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The Game of Coins
Bar Harbor
Coolest present I got this year, by a goodly margin: A shadow-box containing a reproduction of a 17th century Italian board game, complete with some dice.

Even though I haven't been active in the SCA for a long time now, I still can be spurred on to scholarship from time to time. I wanted to know how to play! I know enough about period gaming to start with a pretty good idea ("Looks like a goose game…"), and google translate helped some more. Pictures and redaction below the cut.


Transcription of Rules:

Gioco di tutte le monete di Bologna. Si Gioca condoi dadi tirando prima per la mano, ponendo sul gioco quello, che si accordano
Ogn'uno deve avere un segno differente all' altro, come quando si gioca all oca, e quelle, che si fermano nelle monete, sempre tirano un quatri
Overo quello, che prima accordano, e quello che si ferma. Nelle figure paga un quattrino; quello che vien scacciato, torna nel punto
De quello, che lo discaccia, ma nel tornar in dietro non si paga, ne tira; e quello, che in punto arriva al doblone tira.
Tutto, Chi more torna da capo, e chi va' in prigione vi sta' sin che e'cavato; et arivando nel bravo non si ferma
Ma' torna nell' istesso posto dov'era; quello, che entra nella zagnara paga tre quattrini.
Tre non pagano ne tirano cioe: Il pazzo, l'ubriaco e il bel umore. Il T. tira, e il P. paga. Echi perde si gratta

Google Translate of my transcription:

Play of all coins of Bologna. You play dice condoi pulling first-hand, putting the game that, as they accord
Each one must have a different sign to the other, like when you play all goose, and those who stop in the coins, always pull a quatre
Or indeed the one that first agreement, and that it stops. Pay a penny in the figures, what is banished, returns to the point
of that, that drive away, but in return you do not pay back, pulls, and the one that gets to the point in doubloon pulls.
All, Who more back again, and who is' in prison are there 'and that since' dug; et bravo does not stop coming in
But 'back in' istesso place where it was, that it enters the three zagnara pay money.
Three do not pay it that is pulling: The fool, the drunk and the good mood. T. pulls, and P. pay. Echoes loses scratches

My redaction:

The game of all the coins of Bologna. It is played with two dice. You put money in the pot, or take it out, depending what happens. Each player must have a different marker, like all 'goose' games. Whenever you land on a space with a coin, you pull a penny from the pot. (or if you agree beforehand, the stakes for each move can be whatever you agree.) When you land on a picture, you pay a penny into the pot. If you can't pay, you return to the square you started from, neither paying nor taking(???). If you land on the Doubloon, you take the whole pot. If you land on Death, you go back to the beginning(?). If you land on the prison, you have to stay there until you roll a six(???). If you land on the Bravo, you go back to the space you came from. If you land on the Owls, you pay 3 pennies (or a triple stake) to the pot. There are three figures that, if you land on, you neither pay nor take: the fool, the drunkard, and the "good mood". Spaces marked T mean you Take, spaces marked P mean you Pay. (Some sort of printer's motto?)

The board spaces:

