Here’s another one of my prints from my show ‘Compendium’. This one’s a game called Bachelor’s Kitchen – instructions on how to play are shown below! I like the idea that the penguins have gone on a stag night and gone a bit silly after too many Dubonnets.
Source: ‘Three Hundred and One Things a Bright Girl Can Do’, Jean Stewart, Sampson Low, Marston & Co, 1904
The girls sit in a row, with the exception of one, who goes in succession to each girl and asks her what she will give to the bachelor’s kitchen. Each answers what she pleases, such as a rolling pin or a warming pan.
When all have replied, the questioner returns to the first girl, and puts all sorts of questions, which must be answered by the article which she before gave to the kitchen, and by no other word. For instance, she asks, “What do you wear on your head?” “Mouse trap”. The object is to make the answerer laugh, and she is asked a number of questions until she either laughs or is given up as a hard subject.
The questioner then passes to the next girl, and so on. Those who laugh must pay a forfeit.
I thought it was time I showed some of the work from my current show at The Old Sweet Shop. This print is called ‘Winking’, and the game that inspired it is from ‘Home Games and Amusements’, a Daily Express Publication from the 1930s. This is how you play:
For this game a number of chairs are placed in a circle, sufficient being provided to supply a seat each for the ladies, and one being left over, which is vacant.
The gentlemen then take up their positions, one behind each chair, including the vacant one. The game consists in this gentleman’s trying to fill his vacant chair, which he does by winking at one of the ladies. The lady thus challenged must do her best to leave her seat and fill the vacant one, while the gentleman standing behind her must do his best to prevent her by holding her down in the chair.
The best policy for the gentleman with the vacant chair is to gaze all round the circle, and then suddenly try to catch the eye of one of the ladies when her partner is not looking.
When the ladies have become tired of scurrying back and forth, it becomes the turn of the gentlemen to fill the chairs.
I would love to hear if anyone has ever tried it! Some people visiting the exhibition have.
I will post more of the games prints soon – there is a set of nine. The exhibition is on until October 31st.
I’ve been wielding my scalpel to cut out chairs for one of the images for my exhibition at The Old Sweet Shop next month. It’s for an illustration of a game called ‘winking’ – a sort of Victorian parlour game.
I’ve designed and made a set of badges in a bag ready for a giant game of Eels Out! with the families from Liberty School at the London Voices workshop next week with the National Trust at Morden Hall Park. The creatures on the badges are all found in or around the river Wandle.