Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Chess and goose game board

late 16th century
India, Gujarat
Ebony, ebonized wood, ivory, green-dyed ivory, horn, gold wire
L. 16 15/16 in. (43.0 cm.); W. 16 1/2 in. (41.9 cm.); Th. 1 1/8 in. (2.9 cm.)
Chess Sets
Credit Line:
Pfeiffer Fund, 1962
Accession Number:
Not on view
This Game of the Goose or Goose game board seems to be the oldest survival of a game firstly mentioned in Italy in 1480. Popular at the Medici court of Florence, it is documented in June 1597 by John Wolfe who attested that the game was played in London. It is thought to be the prototype for many of the commercial European racing board games of recent centuries. The inlay technique of the present board is associated with 16th century Gujarat in North India following a printed Italian design. Such precious objects were highly treasured in Europe. They often served as diplomatic gifts or objects of display in the Kunstkammer. On the reverse, the board is laid out for chess and a non-European form of backgammon.
Liechtenstein ; [ Blumka Gallery , New York, 1962; sold to MMA ]
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