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Published May 22, 2021 Updated January 30, 2022

Multum in Parvo Co., Ltd

Multum in Parvo published a range of indoor games during the period from 1884-1927.

United Kingdom Multum in Parvo Victorian Card Games Add to Collection

Multum in Parvo Company of 7 Water Lane, Ludgate Hill, London, was founded by descendents of Mullord Brothers in 1884. The company published a range of indoor games until 1927, which were supplied wholesale. However, they were not all card games:

Animal Quorum, Auction Game, Birds, Beasts and Fishes, The Bogie Man, The Castle, Chameleon, Consil, The Dockyard or Ship Building at Home, Fairy Tales, Four Flags, Grand Prize, Happy Golliwog, Invasion, Judge & Jury, Koker-Nut Shy, Lifeboats, Merry Families, Money Matters, Music, Musical Dominoes, Nap, Newmarket, Nuhome, Our Fleet, The Poets’ Conversation Cards, Rabbits!, The Rescue, The Roaring Lion, Shop, Shute, Simple Games for Simple Folk, Snap, The Soccer Game, Speculation, Stock Exchange, Tennis, Tommy's Wedding, Touring, Turnover, The Walk to Brighton, Who Buys?, Word Making & Word Taking.

Most games sold for between 6d and one shilling, but miniature packs of playing cards, one penny.

Several of the card games shown below contain the same images, repurposed to fit a different game format, particularly the Merry Families and Snap characters. For example, the same animal caricatures are seen in “Birds, Beasts and Fishes”, “Consil” and “The Improved Game of Snap”.

Birds, Beasts and Fishes

“Birds, Beasts and Fishes” published by Multum in Parvo Ltd from 1884

Above: the Game of Birds, Beasts and Fishes, from 1884,   more

Consil

“Consil” published by Multum in Parvo Ltd, c.1900

Above: “Consil” published by Multum in Parvo Ltd, c.1900,   more

Some of the pictures in the above games were also used in The Improved Game of Snap

Merry Families

At least two different versions of Happy Families are known, one featuring tradespeople, the other occupations, or professions.

Merry Families, from 1884

Above: Merry Families (Trades), from 1884,   more.

Merry Families, c.1890

Above: Merry Families (Occupations), c.1890.   more.

Snap

Snap, c.1890

Above: Snap, c.1890.   more.

Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales, c.1884

Above: the Game of Fairy Tales, c.1884   more

Nap, or the Game of Proverbs

Proverbs, c.1900

Above: Nap, or the Game of Proverbs, c.1900   more

Four Flags

the Game of Four Flags, 1884

Above: the Game of Four Flags, 1884,   more

Who Buys?

Who Buys?, c.1890

Above: Who Buys?, c.1890.   more.

Auction Game

Auction Game, c.1890

Above: Auction Game, c.1890.   more.


CREDITS

All images courtesy Rex Pitts. Thanks to Neil Darbyshire for additional research.

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773 Articles

By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.

His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.

Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.

Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.

His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.


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