The Acquisitions Table: Game of Pictures from the Civil War

Pictures from the Civil War in North America – Bilder aus dem Bugerkriege in Nordamerica – Des tableaux de la guerre-civile en Amerique du Nord.  Nuremberg: G.W. Faber, [c. 1864] Puzzle blocks in box, with six hand-colored lithographs showing the solutions.

This German game was produced for the European and American markets and includes six small lithographs depicting events from the American Civil War. Errors in uniform details and artillery design suggest that the German artists drawing the scenes were not familiar with American military dress—some soldiers wear strange desert-style hats and it is often difficult to tell Union from Confederate forces. But the technology is depicted more accurately, with Burnside’s pontoon bridges showing up on one print and large search lights on a ship monitoring the Southern coast on another. The sympathies of the toy’s designer, however, were clearly with the Union forces, as may be seen in the lithograph Virginian negro-slaves imploring protection in the camp of the Union army, where a crowd of African-American slaves is gathered before an officer seeking their freedom. Purchased from Rex Stark. Print Acquisitions Fund.

Published by

Lauren Hewes

Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts, American Antiquarian Society

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