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A Quintessential Gilded Age Board Game
[New York, 1891]

Board Game/ Newport/ Block Island.  MCLOUGHLIN BROTHERS  [New York: 1891] The Newport Yacht Race - An Exciting Game. Game board: 10 x19 ½ inches.  Overall framed size: 29 1/4 x 23 1/4 x 1 3/4 inches.  Multi-stone Lithography.  Complete with cover, two sailboat game pieces, a spinning dial & instructions. Slight wear & staining to cover, overall in remarkably fine condition.  Elegantly mounted in a shadow box with a gold leaf frame with the instructions mounted on the back.                                                                                                                 
Very rare, richly presented board game, simulating a yacht race from Newport around Block Island and back, complete with board, cover, two sail boat game pieces, a numbered spinning device, and original instructions.  This is the only intact example of this item we are aware of.  Befitting its subject and intended market, this is one of the most elegantly produced, 19th century, America board games we’ve seen.  The cover in particular evokes the Gilded Age with its elaborate, gilt-edged typography and a charming scene of children of the well-to-do playing in a beached rowboat.  Two fine yachts in full sail contend at upper left.  On the playing board are also realistically depicted racing yachts as well as nautical craft of various kinds, including what appear to be steamers with spectators.  It also has map/ views of the Newport area and Block Island, with 40 numbered boxes, some with written directions. The race starts at Brenton Point, circles counterclockwise around Block Island, and ends in Newport. The map of Block Island depicts a still-landlocked Great Salt Pond; it would not become New Harbor until 1895 when a channel to the sea was cut.

In the late 19th century, both the New York Athletic Club and the New York Yacht Club held annual around-the-island regattas terminating in Newport; see reference below.  These were likely the inspiration for this game.  

McLoughlin Bros., Inc. (1858 – 1920) was a New York publishing firm and a pioneer in color printing technologies.


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