1. "Quattrino". Picture of a smallish coin with "BONO NIA DOCET 1692". Picture of 2 dice showing 1 pip each. Very small lettering: "Mitelli" "I.E FECE"(?)
2. "Bologna". "P.1." Picture of several towers, one leaning a lot.
3. "Bagarone." "T.1." Picture of coin with lion(?) and lettering "MEZO BOLOGNINO"(?)
4. "Frit Lon." "P.1." Picture of man shoving something (loaf of bread?) into his mouth.
5. "Bolognino" "T.1." Picture of small coin with crossed keys.
6. "A son gob." "P.1." Picture of a hunchback.
"I am a gob(?)."
7. "Da duoi Bolognini" "T.1." Picture of smallish coin, with a man's profile, and "INNOCENTIUS XII PON"(?)
"Two bolognini"(?)
8. "Susptos." "P.1." Picture of a man in concealing cloak and hat.
"Suspicious character"(?)
9. "Da tre Bolognini." "T.1." Picture of small coin with "BONO NIA DOCET".
"Three Bolognini"(?)
10. "Bella Putta." "P.1." Picture of woman with her hair wrapped in braids.
"Beautiful girl"
11. "Da Sei Bolognini." "T.1." Picture of a small coin with a coat of arms(?) and "BONONIA DOCET".
"Six Bolognini"
12. "Maschera." "P.1." Picture of a woman with curly hair wearing a festive mask.
13. "Da Quaranta Quattrini." "T.1." Picture of a smallish coin with a shield coat of arms and "DOCET BONINO"
"Forty Pennies"
14. "Mseer Nason." "P.1." Picture of a man with a nose larger than the rest of his head. It's so big, he has a fork-like device to hold it up.
"Mister Nose"(???)
15. "Un Paulo." "T.1." Picture of a smallish coin with a man's profile and "INNOCENTIUS XII PON MA"(?)
16. "A puz." "P.1." Picture of a mug with a handle, and a piece of cloth draped casually over it.
17. "Da dodici Bolognini." "T.1." Picture of a coin with a lion holding a flag and "DOCET MATER STUDIORUM"
"Twelve Bolognini"
18. "Ze Lasagna." "P.1." Picture of an old woman holding a plate of lasagna.
19. "Da vinti Bolognini." "T.1." Picture of a coin with a lion holding a flag and "BONOIA DOCET"(?). The flag may have lettering, but it is indistinct.
"Twenty Bolognini"
20. "Brut mustaz." "P.1." Picture of a man with a somewhat large nose, and a mustache that curls up at the end.
"Awesome Mustache"(???)
21. "Da vintiquattro Bolognini." "T.1." Picture of a coin with an elaborate shield coat of arms. I can't make out most of it, but it has crossed keys above it, and an illegible motto below.
"Twenty-four Bolognini".
22. "Un che mai rende il saluto." "P.1." Picture of a man with long wavy hair, a pointed beard, and a somewhat dandyish hat with some sort of decorations on it.
"One who never makes the greeting."
23. "Da trenta Bolognini." "T.1." Picture of a coin very similar to the one in space 15. The man seems clerical. Writing "INNOCENTIO XII PON MAX"(?)
"Thirty Bolognini"
24. "Caval matt" "P.1." Picture of a kicking horse. You can see his breath smoking.
"Crazy Horse"
25. "Mezzo scudo da quarto paoli." "T.1." Picture of a largish coin with a cross bottony and "BONONIA DOCET 40."
"Half-shield Forty-Paul" (??)
26. "La sig:a pela il gonzo." "P.1." Picture of a woman with extremely tall piled hair, who is examining a man's face (possibly for some sort of medical/dental procedure?).
"The lady(?) peels the fool"(???)
27. "Scudo daoto paoli" "T.1." Picture of a large coin with a cross bottony and "BONONIA DOCET 80."
"Shield Eighty-Paul" (??)
28. "Cimiero." "P.1." Picture of the back of a woman's(?) head, with the hair done up in a sort of bun, with a bow.
29. "Bel umor." "Nulla" Picture of a person of indeterminate gender, with wavy hair, and wearing a hat that looks like a high-heeled shoe, with a bow on the buckle, and feathers coming out the back.
"Good Mood" (possibly idiomatic for silly or foolish?)
30. "La zagnara." "P.3." Picture of four owls.
31. "Corivol." "P.1." Picture of a girl(?) with wavy hair coming out of a bandana. She is holding up some sort of small bag-like(?) object with tassels. It looks like coins or somesuch are dropping out the bottom.
32. "Mezza doppa." "T.1." Picture of a coin with a cross bottony and "BONONIA DOCET".
"Half Double"
33. "Al matt" "Nulla." Picture of a young man with a feathered cap. He is holding and looking up at some sort of device that looks like two flags on a stick, or perhaps a small windmill vane.
"The Fool"
34. "La sn'carg d'or" "P.1." Picture of a donkey with a fancy blanket on its back, and bearing some sort of cargo atop the blanket.
"The Cargo of Gold"(???)
35. "Prigione sin che sei cavo." "P.1." Picture of a mustachioed man behind prison bars.
"Prison until you roll a six." (???)
36. "Morte." "Da capo." Picture of a skull and two bones. (Not *quite* a classic skull-and-crossbones, but somewhat reminiscent.)
"Death" "The Head"
37. "Doppia." "T.1." Picture of a coin with a fancy cross bottony and "BONONIA DOCET".
38. "Imbriag" "Nulla." Picture of a man with a bottle in one hand, and a glass in the other. He is about to fall over, and is spilling his glass.
"The Drunkard"(?)
39. "Brav. Torna in dietro." "P.1." Picture of a man in a feathered hat brandishing a spear. The spear points back against the direction of movement.
"Bravo. Go Back."
40. "DOBLONE" "TIRA TUTTO" Picture of a coin with a heraldic shield topped with crossed keys and "(faded) XII PON MAX"
"Doubloon" "Pull All"

I also did some research on the author, Giuseppe Maria Mitelli. He was a well-known fine artist of his day. He was also a prolific game designer. He created a tarot deck, a number of rebuses, and well over thirty board games. Most of these seem to have been "goose" variants, on a wide variety of subjects: Taverns, Virtues, Brides and Grooms, Landmarks of Bologna, Good merchants and bad, Heraldry, Animals, Nose shapes, and so on. I found these (and others) at an Italian web site that all SCA game researchers should bookmark: http://www.giochidelloca.it/index.php They have hundreds, maybe *thousands* of goose-variants, a large number of which are within SCA period.

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Ah -- very neat. I did a teeny bit of kibitzing on the project, and quite liked M'sieu Nason, but didn't look at it nearly as closely as you've done here.

I'll have to add the Goose page to my main index -- thanks for the pointer...
(Frozen) (Thread)

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