1886 Mcloughlin, Game Of The District Messenger Boy

1886 Mcloughlin, Game Of The District Messenger Boy

This is McLoughlin's "Game of The District Messenger Boy or Merit Rewarded" c.1886 (not to be confused with McLoughlin's "Game of District Messenger Boy" c.1895). In excellent+ to near mint condition it was most likely, infrequently played with, if at all.

It features an incredibly beautiful full color, glossy, chromolithographed illustration on wooden cover. Yes, it shows a Messenger Boy in pre-1890's garb, against a lightened city (of course of the same era), with text above and below, and colors, and frills, and all that, but even more important check out the condition. Except for a tiny sliver on the left edge the image is 100% complete. The only noteworthy crease in the paper can be seen about 2" below the sliver. And that's it! Oh sure, the perimeter has slivers and chipping, but they don't extend into the center image. I'm sure there's better out there, but I've never seen it! As a collector, or just someone who likes looking at this stuff, you can really appreciate its beauty and quality when it's complete!

Both top and bottom sections of the box are paper on wood. Even the sides were paper covered. The inside of the box was lined with heavy paper stock, also paper covered. The lining held the cover in place and aligned it with the bottom half. Inside the box are its two original blue-paper lined "cardboard" inserts. Note that one of the inserts (as it's supposed to be only one) has the original canvas textured ribbon attached to it (see red arrow below). The ribbon lifts the game board out of the box so it won't become damaged.

 Underneath is a small oblong sticker printed with the name and address of the original retailer, Merrill & Mackintire, Salem, MA. Along side was the company's logo; a large owl. Approximately 2" below the sticker someone, a long time ago, sketched a 3" drawing of that same owl. Probably came from one of the game's first owner's.

It's basically a "race style" game with players represented by die cast chromolithographed painted District Messenger figures. These three dimensional people stand nearly 2" tall and are individualized by their base color; green, red, yellow, or blue. I added the white cotton which the figures are resting in. It may have originally used excelsior, (i.e., straw) in place of the cotton.

They begin as one of the "Messenger Force" at the lower right corner of the intricately detailed 16" x 17" game board. The first player to reach the center becomes "President" and wins the game. The "play side" of the board has all of the gaming detail, however the other side was also lavishly detailed. It was covered with a rich brown glossy paper, which was meant to represent fine leather. It's embossed in glossy bright gold lettering. Finely detailed blue lithographed paper was added around the edge, while a black textured paper spine holds the two board halves together. Instructions are printed on the lower edge of the game board. And lastly is the original lithographed paper on wood spinner with wooden hub and polished tin arrow. It looks like it was never used.

Size: 9" x 17" x 2".

Date Sold: Jul. 2009

Price Sold: $ 462


Send Comments

Email Address:
Confirm Email Address:
Subject: 1886 Mcloughlin, Game Of The District Messenger Boy

security code