"Wallis's Tour Through England and Wales, a New Geographical Pastime", Wallis, John
Subject: Cartographic Game, England & Wales
Period: 1794 (dated)
Color: Hand Color
17.8 x 19.6 inches
45.2 x 49.8 cm
This rare, early, and very amusing map game leads players across England and Wales, with stops at various destinations along the numbered path. Additional instructions and educational information are provided by the side panels. For example: 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, with a cardboard slipcase with an illustrated title panel.
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.
There are some short worm tracks at top and left, light soiling, and some toning along the left and right edges. The slipcase is soiled and worn, but intact.