A race to the gold diggings

c 1855

Australian National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum

This board game was made in England during the decade of the Australian gold rushes. It consists of a board made from a hand coloured lithographic sheet mounted on linen, a metal playing token, a rules list from a woodcut print and an illustrated varnished container. Depicted on the board game is the route from England to Australia including the key landmarks of Batavia, Mauritius, Madagascar and the Cape of Good Hope. While in the centre is a portrayal of miners easily extracting chunks of gold.

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  • Title: A race to the gold diggings
  • Date: c 1855
  • Type: Board game
  • Significance: This game highlights the preoccupation with gold prevalent in America, England and Australia during the 1850s. The gold rush generated a sense of excitement, adventure and wealth that even permeated down to the production of children's board games. This is the earliest known game that is entirely devoted to Australia.
  • See institution's online collections: http://www.anmm.gov.au/collections
  • Medium: Ink on linen with wooden box and lead tokens
  • Credit line: ANMM Collection


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