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'Treasure Island' board game

Date: c 1910
Overall: 255 x 385 mm, 3 mm, 0.1 kg
Medium: Ink on paper, cotton, card
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Board game
Object No: 00018450
Place Manufactured:Melbourne

User Terms

    This illustrated board game features an illustration of the ocean with the words 'Treasure Island' emblazoned above. Inside a round yellow border adjoining the title is an image of a pirate with a cutlass. Players are required to search for pirate treasure with the aim of avoiding any obstacles encountered and eventually returning home to port.
    SignificanceThe inspiration behind this board game appears to have come from one of the most popular adventure stories of children's literature. 'Treasure Island' was written by Robert Louis Stevenson and first published in 1883. This board game displays not only a cultural preoccupation with a widely popular text and subject matter, it also reveals a popular medium for children's entertainment which flourished before World War II.
    HistoryBoard games were particularly widely distributed before World War II, before the advent and popularisation of television. Manufacturers across Australia often created individual designs for each board game which resulted in highly detailed pieces that became artworks in their own right. They were often used for educational purposes and provided an engaging storytelling exercise for children. The vibrant nature of these board games conveys a long history of fascination surrounding maritime adventure and exploration. They illustrate how maritime themes and history, especially pirates, permeated cultural activities and entertainment and were cemented in childrens' imagination as folklore.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Board game Treasure Island

    Web title: 'Treasure Island' board game

    Related People
    Printer: R G Nall
    Publisher: W J Fells

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