The Royal County Arbiter

24 November 2005

Museum of Childhood - pt.3

One of the highlights of our trip to the Museum of Childhood was a card game, probably from the first half of the twentieth century, called The Great Galumphus – An Amusing Round Game of Cards.

Title card (Great Galumphus), Puttyfaced Popcat, Painted Pooh Pooh.

(clockwise) Title card, Puttyfaced Popcat, Painted Pooh Pooh.

Unfortunately, neither the aim nor the rules of the game were on display, but the artwork speaks for itself. The cards were designed by Miss J. Veal, and were published by J. Jaques & Son Ltd., the oldest sports and games manufacturer in the world. J. Jaques & Son has been handed down from father to son for 200 years, over seven generations.

Hairless Hunkum, Long-Eared Scootler, Spotted Snifflegrub.

(clockwise) Hairless Hunkum, Long-Eared Scootler, Spotted Snifflegrub.

In the early 1800s alone, John Jaques II invented Happy Families, Ludo, Tiddlywinks and Snakes & Ladders. A company history can be found here. The Jaques family lacked the vision and imagination, however, to create anything as striking as Miss Veal’s beautifully-named creatures.

Lunar Lumpkin, Cissling Sand Snapper, Flying Umbratunk.

(clockwise) Lunar Lumpkin, Cissling Sand Snapper, Flying Umbratunk.

A trawl through the internet sadly revealed no trace of either the Great Galumphus or Miss J. Veal. If anyone can throw further light on the woman and her work, we would be grateful and excited.

To see such an unusual and charming set of characters making their way onto the production line of the world’s oldest games manufacturer is a real treat, even if this took place more than a hundred years ago. Perhaps more importantly, these cards have provided the Royal County Arbiter with a wonderful new lexicon of abuse. Isn’t that right, Myrtle, you puttyfaced popcat?

More from the Museum: pt.1 | pt.2 | pt.4 | pt.5


Blogger Myrtle Peacock:

You're nothing but a hairless hunkum and you know it, Lazyhour!

9:35 pm  
Blogger Darrell:

I wonder if there'd be any publisher interested in either reprinting the cards or compiling a book of them?

Compare these dazzlingly witty inventions and illustrations to the charmless homogenised tosh of 'Ricky Gervais's Flanimals' - and that gets into the bestseller charts!

10:05 pm  
Blogger pinklefish:

Miss Veal was Mr. Gervais's Grandmother.


10:33 pm  
Blogger ben:

I am crying.

Not good crying.

I hate you Ricky Gervais.

12:55 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home