Mary Rose ‘Foto Friday’

Photos from the Mary Rose Trust archives, brought to you on (almost) every Friday!

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Backgammon Set with Counters

Backgammon Set with Counters
Picture 26 of 36

Yet another item from the Carpenter's cabin, this hinged Backgammon board, made of Oak, with Larch (darker) and Yew (lighter) inlay.

The counters are made of Poplar, and although only eight were found, each player would have started with fifteen. The hinges have rusted away, but would have been made of iron.

Even though there are some issues with the length of the inlays (they are much longer on the right than the left!), the craftsmanship involved in making this would suggest this was a high-status item, certainly not the sort of thing your ordinary sailor could afford. We know that other games were played, crudely scratched onto boards and even barrel lids, so when the crew weren't hard at work, they clearly had some time to play. Indeed, Backgammon was a game that could go on for quite some time...

Image © Mary Rose Trust