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Image of the Week: Easter fun with the Game of the Golden Goose

18 Apr, 2014

V0040571 A large goose, with three golden eggs: numbered circles

We scoured the Wellcome Image collection to bring you a special Easter treat this week. No chocolate eggs, but golden ones instead with the game of the golden goose to keep you and your family entertained.

Published in 1848, the object of this board game is to get your counter to land exactly on number 63. But beware! There are plenty of traps along the way. Dodge prison and death and avoid paying a stake at the ale-house if you want be crowned champion.

You can download the full size version of this image and give the game a go. It is just one of many thousands of images from Wellcome Images that we’ve released in high-resolution with a CC-BY licence.

Have fun deciding what the stakes will be – my vote is for chocolate!

The rules, as they appear on the board, are as follows:


1st This Game is play’d with a pair of Dice, and any Number of Persons may play at it.

2nd Whatever Number it is that any one throws that person much place his Counter in the white Space* under the same Number. For Example,… Should the Case be 6 and 3, he must place the Counter at 9; if the Case be 6 and 5, he must place it at 11; and, when he throws again, he must add the Number to that where his Counter lies, and so remove accordingly.

3rd he that throws 6 must pay a Stake for his paƒsage over the Bridge, and go to Number 12.

4th He that throws a Goose, must double his Cast forward from his last place.

5th He that throws 19, where the Ale-house is must pay a Stake & Drink till his turn comes to throw again.

6th He that throws 31, where the Well is must stay there till everyone one has thrown twice, unleƒs somebody else throws the same and the he must return to that person’s place.

7th He that throws 42, where the Maze is must pay a stake and return back to the Number 29.

8th He that goeth to 52, where the Prison is, must pay one, and and stay there a Prisoner till somebody relieves him by throwing the same Number.

9th He that goeth to 58, where Death is, must pay one and begin again.

10th He that is overtaken by another much return to his place that overtook him, and both must pay a Stake.

11th he that overthroweth the Number 63 must return back and begin as at first.

12th He that throweth the just Number 63 winneth the GAME.


* Note that the white spaces have been coloured in on this copy of the game.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 18 Apr, 2014 7:46 am

    Great picture

  2. 3 Apr, 2015 11:29 am

    My 4 year old is fascinated by board games, and listening to his really old 50year Nan showing him things about the olden days…this is great – what people did before video streaming onto t.v. on a rainy day.

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