Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
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Dimensions (inches): 17.5" x 17.5" x .75"
Parcheesi game board, painted on a wooden plank with applied, molded trim. Rendered in red, white, and cheddar yellow, this is one of a group of known, 19th century game boards thought to hail from New England, that were either made in a cottage industry setting or by an independent craftsman. I have collectively termed them “snowflake boards,”, due to the white, 6-pointed or 5-pointed, snowflake-like stars (6-pointed in this instance) that appear in its center, and a preponderance of polka dots that add to the overall effect.

I have been privileged to own six other boards from this maker over the years, including one in deep, burgundy red and smaller than the others, two in orange, two in yellow, and one other in cheddar yellow. No two are the same. All have custom layouts on the same basic theme, though with a range of corner elements. Some have stars with 5 points, while others, like this example, display them with 6 points. All of the boards are two-sided, with a grid of checkers on the reverse.

It is very likely that the maker of these game boards also made other wooden items that he or she painted in like fashion. I suspect that the person’s primary employment was as a carriage or sign painter, probably the former, and that their income was supplemented by supplying these to toy shops and perhaps dry goods stores. Whatever the case may be, they are unusual and whimsical, academically intriguing, and a terrific addition to any advanced game board collection.

Condition: I added the brass ring, which dates to the period between approximately 1820 and 1840. The burgundy red spaces had experienced uneven fading. I was able to restore their appearance with a light application of stain that I padded off, before saturating and sealing the surface. This was very successful. No paint of any kind was added. The red dots are untouched. There is minor wear, there are a couple of small chips and there is very minor paint loss on the front, in limited areas. There is a bit more of the same on the reverse, where there are also a few tiny nail holes. There is an alligator hanger on the reverse, so that the board can instead be hung diagonally.
Primary Color: cheddar yellow, orange, burgundy red
Earliest Date: 1885
Latest Date: 1890
For Sale Status: Available
Price $3,800
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