New Game of Genius…, sold for £3000 by Forum Auctions.

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The New Game of Genius, or Compendium of Inventions connected with the Arts, Sciences and Manufactures… A game intended for …the Amusement and Instruction of Youth of both Sexes was one.

It features 36 fine aquatint vignettes around the title and has a central view of a paddle steamer passing beneath a suspension bridge on which an early railway engine is travelling – perhaps the vessel that also appears on the cover of the slipcase into which it folds.

The variety of activities depicted, said Forum, include glass-blowing, a magic lantern, printing, a camera obscura, ballooning, watch-making, a microscope and much more besides.

A book of instructions mentioned on the engraved title wasincluded in the lot, but it nevertheless sold on at a considerably higher than predicted £3000.

American journey


Game of the Star-Spangled Banner, or Emigrants to the United States – £2800 at Forum Auctions.

The Game of the Star-Spangled Banner, or Emigrants to the United States was an even rarer item. Dated to c.1842, it depicts the geography, inhabitants, fauna and flora, buildings and scenes of the central and eastern half of the US.

Dissected and mounted on linen, now a little soiled and lightly spotted, it folds into its original gilt-pictorial cloth folder, which was a little rubbed, stained and lacking ties. The selling price was a double-estimate £2800.