In my last post before the London International Antiquarian Book Fair next week, I want to share a rather delightful Victorian children’s game, which using rebuses (see my earlier post for something similar from the eighteenth century) and fractions to help teach the cities of the world:
The cards are grouped in pairs: one is headed ‘Capital of x’, with a rebus beneath to help the child work out the answer. For example, the clues for ‘Capital of England’ are: ‘Two thirds of a [picture of a LOG]’, ‘Half an [picture of a HAND]’, ‘Two Fifths of an [picture of an ONION]’. The ‘Capital of America’ is ‘Four Elevenths of a [picture of a WASHERWOMAN]’, ‘Three Fourths of a [picture of a RING]’, ‘Half a [picture of a TONGUE]’. The card with the correct answer is then placed below to form a completed picture illustrative of the city.
The cities featured are: London, Dublin, Paris, Berlin, Dresden, Vienna, Rome, Madrid, Lisbon, Bergen, Warsaw, Moscow, Washington, Quebec, Cairo, Teheran, Suez, Calcutta, Kandy (Sri Lanka), Pekin, Edo (Japan), and Ava (Burma), and the whole is preserved in its original box:
We all look forward to some ‘capital fun’ at Olympia next week!