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Counties of England

Jaques’ Counties of England card game.

Jaques' Games established 1795 Jaques' Counties of England box, c.1880

Above: antique boxed set of 'Counties of England' card game containing three different series. London is described as having a population of 3 million. Image courtesy Linda Brown.

Jaques’ Counties of England
a geographical game.

Jaques' logo

Jaques' Counties of England geographical card game was published in four series and in several editions. The idea of the game is similar to Happy Families, i.e. to win by completing the highest number of sets, as shown by the Key Cards. The design of the cards and boxes was revised over the years, and the factual information printed on each card (historical facts, population, principal industries, etc) was updated to keep up with progress and new industrial developments. The game was outstanding for its instructive and educational value.

1st Series - Northern Counties

Jaques' Counties of England, c.1880

Above: Jaques’ Counties of England card game, c.1880, 61 cards + rule card. Jaques introduced the game in 1866 and it continued to be published well into the 20th century. The original price of each set was 1 shilling & 6 pence. They were manufactured by printing wood engravings on a large sheet of paper which was then pasted onto card and cut. Occasionally one can see where poor cutting trimmed the illustrations.

Jaques’ Counties of England, c.1900

Counties of England 4th Series

Above: Jaques' Counties of England card game, 1st Series (Northern Counties), published c.1900 with different typography and some updated facts. In some versions of this edition, the corners of the cards are rounded. The set also contains The Rules

See also:  Jaques' Happy Families   Illustrated Proverbs   The London Post   The Entente Cordiale   The National Gallery

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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