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Published April 04, 2024 Updated April 17, 2024

So-Lah – A Game of Music

An early 20th century domino-type musical card game by Goodall.

1904 United Kingdom Goodall Music Card Games Domino-Suited Add to Collection

Although Goodalls were less well known for their card games than De La Rue, they did produce a number of games on a variety of subjects. This musical card game from 1904 is clearly based on dominoes as there are 28 cards (as in a set of dominoes) and there is a miniature domino in the upper left-hand corner of every card. Unfortunately, however, the present example has no rules.

At first glance, the link between the dominoes and the musical notation is not obvious. On closer inspection, the bass clef represents a blank domino while the treble clef indicates a double. Thereafter, the number of pips on each domino is represented by a corresponding number of musical notes (of differing value) on a stave. The note values are named the first time they appear (semibreve, minim, etc.). The maroon and gold backs feature a large treble clef, a cherub playing a stringed instrument and a scroll of music.

So-Lah – A Game of Music domino cards made by Goodall & Son Ltd, London, UK, 1904 So-Lah – A Game of Music domino cards made by Goodall & Son Ltd, London, UK, 1904 So-Lah – A Game of Music domino cards made by Goodall & Son Ltd, London, UK, 1904
So-Lah – A Game of Music domino cards made by Goodall & Son Ltd, London, UK, 1904
So-Lah – A Game of Music domino cards made by Goodall & Son Ltd, London, UK, 1904

Above: So-Lah – A Game of Music domino cards made by Goodall & Son Ltd, London, UK, 1904. 28 cards in maroon and gold telescopic box. Size: 45 x 77 mm.

The backs feature a large treble clef, a cherub playing a stringed instrument and a scroll of music in gold against black or red. The writing on the box is difficult to see and has come out on the scan looking silver in colour when it is in fact gold.

See the box

References & Acknowledgements

Goodall, Michael H. Goodall’s Playing Cards – The Family and the Firm 1820-1922. p.41.

Scans of the rules booklet (shown below) and second (black) back design kindly contributed by Chris Rayner.


So-Lah – A Game of Music domino cards made by Goodall & Son Ltd, London, UK, 1904
So-Lah – A Game of Music domino cards made by Goodall & Son Ltd, London, UK, 1904

So-Lah – A Game of Music domino cards made by Goodall & Son Ltd, London, UK, 1904

Above: scans of the rules booklet and second back design kindly contributed by Chris Rayner.

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By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.


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