6 Antique Games to Enjoy on a (Socially Distanced) Summer Afternoon

During a time of such upheaval, these antique collectibles remind us to take a much-needed (and safely, socially distant) afternoon of fun and games spent with our family, friends, or quarantine partners.

English Skittles, Circa 1920: Image Courtesy of 1st Dibs


1. English Skittles

Essentially a round of bowling without the alley (or always suspect) pair of rented shoes. This antique set dates to the early 20th Century where it likely enjoyed use on a lawn during long summer days – that no doubt ended with the requisite cream tea. 

English Horseshoe Toss Game Set, Circa 1996: Image Courtesy of 1st Dibs


2. Horseshoes

Reminiscent of childhood barbecues, and slightly terrifying when played in company of those lacking in eye-hand coordination, this contemporary set was crafted by English silversmith, Wakely & Wheeler. The horseshoes themselves are composed of solid sterling silver. 


Mahjong Set, N.Y.K. Ocean Liner Edition, Circa early 20th Century: Image Courtesy of 1st Dibs


3. Mahjong 

This beautiful and rare boxed Mahjong set survived with its original instructions manual intact. Pulled from an Ocean Liner amongst Nippon Yusen Kaisha’s legendary fleet, this set is a testament to the fine attention to detail paid by its maker; complete with tiles crafted from bone and bamboo.

Milo Baughman Backgammon Table Circa 1970: Image Courtesy of 1st Dibs


4. Backgammon

An iconic board game enjoyed by all ages, antique Backgammon sets provide entertainment in varied iterations. From compact suitcase travel versions, to full scale tables that command a presence; their unmistakable graphic markings make them a memorable collectible. The version above was designed by Milo Baughman, circa 1970 and features vintage bakelite game pieces and bone dice.

Large Plombe Battledore Badminton Shuttlecock, France, Circa 1840: Image Courtesy of La Pada; Manfred Schotten Antiques


5. Badminton 

Badminton, having descended from an earlier version of the game, Battledore, has maintained its popularity as a joyful lawn game throughout history. While we happily have evolved away from the original feathered shuttlecock, there is still so much pleasure in taking it out on a synthetic Birdie (with all your might). This Shuttlecock originates from 1840, France and its brown velvet and goose feathers have been meticulously maintained over time. 


Antique Wooden Croquet Set, Circa 1920, Image Courtesy of 1st Dibs


6. Croquet 

This Antique wooden croquet set was crafted in the United States in the early 20th Century. Not dissimilar to contemporary versions, Croquet’s brightly colored mallets and balls are a welcomed pop of color to the lawn each summer.  



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