Jefferys' geographical game of the world
By JEFFERYS, Thomas , 1770

[Game map] The Royal Geographical Pastime exhibiting a Complete Tour Round the World, in which are delineated the North East and North West Passages into the South Sea…

World World maps
  • Author: JEFFERYS, Thomas
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: Tho[mas] Jefferys at ht Corner of St Martins Lane
  • Publication date: 1770.
  • Physical description: Hand coloured engraved map dissected and mounted on linen, explanation and directions pasted to left and right margin.
  • Dimensions: 510 by 710mm. (20 by 28 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 15697


Rare cartographic game of the world.

The game begins in the Azores, and heads down the west coast of Africa, passing St Helena, and the Cape of Good Hope “discovered first by the Portuguese”, from there the player heads up the east coast and into the Red Sea to the port of Mocho (Mukha) which “is famous for the best coffee in the world”, and Mecca where “Mahomet commanded all is sect to make a pilgrimage to this place once in their lives”. The player leaves the Arabian Peninsula, journeying through Iran and into India, where one must stay two turns in Calcutta the capital Bengal, “to see one of the richest countries in the world”. From there they had north through Central Asia and on to China, and Pekin “capital and residence of the Emperor of China, from whence the finest tea in the universe is brought in the caravans to Russia”. From hence to Tibet, which is not only the residence of the “Dali-Lama” (sic), but also the has the “best rhubarb”. The player then turns their attention to the Southeast Asia, passing Borneo, the Spice Islands, Japan, and the Baring Straits. The player arrives in the New World through the North West Passage, which according to Jefferys’ was discovered by “Nich. Shapley, from New-England, through Hudson’s Bay, and by Admiral de Fonte, a Spanish admiral, from the South Sea … in 1640”. Down the south coast to California where “the inhabitants have no houses, dwell in arbours in the summer, and creep into caves in the winter”, to Central and South America and up the east coast to New York, and Newfoundland, were the traveller must stay a turn to sample the “chauder” a dish of cod boiled with fat salt pork, and a cup of “black strap” spruce beer and rum sweetened with treacle. The game ends with the sight of Lands End “the first pleasant place in England which is seen by mariners in their return from long voyages”.

The present example is the second state with the engraved dedication to the Prince of Wales added to the lower right.

Rare we are only able to trace two institutional examples: a first state housed at the British Library; and an example of the second state at Colonial Williamsburg.