Uncovering Cupid: two hitherto unseen or unknown editions of The Royal Pastime of Cupid, Or New and Most Pleasant Game of the Snake, published by Robert Sayer and Henry Overton

Duggan, Eddie (2019) Uncovering Cupid: two hitherto unseen or unknown editions of The Royal Pastime of Cupid, Or New and Most Pleasant Game of the Snake, published by Robert Sayer and Henry Overton. In: XXII Annual International Board Game Studies Colloquium, 7–10 May 2019, Alma Mater Studium, University of Bologna.

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Abstract

Literature related to The Royal Pastime of Cupid alludes to an edition published by Robert Sayer in the 1770s. The Victoria & Albert Museum holds a copy of the game printed in London by R. H. Laurie, c. 1850. The V&A website offers:

An edition of the Game of the Snake (an adaptation of the Game of the Goose) is known to have been issued by Robert Sayer about 1750. Robert Laurie and James Whittle succeeded Sayer at his premises at 53 Fleet Street in 1794 and were in turn succeeded by R. H. Laurie in 1813; it would appear that the [print] is an impression from the original plate with altered lettering. (V&A Online <http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O26286/>).

Similarly, Caroline Goodfellow suggests Laurie’s print “may have been taken from a mid-18th century plate produced for Robert Sayer” (Goodfellow 1991, p. 18). It appears to be assumed that, because Sayer’s stock passed to his assistants, Robert Laurie and James Whittle, Laurie & Whittle’s 1794 edition of the game, and R. H. Laurie’s 1850 edition, were struck from Sayer’s plate. However, a recent discovery by the author shows this assumption is unfounded. This presentation will show Robert Sayer’s “peasant dance” edition of Cupid, thereby demonstrating Laurie & Whittle’s edition uses a unique design not printed from Sayer’s plate.
A second discovery by the author has unearthed another “peasant dance” edition of the Royal Pastime of Cupid published from an address associated with the Overton family. The presentation will also briefly review the various locations of the White Horse and several Overton catalogues to suggest this edition was published by Henry Overton c. 1717.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: board games, games, Henry Overton, Robert Sayer
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: Eddie Duggan
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2020 09:17
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2020 09:17
URI: http://oars.uos.ac.uk/id/eprint/1170

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