UNUSUAL 19TH C. FRENCH JEU DE COURSE MECHANICAL HORSE RACING GAME
This rare 19th Century Jeu de Course mechanical horse racing game dating from around 1880 is not the conventional design. This is large, does not sit on top of a square box and has one large outer circle of painted metal horses and jockeys who ride on the inside circumference of the fretted brass balustrade. Total diameter just over 17" /43 cm.
Made of metal and with a simple and effective mechanism which is activated by squeezing together the two levers on the side the horses and riders ride around and under fretted brass arches. The winner is the first one passed the flag pole when the action stops.
Each jockey holds a thin metal spike which I think would have had some kind of material pennant. The middle brass bowl is for the betting tokens.
This game came without any base - see the last picture. The bottom circumference is quite sharp, indicating that it would probably have sat on some kind of pedestal. So we had a bespoke mahogany pedestal turned, on which the game sits, restoring it to it's probable original state.
N.B. To all Francophiles: Yes, the flat is flying the wrong way round! It had to come off when mechanism being looked at. It is now showing red side outermost. Sorry.