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Thomas De la Rue Co. Ltd
Just fourteen years after the book first appeared in1880, the first Alice card game was produced by Thomas De La Rue & Co. Ltd of London. This game has forty eight pictorial cards from Tenniel's Original Designs, which were redrawn by Miss Edith Gertrude Thomson.
Edith Thomson was a member of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, as well as being Rev. Dodgson's (Lewis Carroll) friend and art teacher. She also went on to illustrate some of Dodgson's later works.
The game originally sold for the princely sum of 9d, (Nine old pennies). The game consisted of forty eight cards all with different designs and grouped into sets of three. Each of the main cards of the set has instructions to find the other two to complete the set. For instance the main card of the first set is of Alice Telescoping with the instructions at the top of the card to find the 'Rabbit running away' and The 'Fan'.
The one who completes the most of these sets wins.
The front and back of the slip top box
Here are some more cards from the game.
The cards measure 9 x 6.3 cm (2.5 x 3.5” inches)
The pack consist of fourty-eight cards, viz., sixteen sets of three cards each, all three bearing the same number. One card in each set is a Leading card, and shows on its face the titles of the other two cards: thus, the Leading card, “Alice Swimming in her own tears, “ tells you to find the card with “Mouse” and the card with “Crab, “ which complete the set.
The game may be played by several – the more the merrier. The cards having been first shuffled and cut, are delt one at a time face downwards to each player in rotation, until the pack is exhausted. The players then arrange their cards, and those who can make up complete sets from their hands before actual play begins, do so and lay the sets face downwards on the table. The player to the dealer's left begins the play by exposing a Leading card on the table and then calls upon anyone he pleases to hand him one of the cards required to make up the set. If successful, and he can complete the set from his own hand, he must do so: but if he cannot, he must make another call on the same or some other player, for the remaining card of the set. But should he ask a player for a card which he has not got, he then forfeits* one card to the player so challenged, and the player next on his left takes up the play. When a player has succeeded in completing a set, he may expose another Leading card, and go on asking until he incurs a forfeiture. If a player, when his turn comes round to play, has not got a Leading card either in his hand or exposed on the table, he forfeits* a card to the one who played last, and the one to his left goes on with the play. But if a player, having played in his turn, and completed a set, then finds himself without a Leading card, he does not forfeit, but the play passes to the player on his left. No player must expose more than one Leading card at a time, and must complete that set before exposing another. When a player has exhausted all his cards except a Leading card, exposed on the table, that card is forfeited to the player whom he unsuccessfully challenges for a cad of the same set.
The winner of the game is the one who completes the most sets.
* “FORFEITS” by allowing a card to be drawn from his hand unseen by the opponent.