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Race to the Gold Diggings board game

Object type
Board games

Object number
2006.0091.0001

Description
A boxed board game titled, "Race to the Gold Diggings" which contains; a hand coloured lithographic playing board made of eight paper sections mounted on linen, a polygonal twelve sided teetotum or spinning dice (possibly made of bone or ivory?) numbered in red and black inks, three small painted metal, (possibly a tin alloy?) playing pieces in the shape of British tall ships, a single small, printed waxed paper rule sheet for the playing of the "Voyage to the Gold Diggings" game, housed within a handmade varnished wooden box complete with an illustrated sliding lid bearing a coloured lithographic print showing the ships "Passing the Cape of Good Hope".

Collection name
Race to the Gold Diggings Board Game collection

Collection statement of significance
The 'Race to the Gold Diggings of Australia' board game' collection consists of a nineteenth century game of chance relating to the Australian gold rushes. It includes a hand coloured lithographed sheet, 490 x 330 mm., in eight sections, mounted on linen, accompanied by a printed rule card (dusted and stained on verso), three (of six) painted metal ship counters, and ivory teetotum numbered to 12 in red & black; contained in its original painted wooden case with an illustrated sliding lid (the lid neatly mended), 190 x 145 mm., showing the ships "Passing the Cape of Good Hope"; overall in very good original condition. London, circa, 1855 .

The discovery of gold in Australia in 1851 had a massive impact on the way Britain imagined the colonies. Gold shifted the perception of the colonies from a back-water to a land of promise and potential for the individual and society. The lure of gold spread widely and captured popular imagination across class, gender and age. Accounts and depictions of the gold rush became readily available to an Imperial audience. 'Race to the Gold Diggings of Australia' is an excellent example of this impact as it shows how the Gold Rush was brought into the lives of middle class children through play.

Materials
Wood, Paper, Textile - non specific, Metal - non specific, Organic material - non specific

Dimensions
Length: 190mm
Width: 145mm
Height: 58mm



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