Card Game - Happy Families, 1860-1900 Object Reg. No: SH 991056

Box of playing cards manufactured in London by John Jaques & Son. The game forms part of the Australian Children's Folklore Collection (ACFC).

The ACFC is unique in Australia, documenting contemporary children's folklore across Australia and in other countries reaching back to the 1870s. The Collection has a strong component of research material relating to Victoria.

Happy Families is a traditional card game played in the UK, usually with a specially made set of picture cards, featuring illustrations of fictional families of four, most often based on occupation types. The idea of the game is to collect whole families. This is done by asking another player whether they have a certain card. If they don`t have it, it is their turn to ask. If they do, they have to pass it to the first player, who can ask again. Play continues until a player matches all of his or her cards into family groups. The game can adapted for use with an ordinary set of playing cards.

The game was devised by John Jaques II, who is also credited with inventing tiddlywinks, ludo and snakes and ladders, and was first published before the Great Exhibition of 1851. Cards following Jaques's original designs, with wonderfully grotesque illustrations possibly by Sir John Tenniel (there was no official credit), are still being made.
Orange cardboard box with pink cardbaord box inside, containing forty-eight printed colour cards. Each card is printed with a caricature.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from National Trust of Australia (Victoria), 1999
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 30 mm (Height), 72 mm (Width), 106 mm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: children s folklore, children s play, games, wheeling, making history - australian childrens folklore
Themes this item is part of: Childhood & Youth Collection, Australian Children's Folklore Collection, Domestic & Community Life Collection, Leisure Collection, Objects & Cultural Stereotypes in Museum Victoria Collections
Primary Classification: GAMES & TOYS
Secondary Classification: Card Games
Tertiary Classification: chance
Inscriptions: Box contains black ink on orange background. Front contains following text: 'HAPPY FAMILIES. The Old Original Game. Consisting of forty-eight Cards of Grotesque Characters. Beautifully Printed in Colours. JOHN JAQUES & SON, Ltd., 20/21, Kirby Street'. Rear contains following text: 'JAQUES' GAMES. On Spec, a new Card Game. Sam, a new Game. Snap. Spelka, the Great Word Game. Who Knows? a Game of Questions and Answers. Wheeling, a Game for Cyclists. Ascot, the Great Horse Racing Game. JOHN JAQUES & SON, Ltd., 20/21, Kirby Street, Hatton Garden, London.'
Manufacturer: John Jaques & Son Ltd
Place Manufactured: Hatton Garden, London, England, Great Britain
Date Made: 1860-1900


David Witts Posted on 19 Oct 2013 8:41 AM
1884 or later (Kirby Street address); also 48 cards vs. the original 44. When the game was actually invented seems to be anywhere in a 30 year timeframe (1851-1880ish) depending on whose information one goes by. Further research required! :)
Best wishes, David.

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