Game of Seven: Addendum

After finishing my article on the game of seven1 I came across another wooden board for a game of seven which is worth mentioning.

A photograph of the board is shown in:
Holländer, B. (1999). Das Spiel mit dem Würfel. In: 5000 Jahre Würfelspiel. Katalog der Ausstellung im Schloß Kleßheim vom 31. August—31. Oktober 1999 und im Casino Linz (Casineum) vom 12. November—9. Dezember 1999 sowie 2000 im Casino Baden. Salzburg: Inst. f. Spielforschung u. Spielpädagogik. [Homo ludens. Internationale Beiträge des Institutes für Spielforschung und Spielpädagogik der Universität Mozarteum Salzburg. Sondernummer 1999], p. 13–38; illustration on p. 33.

A note below the illustration says that it is part of a hinged games board for chess, trictrac, and Glückshaus. Holländer provides no information regarding the provenance of the board, nor if it is in a private or public collection. However, it is dated to the 18th century.2

The square board shows wood inlay forming a star comprised of eleven fields. Similar to one of the sides of the BNM board R 943, the fields are marked with pairs of dice faces. The pip combinations equal 2-12, and like on the Munich board the pairs are either doubles or a single step apart (1-1, 1-2, 2-2, 2-3 etc.). The lowest numbers are in the triangles (the star’s „rays“, and in clockwise direction the higher numbers follow, spiralling inwards. The central field shows the double-six.

In comparison, the more common board layout for the game of seven (at least in the 17th to 19th centuries) places the 7 in the center, and the 2 and 12 (which potentially have special meanings in the game) on exposed spots at the top and bottom.

Common layout for games of seven, used on several wooden boards from ca. 1600 onwards.

Since the board shown in Holländer’s article is combined with chess and trictrac like most of the boards discussed in my article, it makes sense to assume that it is a board for a game of seven, too, despite the differences.

  1. J. Richter: The Game of Seven: Glückshaus and Related Dice Games. Board Game Studies Journal 13 (2019), 67–97. []
  2. Cf. Holländer, op.cit., footnote 65 on p. 38 []
  3. BNM = Bayerisches Nationalmuseum. The board is described in my paper on the game of seven. []

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