Tunbridge Ware Bezique Box c1870 With Playing Cards and Pegging Boards c1870


Product Code:20060439

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Out of stock


Heading : Tunbridge Ware Bezique Box c1870. complete with playing cards and score boards and instructions
Date : c1870
Period : Victorian
Origin : Tunbridge Wells. England

Decoration : geometrical mosaic banding with mosaic image of Eridge Castle
Size :  16.5cms x 12cms x 5cms
Condition : Very good. the base lining shows sign of wear and the bottom corner join is slightly gaping. The lock is a little stiff but it does work.
Restoration : Professionally cleaned and polished
Weight :  510grams


Bezique is a card game that is thought to have originated in Switzerland and reached the height of its popularity in Paris in the mid 19th century. when fortunes were wagered.  A game for two or three players. the aim is to reach 1000 points before your opponent. The game requires two short packs from the 7 to the Ace inclusive and players create melds and tricks to score points. This was favoured by many. including Winston Churchill for whom it was a firm favourite.


The rules can all be found in the remarkably well-preserved booklet produced by Joseph Reynolds and Sons’ c1870. along with two wooden scoring boards and original pegs. a dial-based score card and two short packs of cards (64 in total). all original and in good condition.


The two ace of spades tells us the the cards were manufactured by De La Rue of London. These are double ended . with no indices and are of a type produced between 1860 and 1880. after which indices were added. The 64 cards are a “bezique pack”


The above items are all stored in a hand-crafted Tunbridge Ware marquetry hinged box. The lid has a traditional. geometrical mosaic banding around the outside edge and the centre block depicts a mosaic image of the original Eridge Castle. which stood within the grounds of Eridge Park. seat to the House of the Abergavenny family. To this day. The Eridge Estate has many ties to Tunbridge Wells. the original home of Tunbridge Ware and Eridge Castle is purported to be one of the more popular images produced.


Once purchased. looking after your cherished piece of Tunbridge Ware is important. Keep it away from direct sunlight and away from direct sources of heat. Do not oil or sandpaper it. All it requires is a light wax polish once a year and the occasional dusting to maintain in good order.



Tunbridge Ware and Related European Decorative Woodwares – 3rd edition
By Brian Austen


The Story of Tunbridge Ware


By Friends of Tunbridge Wells. Museum. Library and Art Gallery

Additional information

Weight750 g


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