Folding backgammon board
- 19th century
- MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
- Wood, ivory, and cord
- Tools and Equipment
- Overall (open): 7 7/16 x 14 7/8 x 21 1/8 in. (18.893 x 37.783 x 53.658 cm) Overall (closed): 5 1/4 x 21 x 5 3/8 in. (13.335 x 53.34 x 13.653 cm)
- Arts of Asia
- 303 ISLAMIC GALLERY
- CREDIT LINE:
- Dallas Museum of Art, gift of David T. Owsley
- Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art
- OBJECT NUMBER:
This inlaid ivory backgammon board has three small wooden figures inside, which the winner of the game could make pop up by pulling cords attached to them. Images of women framed by cartouches embellish its surface along with intricate geometric patterns. The board folds to a small size, making it suitable for traveling.
Games played with dice or movable pieces were well known in India from ancient times to the present. Chess, and other games such as Snakes and Ladders, were invented in India before spreading to other societies. Games played with dice are known from the great Indian epics, and dice were found in Indus Valley sites dating from 2500 to 1500 BCE. Backgammon, however, came to India from the Middle East and enjoyed popularity along with chess.
Anne Bromberg, Label text, 2003.
"Folding backgammon board" in The Arts of India, South East Asia, and the Himalayas, Anne R. Bromberg (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013), 121.
- The three wooden figures that pop up from recessions in the board are modern replacements. The original figures would likely have been carved in ivory.
- Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood
Explore the history of backgammon.