hist-games: Re: Dominos; Cards

Jeff Singman jsingman at umich.edu
Sat Jul 19 09:30:12 PDT 1997

> I'd be interested in historical references on Dominos, and suggested 
> games...  Any thoughts ?
I did look into this a bit a while back, & the evidence suggested that the
game dated to the 18 or 19c (I can't remember precisely). A single domino
was found with the Mary Rose wreckage (early 16c), but it seems likely to
have found its way there much later. On the whole, there is so much
evidence for games in the 16c and 17c that I doubt dominos could have
existed and escaped the record.
  On a different topic, I have been searching over the years for a decent
deck of cards suitable to 16 or 17c use. One outfit in Texas produces
rather a handsome deck, but it is spoilt by the presence of numbers and a
back-pattern, both obtrusively inappropriate for a deck of the period. I
usually end up using an 18c repro--but have to leave out the Ace of spades
since it includes the name of King George--obviously not a great option
either! Does anyone know of any decent alternatives? Also, where would one
go to obtain sulphur? Apparently old card decks were cut up and dipped in
sulphur to make matches, & I am interested in experimenting with the

Jeffrey L. Singman
Middle English Dictionary

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