Following on from our last post, here’s another piece of caricature-related merchandise from the early 19th Century. It’s a game based on William Combe and Thomas Rowlandson’s The Tour of Doctor Syntax in search of the picturesque (1809 – 1812) that was probably produced sometime around 1830. It consists of two packs of numbered cards, one carrying lithograph-engraved copies of Rowlandson’s original illustrations and the other exerts from the text. Players would spin the coloured wheel to select cards from each deck and try and match the text to the appropriate illustration. It’s no PlayStation, but probably seemed pretty swish in an era in which the cup and ball was at the forefront of home entertainment.
The game will be going up for auction in the UK in a couple of weeks. The auctioneer has put an estimate of £200 – £400 on it which seems perfectly reasonable. It’s hard to put an accurate value on items like this because so few of them have survived in such good condition and they rarely come up for sale. In this case, the game appeals to a couple of different groups of collectors, which is always a bonus as far as value is concerned, so it’s possible it could exceed the top-end of the estimate. It’s one I’ll be keeping my eye on.