Friday Photo: Suffrage, the Board Game

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Further proof of our theory that the history of the world can be written through its board games: Pank-A-Squith, a women’s suffrage-themed game manufactured in the early 1900s. Designed to edify and delight in the suffragette palette of green, white, and violet, Pank-A-Squith was named for political activist Emmeline Pankhurst and then newly installed British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith, a vocal opponent of women’s suffrage. A catchier name—say, Votes for Women, Sufferin’ Suffrage!, or Mall Madness—may have boosted sales, but the fine German craftsmanship has stood the test of time (a century, to be exact).

The object of the game? To propel your lead suffragette game piece around the 50-square board, stopping to protest (square 6 involves breaking the windows of the Home Office) and donate (a stop on square 16 will cost you a penny for Suffragette Funds) while evading imprisonment, shackles, and court appearances, all on the route to universal suffrage. Square 43 may represent the only time “forced feeding of hunger strikers” has appeared on a game board.

Enfranchise your family’s game night on October 28, when Pank-A-Squith goes on the block at Bonham’s during a sale in London that also includes a dynamite Russian chess set from the Cold War era: Communists versus capitalists.