Nürnberg: P.W. Schwarz, circa 1805. Game board, measuring 14 x 11.25 inches unfolded. Hand-colored engraving, measuring 13.5 x 10.5 inches, mounted on block-printed paper-covered board, partially dissected, folding to 7 x 5.75 inches. Rules of play printed at foot of sheet; series number (“No. 60”) at lower left, imprint at lower right. Minor wear to center fold of sheet, light toning, occasional faint smudge.
Unlocated hand-colored board game by German engraver Paul Wolfgang Schwarz (1766-1815), featuring four central vignettes representing the four elements: a boy flying a kite for “air,” a blacksmith at his anvil for “fire,” a woman harvesting wheat for “earth,” and a fisherman with his net for “water.” This centerpiece is surrounded by twelve smaller illustrated spaces on the game board, each with instructions to the players, who roll dice to move around the board. The delicately painted images include a soldier firing a cannon, a gravedigger, a bird-catcher, a hot-air balloon, a carousing drinker, and a pair of spectacles, which the player must wear until someone else lands on that spot. Text in German. A scarce and beautiful survival, apparently unrecorded, at the intersection of popular science and graphic design.