[WWI GAME] Trench Goal Football. [London]: R.F. & S., [c.1914].
Red and onlaid green card boards with cut-out game design printed in black; mounted inside wooden frame and perspex (H9.5" x W6.5" x D1") with printed instructions pasted beneath; a little overall wear-and-tear, with some watermarks and patches of rubbing to underside; the instructions, often lacking, and here remarkably intact; with '1915' in ink decipherable on the back; metal ball bearing prone to getting a little stuck at the lower edge, else in perfectly functioning order.
A wonderful survival of a WWI dexterity puzzle, the aim being to guide the ball bearing 'football' through a warren of twisting trenches, avoiding the holes carefully guarded by caricatures of German military figures which will send you back to the beginning. Starting with the 'Kick off', your goal is to pass:
"Little Willie" (outside right), satirising a German trench from the Hohenzollern Redoubt strongpoint on the Western Front.
"Von Terpitz" (centre forward), a German Grand Admiral, who is pictured astride his submarine.
"Von Kluck" (outside left), a German General.
"Von Bulow" (inside left), a brutal Field Marshall.
"Von Hindenburg" (inside right), commander of the Imperial German Army. Hindenburg later went on to appoint Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany.
"Von der Goltz" (right half), Prussian Field Marshall later appointed the military governor of Belgium.
"Von Moltke" (centre half), commander-in-chief and commander-in-chief of the German Army prior to the outbreak of WW1.
"Enver Pasha" (left half), leader of the Ottoman Empire at the time.
"Von Sanders" (left back), adviser and military commander to the Ottoman Empire.
"Count Zeppelin" (right back), creator of the pioneering rigid Airships.
and finally, the "Kaiser" (Goal). Surpass his gaping mouth to land squarely on his forehead.
No member of Sotheran's staff has yet made it past Hole 4.