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Rare Game Map of South America

Title
Wallis's New Game of Wanderers in the Wilderness.
Author
WALLIS, Edward
Publisher
Edward Wallis, 42 Skinner Street,
Publication place
London,
Publication date
[c1844].
Dimensions
680 by 500mm. (26.75 by 19.75 inches).
Price
£4,500
Reference
11488

Description

Engraved map with aquatint, dissected and mounted on linen, fine original hand-colour.

Notes

This scarce and beautiful instructional game was to be played as a lotto, each player moving around the finely detailed map which is crowded with vignettes of South American life and wildlife. The game aims to teach an English audience about Latin America.

The game starts at Demarara, one of the three colonies that made up British Guiana. The intrepid traveller is welcomed by the local plantation owner. He offers the player a tour of this estate where he employs "about two hundred negroes, who were formerly slaves, but I now pay them a regular wage; and find I am a gainer from the abolition of the old system". He goes on to state the clothing that should be worn: no shoes or stockings are needed as you will find "no burning sands as in Africa" and "rocks are rare". "A hat, a shirt and a pair of light trousers, will be all the clothing you will require". Two native Indians will be the venturer's guide and by the use of their deadly blow-pipes and arrows will provide him with "feathered game, venison, and wild pork, or beef" and defend him from the "treacherous Couguar or more ferocious and powerful Jaguar".

Throughout his journey, the traveller has to content with, and marvel at, many of the natural wonders of the continent, including: the Coulacanara (16) who had just "dined off a stag, the horns of which are sticking out of his mouth"; Vampire Bats (64) that "attack travellers sleeping in the woods at night, and suck their blood, though without causing any pain. The effects have been however much exaggerated, as they have never known to produce death"; and (77) "the Indians bring the monkey they have shot, we will boil and have him for our dinner with some Cassava bread. His flesh is like kid, but the appearance of the dish is not prepossessing, it looks so much like a child".