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Die Belagerung von Paris = The siege of Paris = La siège de Paris.

Additional Title(s):

Belagerung von Paris

Siege of Paris

Siège de Paris

[Germany?] : [publisher not identified], [1871?]
Physical Description:
1 game (1 gameboard, 58 game pieces) ; in box 26 x 39 x 8 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Flat C 2018 7
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Three-Dimensional Artifacts
BAC: British Art Center copy has a leaf from an unidentified printed book laid in the box. The recto of the leaf is captioned "Rare Plants found in Buckinghamshire" (the leaf is N1 of vol. II, watermarked 1805).
Game representing the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War, 1870-1871.The folding game board (backed with linen) depicts the region of Paris, from St. Denis to Villejuif, and from Nanterre to Villiers. The map includes oversized indications of 16 French forts outside of Paris, including Romainville, Rosny, Nogent, Vincennes, and Mont Valérien. For all 16 forts, the game includes fort pieces pieces made from papier-mâché. The top of each fort bears a small hole, perhaps in which to insert a flag to indicate control of the fort. Also shown prominently on the map is a red band encircling Paris, intended to convey the bounds of the Thiers wall--the last of the defensive walls of Paris, constructed between 1841 and 1844 (under the government of Adolphe Thiers). The Thiers wall is divided into 23 sections, of varying lengths, each of which has a corresponding papier-mâché game piece. The locations of about 50 towns are marked on the map. In the YCBA copy, 15 of the towns are represented with a playing piece (a small, generic townscape printed on paper, and backed with wood). It's possible that the game was issued with pieces for all 50+ towns. Also present are playing pieces representing trains (four in the YCBA copy); these too are illustrated on paper backed with wood. Within the walls of Paris, tiny illustrations are printed on the game board to mark important sights.
The set lacks an indication of maker. For the train lines shown on the game board, however, destination cities outside of France are given in their German form, e.g., Brüssel, Lüttich, and Strassburg. If the game were of French manufacture, it is more likely that these names would have been given as Bruxelles, Liège, and Strasbourg (the last of these was ceded to German in 1871, after the Franco-Prussian War).
The set lacks instructions and it's unclear how a game might have been played (if at all). There are no indications (or pieces) representing the German or French forces.
Issued in a wooden box with sliding lid, the top of which bears the title in three languages (on green paper). The exterior of the box is covered in a patterned black paper.
Subject Terms:
Amusements -- Germany -- 19th century.
Amusements -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Franco-Prussian War, 1870-1871 -- Campaigns -- France.
Games -- Germany -- 19th century.
Games -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Paris (France) -- History -- Siege, 1870-1871.
Paris (France) -- Maps.
Sieges -- France.
War games -- Specimens.
Board games.
Chromolithographs -- 1871.

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