Pope Joan Card Games

The game of Pope Joan

The Oxford English Dictionary quotes a reference to the game from as early as 1732, but it was first mentioned in Hoyle in 1826.

David Parlett’s web site provides a good description of the original game.

https://www.parlettgames.uk/histocs/popejoan.html

Pope Joan or Pope, derived from the French game of Matrimony and Comete. The game is related to the German Poch and French Nain Jaune.  All these games are basically “stop” games – played with a normal deck of 52  playing cards – with the  8 of diamonds removed.

The stakes are put into a board / 8 dishes with sections as below

Ace / King / Queen / Jack / Game / Pope / Matrimony (K Q of trumps) and Intrigue (Q J of trumps).

The Name Pope Joan has been used on a number of games from around 1810 onwards.

Oct 25th 1811  –   J Wallis’s New Game of Historical Pope Joan was published.  There is a copy in British Museum.

1822      E Wallis’s New Game of Historical Pope Joan was published.

 Both theses games were made up of cards without suits. 

“Historical Pope Joan” is a   pack of 33 playing-cards, with medallion woodcuts of English sovereigns from William the Conquerer to George III (later George IV)  

It consisted of 33 (later 34) cards, one for each monarch from 1066 (plus Oliver Cromwell)

Each card has 7 events on it – and a “tray” listed next to the event.

The events are

Successor, Character,  Battles,  Generals,  Statesmen,  Learning and Arts,  Events

From the rules “Whoever holds the Card No. I (William the Conqueror) begins the Game by reading aloud the first  number on that Card ; and must put into, or take up from the Board, according to directions. 

He then passes the same Card to the next Player on his left, who must read No. 2, and pass it as before, ‘till that Reign is read through; when the holder of the Second Reign (William Rufus) is to begin, and proceed in the same manner until all are played.  The Counters which then remain on the Board, become the property of the player who reads No. 7 of the last Card.”

W. & H. Rock’s Historical Pope Joan – Publish between 1833 and 1845

A boxed card game consisting of 42 stencil or engraved printed cards depicting the British monarchs and their dynasty lineage from the Conqueror to William IV. For each monarch there is a card covering dates, reigns and notable events.  Some of these packs also had four labels included to put into trays.

1820 – The Musical Game of Pope Joan, Cassino & Commerce was produce – made by Chappell & Co, 50 New Bond Street London.  There appears to be two versions of this game but the rules do not mention how to play Pope Joan.

The Game of the History of France, which covers the period from Pharamond to the accession of Louis Philippe I.

It was published  by E Wallis in 1830.  It is very like the Rock Brothers Pope Joan, but covers French Kings and Queens. 

c1880 – Pope Joan – Mullord Brothers – a more standard version with 41 cards 

Below are more details of the games listed and variations of these games.  Details from Bristish Museum, WCPCM’s web site.

Also some versions that we have in stock.

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1821 - New Game of Historical Pope Joan - Edward Wallis

Historical Pope Joan’ card game by E.Wallis London published 1st Feb 1822, cards numbered 1-33 (George III), each card with portrait of monarch and facts below.

There is one ard for each monarch from 1066 (plus Oliver Cromwell)

Each card has 7 events on it – and a “tray” listed net to the event ie

The events are

Successor

Character

Battles

Generals

Statesmen

Learning and Arts

Events

The game is played with 33 cards, Each player has a dozen to a dozen and a half counters.  Players put 2 counters into the division marked “game” and one into each of the others.

The player who starts read the first number on the card, and must take up or put a token into the as per instructions – 

Condition – cards are grubby, but undamaged / Rules – photocopy  / Box – label difficult to read – but the same as the one in the British Museum, -dated 1st February 1822.

Postage / As postage often changes it will be provided at time of purchase. Postage will be at cost rounded up to the nearest £1.00 to cover packaging.

REF: MIS718

£ 225

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c1835 - New Game of Historical Pope Joan - Edward Wallis

Historical Pope Joan’ card game by E.Wallis London published c1835, cards  with portrait of monarch and facts below.

It consisted of 23 cards missing 2, 10, 12, 13, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 32, 33 but with card 34 – George IV.  Similar to the 1822 pack but with the Accession date and died date added at the bottom, but not on George IV card.

Each card has 7 events on it – and a “tray” listed net to the event ie

The events are

Successor

Character

Battles

Generals

Statesmen

Learning and Arts

Events

The game was played with 34 cards, Each player has a dozen to a dozen and a half counters.  Players put 2 counters into the division marked “game” and one into each of the others.

The player who starts read the first number on the card, and must take up or put a token into the as per instructions – 

Condition – cards are clean missing 10 cards/ Rules – photocopy  / no box

Postage / As postage often changes it will be provided at time of purchase. Postage will be at cost rounded up to the nearest £1.00 to cover packaging.

REF: MIS715

£ 120

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1834 - Rock's Historical Pope Joan - William and Henry Rock, London,

1830s Rock brothers produed a Pope Joan Game, based on dynasties.

For each monarch there is  a card covering dates, reign and notable events.

A boxed card game consisting of 43 stencil or engraved printed cards depicting the British monarchs and their dynasty lineage from the Conqueror to William IV.

There is an original rule booklet missing the front and back pages (photocopy replacement)

From the rule booklet “in place of four suits there are, in this game, seven suites:

the fleur de Lis – Normans,

the Broom – Plantagenets,

the Red Rose – House of Lancaster,

the White Rose – House of York

the Red and White rose – House of Tudor,

the Thistle – House of Stuart

the Oak suit, House of Hanover”

Condition / Cards – complete some have color on the emblems – (Plantagenets, House of Stuart and House of Hanover) they are grubby / rules missing outer cover / Case  – outer cover repaired by sewing three sides that had split together.

