FAIR GAME! Bizarre Suffragette board game unearthed.
THERE'S Monopoly for property developers. There's Cluedo for armchair detectives. But 100 years ago, women in the know were playing... PANK-A-SQUITH.
The incredibly rare board game for Suffragettes has been unearthed in Warwickshire, and dubbed an "incredible find" by experts.
It was devised to support the "votes for women" movement, which recently celebrated its centenary, and features figurines in period costume. The dice game is called Pank-a-Squith, named after Emmeline Pankhurst - leader of the British Suffragette movement - and her adversary Herbert Asquith, British Prime Minister from 1908 to 1916.
Essentially, it mirrors snakes-andladders, with the figures having to avoid numerous pitfalls that would consign them to prison.
One instruction reads: "Dodges the police and must go back to her home on square number 1."
The game, uncovered in Stratfordupon-Avon, will go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers, in Etwall, Derbyshire, on Tuesday, March 27.
There are pieces missing, but it is still expected to realise more than PS100. A complete set once sold for almost PS700.
Pank-a-Squith was among a number of toys, games and puzzles manufactured to publicise the Suffragette movement.
The board game was first advertised in propaganda flysheet "Votes for Women" on October 22, 1909, and was sold in high street shops run by the Women's Social and Political Union. Jon Keightley, valuer for Hansons, found the game at a valuation event held in Alveston, Warwickshire.
"It's a wonderful find," he says. "The game isn't complete because it is lacking the board. It dates back to around 1909 and is probably German.
"A complete game has sold in the past for PS660 but, as this one is incomplete, it may only make around PS100. "Pank-a-Squith was made to entertain supporters of the Suffragette movement while raising funds for them and promoting their cause.
"It is essentially a glorified version of snakes and ladders where Suffragette figures have to negotiate the board while avoiding arrest."
There are six Suffragettes and players follow the instructions printed on the squares their figure falls on.
Mr Keightley adds: "Objects like this show how advanced the Suffragette movement was in terms of making merchandise to back their cause."
The movement produced toys and games to popularise its ideals and activities. There were dolls, book and a more popular game entitled "Suffragettes In and Out of Prison".
In that one, players had to escape from Holloway Jail.
"The Suffragette Puzzle to Get Bill Through Parliament" was a more complex game. Players had to take the "Bill," which consisted of a metal pin, and push it through an opening in the doorway to the House of Commons by means of a tin icon. Once there, the "Bill" had to be manipulated into the Speaker's Table.
Hidden magnets acted as booby traps.
| Hansons holds its next free antiques valuation day at The Malt House, The Rookery, Alveston, Stratford, Warwickshire, on March 23, between 1pm and 4pm. To find out more, call 07802 839915.
It is essentially a glorified version of snakes and ladders where Suffragette figures have to negotiate the board while avoiding arrest
| The pieces and intructions for the Pank-a-Squith board game
Emmeline Pankhurst and other Suffragettes makes their message clear