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The Royal Game of the Dolphin. An Elegant, Instructive, and Amusing Pastime.
Named collection: Allan Forbes Collection
Object type: engraving
Maker: Darton, William Jr.
Place made: United Kingdom, Greater London, London
Date made: 1821
Materials: ink; paper; paper backing; board
Measurements: 16 in x 20 1/4 in; 5 3/4 in x 7 in x 1/2 in
Game board with leather-coated slipcase. The board consists of 12 hand-colored engraved, illustrated sections mounted on a single folded sheet of thick paper, originally linen. Together, they depict a large dolphin drawn on the top left to bottom right diagonal, and two flying fish, one in the top right corner and one in the bottom left corner. Both fish and the dolphin have been divided into smaller portions by straight and curved lines, and in each portion is depicted a scene or object: children in a hot-air balloon, knights at battle, a leopard in the forest, an hourglass, and so on. These are accompanied by large numerals and are hand-colored, There is a blue and purple ridge atop the dolphin's back, on which is printed, "The ROYAL GAME of the DOLPHIN, an Elegant, Instructive, and Amusing Pastime." The dolphin is depicted with a fish in its mouth; the tail of the fish reads, "LONDON, PUBLISHED by William Darton, 58 HOLBORN HILL." On each of the top three panels of the game, someone has written in pen on the top margin, "William Meredith Esq." The map is accompanied by the original slipcase, but not by the original instruction booklet. Slipcase is of paper board covered with mottled paper; with engraved, illustrated, hand-colored paper label on front, with publisher's name and address.