Postage / As postage often changes it will be provided at time of purchase. Postage will be at cost rounded up to the nearest £1.00 to cover packaging.

REF: MIS711

£ 140

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c1832 - Historical Pope Joan - William and Henry Rock, London,

1830s Rock brothers produed a Pope Joan Game, based on dynasties.

For each monarch there is  a card covering dates, reign and notable events.

A boxed card game consisting of 42 stencil or engraved printed cards depicting the British monarchs and their dynasty lineage from the Conqueror to William IV.

There is an original rule booklet missing the front and back pages.

From the rule booklet “in place of four suits there are, in this game, seven suites:

the fleur de Lis – Normans,

the Broom – Plantagenets,

the Red Rose – House of Lancaster,

the White Rose – House of York

the Red and White rose – House of Tudor,

the Thistle – House of Stuart

the Oak suit, House of Hanover

Condition / Cards – complete with color on all the emblems and on the House cards. cards are dirty – rules missing front and bak pages / Box – original – sides split, grubby.  Printer and where purhased listed on box.  On the box back there is a very flattering reveue of the game by Literary Gazette

Postage / As postage often changes it will be provided at time of purchase. Postage will be at cost rounded up to the nearest £1.00 to cover packaging.

REF: MIS716

£ 145

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c1835 - Historical Pope Joan - Rock Brother

1830s Rock brothers produed a Pope Joan Game, based on dynasties.

For each monarch there is  a card covering dates, reign and notable events.

A boxed card game consisting of 42 stencil or engraved printed cards depicting the British monarchs and their dynasty lineage from the Conqueror to Wiliam IV, that appears to have been added later.

There is an original  rule booklet – second edition.

There is also the original packet that  “enclosed labels to be placed in the pools of the usual Pope Joan Board, or in any little trays which will commodiously hold counters.” This contains the four slips of paper shown.

the fleur de Lis – Normans

the Red Rose   – House of Lancaster,

the Oak suit    –  House of Hanover.

Game

Condition / Cards – complete with color on all the House of Tudor cards and are lightly used – Original  rules second edition + labels – good condition / Box – leather – original very good condition – “W&H Rock Historical Pope Joan” in gold.

Postage / As postage often changes it will be provided at time of purchase. Postage will be at cost rounded up to the nearest £1.00 to cover packaging.

REF: MIS714

£ 275

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c1840 Hand Made - Historical Pope Joan - very similar to Rock Brother

1830s Rock brothers produed a Pope Joan Game, based on dynasties.

For each monarch there is  a card covering dates, reign and notable events.

This is a hand made copy of the Rock Brothers game.  Victoria appears to have been added at a later date

A boxed card game consisting of 43 stencil or engraved printed cards depicting the British monarchs and their dynasty lineage from the Conqueror to Victoria, that appears to have been added later.

This is a hand made original copy of the  Rock Brothers game.

The four trays represent 

the fleur de Lis – Normans

the Red Rose – House of Lancaster,

the Oak suit, House of Hanover

Game

Condition / Cards – complete with color on all the emblems and on the House cards, in good condition.  Rules are hand written booklet / Box – original – a little grubby but otherwise good 

Postage / As postage often changes it will be provided at time of purchase. Postage will be at cost rounded up to the nearest £1.00 to cover packaging.

REF: MIS712

£ 320

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1830-47 - The Game of the History of France -E Wallis

The Game of the History of France, which covers the period from Pharamond to the accession of Louis Philippe I.

It was made by E Wallis between 1830-1847.

There are six trays –
Pharamond, Charlesmagne, Francois, Henry the Great, Louis IV and Game.

The game is in the British Museum and on WCPCM web site where this picture comes from.

This game is the same style as the Rock Brothers version of Historical Pope Joan. 

The game is in the British Museum and on WCPCM web site, where this picture comes from

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1820 - The Musical Game of Pope Joan, Cassino & Commerce

This was published by Chappell & Co 50 New Bond Street London


This card game’s object was to teach keys to children (well explained in the rule)
This game was reviewed in The Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review – Volume 3 – Page 484 -Richard Mackenzie Bacon – 1821

Musical Pope Joan – Condition / Cards are in good condition (57/60 we believe these are later versions of this game that appear to have extra cards and rules of other games – from the rules of Pope Joan the number of cards appears to be 60)

Rules for Musical Pope Joan / Original Box with etched portrait of a woman’s head with musical notes defining her eyes, nose, mouth and bonnet.


Postage / As postage often changes it will be provided at time of purchase. Postage will be at cost rounded up to the nearest £1.00 to cover packaging.

REF: MIS710

£ 425

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c1880 - Pope Joan - Mullord Brothers

A rare game, published by Mullord Brothers, we can little referene to this game.

The “instructions for setting up the Board” does not mention the number of cards.

It says that “46 counters are required, and must be obtained in equal proportions from each of the players.” 

There is one Pope Joan card (numbered 1). 

The  other cards are numbered from 2 to 41 – ie four sets of ten cards plus a Pope Joan card No 1.

Nothing is mentioned in the rules apart from the aim of getting rid of all your cards, as if all are equal.  

Pope Joan / Condition / Cards are near mint 41 + a card with direction instructions, a card describing a Pope Joan Board layout & a blank card. / Box –  repaired with tape – but complete and in good condition – the front has an engraved picture of  Pope Joan similar to the Pope Joan Card.

Postage / As postage often changes it will be provided at time of purchase. Postage will be at cost rounded up to the nearest £1.00 to cover packaging.

REF: MIS242

£ 275

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