Playing for peace and territorial sovereignty

By DU VAL, Pierre, 1660 
£5,000

Le Jeu des François et des Espagnols pour la Paix Par P.D.V. G.D.R. Avec privil. du Roy pour 20 ans, 1660.

Europe France
  • Author: DU VAL, Pierre
  • Publication place: Paris
  • Publisher: Antoine de Fer
  • Publication date: 1660.
  • Physical description: Engraved map, some light foxing to margins.
  • Dimensions: 400 by 490mm (15.75 by 19.25 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 12614

Notes

Rare geographic game of the Franco-Spanish War (1635–1659).

The game consists of 26 ovals, each labelled with a date between 1635 until the peace treaty of 1660. Each oval is divided in half: the left half details the progress made by the French in that year, and the right half details the progress made by the Spanish. On the right hand side of the board is a list of rules, outlining the various penalties or prizes for landing on certain ovals. It is a game for up to four players with two dice, and each player has to put up their stake before joining the game. The object is to be the first to land on the final oval of 1660 with an exact throw of the dice.

Rare. We are able to trace only two institutional examples: in the British Library (a later state dated 1705); and an example in the BNF.

Pierre du Val (1619–1683) was the nephew of the great French geographer Nicolas Sanson. His father was a merchant but he followed in his uncle’s footsteps, becoming a mapmaker, and was eventually appointed geographer to the King. He specialised in geographical games, often with this spiral race format, inspired by early board games like the Game of the Goose.