hist-games: Long Lawrence - size and techniques

Peter Michaelsen PMI at KM.DK
Thu May 17 15:56:20 PDT 2007

Dear Jon,

The Lang Laurence as well as the similar Danish/North German stick dice used for "put-and-take"-games were wooden.
According to Easther a L.L. is about three inches long. In Stewart Culin: Chess and playing cards, Washington 1898, there is a reproduced L.L., which is 7,5 cm long, as well as a 7 cm long octogonal 'Log' made of ivory. (Cat.No.7134, Museum of Archeology, Univ.of Pennsylvania).
The Danish dice sticks varied in size: the smallest were less than 15 mm thick and 40 mm long, while the largest measured some 25 mm in width and 125 mm in length. The average size was probably approximately 20 by 50 or 60 mm. They were normally prismatic, but could have rounded corners.
There were several techniques of using these dice sticks. They were thrown up into the air, rolled upon a board, rolled between two hands, and sometimes one pushed upon the edge of them with the finger tip, causing them to roll.
The similar dice tops were of course turned around.
The dice sticks used in outdoor games, where you hit them with a long stick, were typically 10-12 cm long and 15-30 mm wide.
One or both ends were often sharpened and more or less pyramidal.

Best wishes,

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