, and as they traveled around the map they had to be careful of certain destinations, such as landing on The Isle of Man (#89), where they would be shipwrecked until the end of the game, or even Marlborough (#32), where they had to wait one turn as they dined at "one of the finest Inns in the kingdom." Dissected map laid on original linen.

Map games were a popular sideline for cartographic publishers from about 1760 onward in England, with John Bowles publishing the earliest geographical game in 1759. John Wallis Sr. and his son Edward began working together as mapsellers and publishers, and by the 1790s, Wallis' business began to focus on map games, at which point he began to dominate the London market for such items. This business continued up to about 1850 with John's son Edward succeeding his father around 1818.

References: Mapforum #10, pp 60.

Condition: B

Original color, with some scattered foxing and small loss at bottom edge, just past the border. Linen is separating at one fold. Overall in nice condition for this type of map. Lacking any game pieces or slipcase.

Estimate: $750 - $1,200


Closed on 12/6/2006