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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Suffragette Board Game for Bonhams Auction

A board game designed to entertain supporters of the Suffragette Movement while raising funds for them and promoting their cause – votes for women – will be sold by Bonhams on 28th October in its Chess and Board Games auction. Estimated to sell for £600 to £800, the board game was made in very limited numbers by a German game and toy soldier company in 1909 which provided the board and the six painted lead figures which moved across the board.

Suffragette Board GameLuke Honey, Bonhams Chess & Games Consultant comments: “This is a fascinating glimpse into our recent past, where an enterprising Suffragette Movement sought to raise funds and awareness of their cause by what appears to be a lighthearted board game. But the issues it represented was in deadly earnest, and a cause for which many were prepared to suffer for and if necessary go to prison.”

The aim of the game played on the green, white and violet board – the Suffragette colours – was to reach the last square, representing Universal Suffrage, before other players.

Square six shows a suffragette breaking the windows of the Home Office, Square 16 has a notice: “Any player landing on this space must send a penny to Suffragette Funds”, Square 18 depicts Bow Street magistrate’s court, Square 32 represents Holloway Prison, and Square 43 to the forced feeding of Hunger Strikers. The game comes with a set of the six original lead suffragette tokens, and the original paper instruction pamphlet.

The game was titled ‘Pank-A-Squith’, after the leader of the Suffragettes, Emmeline Pankhurst and Britain’s Prime Minister of the time, Herbert Henry Asquith.

This rare board game was first advertised in “Votes for Women” (22nd October 1909.