J. W. Spear and Sons: ‘Zoology’

In the 19th century numerous professional and amateur artists were engaged illustrating zoological, botanical and other scientific subjects. Interesting specimens were obtained from overseas and people had a passion for natural history. Zoology quartet games became popular during the Victorian and Edwardian eras and many fine lithographed sets of animal images were published to engage children’s imagination.

J. W. Spear and Sons’ Zoology quartet game is a lesson in animal identification, with a total of 60 different species illustrated and classified under fifteen headings: Apes, Beasts of Prey, Beetles, Birds, Cats, Cattle, Deer, Dogs, Fish, Lizards, Pachyderms, Rodents, Ruminants, Serpents and Ungulates. As in most quartet games the idea is to collect sets of the same type, or ‘family’, but at the same time educational benefits are imparted through learning to recognise the different types of animal.

‘Zoology’ card game published by J. W. Spear and Sons, c.1910

Above: ‘Zoology’ card game published by J. W. Spear and Sons, London, c.1910. 60 cards, chromolithography, manufactured at the Spear Works Bavaria. Images courtesy Richard Strand.

German Zoology Game - maker unidentified

Zoological card game, anonymous late 19th century Zoological card game, anonymous late 19th century

Above: unidentified German pack featuring animals which may well be called ‘Zoology’, probably late 19th century.

Last Updated December 17, 2021 at 09:58am


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