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Other Playing Card Games

1935? "The Game of Aesop." Seventeen pairs of cards (text and illustration, respectively), lettered alike A through Q, and one odd card with a picture of Aesop (right). Artcraft? $27 from Karen Kropas, Weymouth, MA, through Ebay, Jan., '00.

The text-cards have plain light backing, while the picture-cards have a brown backing. The illustrations are simple and enjoyable. The human face of the lion on "D" is a clue that the illustrations are done after the work of an early artist. The fox on "M" only looks at the grapes. A text card explaining the game is the companion to the card bearing Aesop's portrait. The texts do not seem to come from a version I am aware of. The point of the game is for each contestant to get the most matches between text and picture. The image of "I" has a corner torn off, and the texts of "O" and "Q" show a crease. The cards came with a standard deck of Artcraft cards in an Artcraft box. Who knows whether they are really from Artcraft?!

To view the cards, click on the Aesop card.

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1940? "The Game of Aesop." Boxed as "Aesop" from Milton Bradley Company. Seventeen pairs of cards (text and illustration, respectively), lettered alike A through Q, and one odd card with a picture of Aesop. Springfield, MA: Milton Bradley Co. $31 from Eclectibles, Tolland, CT, through Ebay, Oct., '00.

These cards are identical in print and image with those from the Artcraft (?) "The Game of Aesop" with several modifications. Here the backing of each card is orange-brown, and the ink used for both text and image is brown. And this set comes in a beautiful, if very well used, box giving the game the simpler name "Aesop."

To view the cards (the same as above), click on the box.

Milton Bradley Aesop Game Playing Cards2.jpg (40355 bytes)

1986. "Fables." Learn As You Play. Illustrations by Gesine Mahoney. Fax-Pax. Great Britain. Gift of Wendy Wright, June, '93, of Mary Pat Ryan, Oct., '93, of Amy Drake, Dec., '93, and of Maryanne Rouse, Jan., '94. Two extra sets for $6.75 each at Puzzle Box, Milwaukee, Dec., '90.

Thirty-six cards, each with a fable printed on one side and a titled colored picture on the other. The style of the illustrations is soft and cute. How one "plays" is not clear. The best illustrations include: "The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing," "The Trees and the Axe," and "The Stork and the Farmer." The lion has not bad breath but the smell of a skunk from a fight. WC adds a phase: "You only saved me for a reward." The spilt milk is kicked over by a cow; the point is that tomorrow is another day. The FS illustration misses the point by having the fox serve solid chunks of food on plates. The cards' packaging changes slightly in the new edition, apparently from 1989.

1989 "Deutsche Tierfabeln: Quartettspiel für Kinder von 10 Jahren an." Auswahl und Text: Karlheinz Rahn. Gestaltung: Sigrid Geisler. Pössneck: Verlag für Lehrmittel. Gift of Herrn von Fuchs, July, 98. One extra partial copy.

There are eight "quartets," each presenting the fables of one animal family: fox, wolf, lion, bear, hare, horse, ass, and birds. There are also two cards listing the eight quartets and each card within the quartet. There is also a booklet of the texts that accompany the thirty-two fable pictures here. I imagine the game could be played like our "Authors." The colored illustrations are naïve and lively. My favorites include "Der Tanzbär," "Die mutlosen Hasen," and "Das Kutschpferd." This gift is especially treasured because it comes from the old German Democratic Republic.

1992? "Reineke Fuchs." 32 plastic-coated cards featuring a backing, numbering system, Kaulbach image, and two or three lines from Goethe's text. Gift of Herrn von Fuchs, July, '98. One extra partial copy.

There are eight "quartets," each presenting a phase of Reynard's story. The numbering system assigns a numeral in a circle within the black-and-white image on each page for the quartet—from "1" to "8." Above this, outside the image, is a set of from one to four symbols like asterisks. So each card is unique: the second card, e.g., of the fifth quartet. The backing of each card presents the same set of six fox images in a checkerboard pattern balancing light and shadow. I believe that Herr von Fuchs arranged for the production of these lovely laminated cards himself. I am sorry that my favorite image of the cat attacking the local priest is not here. Perhaps the most graphic of the cards here is the third card of the sixth quartet, in which the severed head of the rabbit is brought forth from the wallet.