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Also known as Pigeon Hole, Bridgeboard, Nine Holes, The Hole, Trunkes, Small Trunkes.
Troll Madam appears in literature from the 1560’s, though was probably in existence in one form or another from much earlier. Ad hoc nine holes games were known to be played by children, as can be seen in Breughel’s painting Children’s Games (1560); and literature of the Elizabethan and Stuart periods suggests Troll Madam was viewed as a frivolous game played to amuse ladies. Shakespeare mentions it in The Winters Tale (1610).
Francis Willughby, in the mid seventeenth century, is the first to describe the board and the game played. Many names are associated with the board, some of which may refer to specific games. References continue up until the late nineteenth century.
Oak board, supported by feet, which can be placed on a table or other flat surface; with hand-painted numbers above the nine arches. Comes with unglazed fired-clay marbles, in a leather drawstring pouch. Board has a retainer behind to prevent marbles travelling too far. Supplied with rules and historical notes.
Oak board 26" wide x 6.75" high
Ten marbles of unglazed fired clay, five each buff and terracotta
Marbles supplied in a drawstring leather pouch
All our boards are made of quarter-sawn oak, each with their own distinctive figuring; so the board supplied may differ slightly from that shown in the picture.