hist-games: Re: Dice

Michael Burridge shyft at hotmail.com
Thu Mar 4 09:00:52 PST 1999

>Dice were made of most anything.  Surviving examples of Jet (Viking, in
>Yorvik), gold/silver (Mary Queen of Scot's Backgammon dice, specially 
>to match with a gold and silver backgammon board), ivory, bone, horn,
>bronze (Roman), and other materials.  I have seen _no_ surviving wooden
>dice, but I am virtually certain they existed.  Small wooden artifacts
>would not survive hundreds of years of weathering very well. 
>Dice never had numbers.  I haven't seen any examples with numbers, not
>one.  They all had pips.  Pips are usually of the "dot and ring" 
>some Roman examples were dot-and-double-ring.  It is trivial to make a
>tool that will drill out dot-and-ring or dot-and-double-ring designs 
>done it myself with a flattened nail and a file).

  I'm afraid that I don't quite understand what you mean by "dot and 
ring."  Could you give me a further discription of these pips so that I 
might try making them myself?  For instance, how would I use the 
flattened nail and file?   I'm kinda assuming the pips are to be colored 
in - but how should I go about doing this?
  (Also, how widely did the size of dice vary?  What length would you 
recommend I make the sides for a good "general medieval" die?  Any other 
die construction tips?)  

  Many thanks for sharing your knowledge, 

  Deryk Griffyn
  Seneschal to the College of Ice Valley

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