Nuovo e nobile divertimento del viaggio all’Indie.

Milan, Gaetano Bianchi, [c. 1760].

420 x 520 mm, engraving with contemporary hand-colouring; tear in right-hand edge (repaired on verso, without loss), some light creases, a few minor marginal tears or paper flaws, but generally in very good condition; preserved in an attractive modern portfolio.

£5000

Approximately:
US $6688€5665

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An ingenious eighteenth-century Italian board game on the theme of a voyage to the Americas, a rare survival.

The game takes the familiar form of the ‘Game of the Goose’: the player proceeds along the track by throwing a die, but penalty spaces force him to move backwards, to lose a turn or to drop out of the game. In our game the player, having set aside at least one coin in the ‘bank’, starts out from port and proceeds to the Americas (‘India’, half-way along the track and represented here by a vignette of a European gesturing towards two natives carrying bows and wearing feathered head-dresses) before returning to port again. Penalty spaces include a calm, low tide, pirates, a lazaretto, a storm, a shipwreck (here the player must drop out of the game entirely) and a sea monster. Whoever lands on the space marked ‘pesca’ (fishing) may take a coin from the bank before proceeding. If two players find themselves on the two spaces marked ‘cambio’ (exchange), the player who is behind swaps places with the one in front, at the same time paying him a coin for the privilege. The first player to arrive safely back at port wins both the game and all the money.

Not found in the British Museum online catalogue. For Gaetano Bianchi see Thieme-Becker III p. 582.

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