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'Treasure Island' board game

Date: 1920s
Overall: 155 x 382 mm, 0.1 kg
Medium: Cotton, paper, cardboard, coloured inks
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Board game
Object No: 00015488
Place Manufactured:Melbourne

User Terms

    This illustrated board comes from a board game from the 1920s titled 'Treasure Island'. The cover features an image of pirates searching and finding hidden treasure, with inscriptions at the top reading: 'Treasure Island: A table game for two, three or four players'. 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 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 about pirates, permeated cultural activities and entertainment and were cemented in children's imagination as folklore.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: 'Treasure Island' board game

    Primary title: Treasure Island

    Related People
    Publisher: W J Fels

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