hist-games: FW: Bowling pins

Thierry Depaulis thierry.depaulis at freesbee.fr
Sun Jan 2 09:39:47 PST 2000

>-----Original Message-----
>Can anyone on the hist-games list help Joan out with her bowling pin
>Michael McKay (known in the SCA as Seaan McAy)
>seaan at concentric.net  (or hist-games-owner at pbm.com)
>From: Manas13 at aol.com [mailto:Manas13 at aol.com]
>Sent: Friday, December 31, 1999 1:49 PM
>To: Owner-hist-games at pbm.com
>Subject: Bowling pins
>We have some 37" wooden  bowling pins with the following words inscribed in
>them and was wondering if you could give us any information as to how old,
>origin, name of game, etc.  Half way up the pin it flairs out to a round
>section about 7" in diameter with five rolls of nail heads.  Inscribed  on
>the pin are the following words:  Gde Fabrique, DeQilles, Navarron,
>  Also there is a wooden ball with a hand carved grip that we assume you
>either throw or roll.  We could send pictures if that would be any help.
>Thank you,

I suppose you have the kind of long pins (37" = 0.94 m?) that are used for
the game known in Bearn (South-West of France) as "quilles de neuf"
(ninepins!). According to the official rules the standard height should be
0.96 m. The nailed flare ("ventre" or "pomme") is typical of that sort of

I think I can reconstruct the original wording:
"G[ran]de Fabrique de Quilles Navarron - Morlanne" (Navarron's Great Pin
Factory, at Morlanne)
Morlanne is a village near Pau (France, department Pyrenees-Atlantiques)
where the pins have been manufactured.
According to Lin Kessler, La Quille Vivante, (Paris), nd. (1983), the
Navarrons were pin makers in Morlanne from 1892 to 1976. (More precisely:
Marcellin Navarron 1892-1921, then Pierre Navarron 1921-1976.) It seems
that Pierre Navarron exported his pins... worldwide! At least to Morocco
and... to the USA!

I saw the game played in a village very near Morlanne about 30 years ago.
It was played in a sort of square wooden cabin, and it was very impressive.
It is a rather athletic game since the bowl is very heavy.

Thierry Depaulis

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