RARE JAQUES PARACHUTE TOP VICTORIAN GAME Circa 1850s
EXTREMELY RARE JAQUES PARACHUTE TOP. One of the many beautiful and extraordinary games produced by the oldest English games makers who began their trade in the last 18th century when they escaped to England from the Hugenot Pogroms. This piece has 'Jaques' on the label, so an early piece. Probably for the 1851 Great Exhibition.
This beautiful piece of Victorian engineering is made of boxwood with a brass spindle. By holding the seven wooden tops or cups by the thumb and fingers of the left hand, the silk cord is taken in the right and one end of it placed under the thumb. The remainder of the cord is wound tightly round the small pulley or groove at the lower end of the metal stem.
When the cord is all wound round the top is rested on the table. Holding it firm and upright the tassle of the cord is held in the right hand and drawn away rapidly and the top, still held by the hand will spin with great velicity. After a few second the top is raised 6 - 8 inches from the table and given a succession of slight jerks. At each jerk a parachute or cup will free itself from the body of the top untll all seven parachutes are left spinning on the table. Each parachute has a different coloured inside to the final spinning display is quite a site.
I will be posting additional pictures shortly of the registration mark, the coloured individual parachutes and original rules.