Pair of Regency Giltwood Wall Sconces, ca 1820

Regency Pope Joan Card and Counter Game Revolving Staking Board

A good Pope Joan card game counter wheel in turned boxwood painted all over with the various symbols of the game.

In very good order.

Pope Joan or Pope, a once popular Victorian family game, is an 18th-century English round game of cards for three to eight players derived from the French game of Matrimony and Comete and ancestor to Spinado and the less elaborate Newmarket.

The game is related to the German Poch and French Nain Jaune. The name is a corruption of “nain jaune” (yellow dwarf), the name of the Seven of Diamonds in the part of France where the game originated.

“Pope Joan” refers to the legend that Pope John VIII was actually a woman. As the Catholic Church denies a female pope the legend was used as Protestant propaganda in the Victorian era, which also explains the popularity of the game in Scotland. The Nine of Diamonds is sometimes called the Curse of Scotland.

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29cm Did x 7cm H

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