Saturday, 22 September 2012

A Wisden's Shove Ha'penny

John Wisden & Co are perhaps best known as the publisher of the world famous Cricketing Almanack. However, the company originated as a supplier of sporting equipment, specifically that used for cricket which was the sport played by its eponymous founder. Other games including this high quality Mahogany Shove Ha'penny Board were added to the range sometime in the mid 20th Century, presumably to take advantage of the popularity of the game in post-war pubs and clubs at this time. Wisden no longer supply sporting equipment of any kind.

I would imagine that these boards were manufactured for Wisden to their own specification, possibly by the same manufacturer as those from K&C, Jaques, etc. The design had become so standardised by this time that there would have been little point in adding unnecessary design quirks to the basic formula, and as a result these commercial boards all look very similar. The board shown here was in well-used condition when I bought it (see below), but has polished up nicely with an exceptionally smooth surface, ideal for use with smoothed half pennies.

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