Late Victorian children’s games are often examples of the best of the printer’s and artist’s craft, with gorgeous full colour playing pieces. The late Victorian era was also the height of Empire and pride in the nation and its armed forces was never higher. It is perhaps unsurprising then that the British Army was a popular source of inspiration for these games. Today we are looking at a card game from the 1880s or 1890s called “On Guard” that features some beautiful cards:
The cards represent a number of different regiments, with each unit having a pair of cards illustrating both the officers and men of these units. The cards are also divided into the infantry, cavalry and the corps, Engineers and Artillery. There is also a single Staff card:
Sadly I don’t have a full set of cards, however the cards that are here are still a worthy addition to the collection as each is a miniature work of art. Note also how the backgrounds of the cards match up to make a single scene. They were produced by the company of J Jacques & Son of Hatton Garden, London. The cards originally came in a small box with a set of rules and I was lucky enough to find a scan of these rules online that show how you should play the game:
Late Victorian finds are not common and I don’t have many in my collection so this is a nice addition and visually very impressive.