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Rare Mexican Version of the Game of Goose

Mexican edition of the Game of Goose, published in Mexico City by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo.

The gameboard shows 63 numbered spaces, or "casillas," each illustrated with people, birds, animals, and objects, arranged in a spiral toward the center. The four corners, outside the game, show scenes of children playing outdoors. Instructions for playing the game are in the center of the spiral.

The first "juego de la oca" games appeared in 1880, although they are based on a much older game known as the Game of Goose. Of Italian origin, James Wolfe registered a version of the game at the Stationers Hall, London in 1597 and the Graz Museum has a stone-engraved edition dated 1589. Derivatives were popular in the French court by the beginning of the seventeenth century. By the nineteenth century, the Game of Goose was no longer an elite pastime for adults, but a more popular game targeted at children (Parlett, 97-8).

Board games such as these were common in the nineteenth-century. Thanks to the Industrial Revolution and the globalization of trade, more workers could afford leisure time and activities, including table top games like this.

Antonio Vanegas Arroyo (1850-1917) was a famous printer and editor in nineteenth century Mexico. He edited periodicals, poems, prose, and other ephemera. He started his business in 1880. Among others, he published the work of engraver José Guadalupe Posada, who popularized the Mexican icon of La Catrina.

David Parlett, The Oxford History of Board Games (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 97-8.