Front of the game card 29 from "Characteristics; An Original Game by a Lady"

Collection Type

  • Ephemera

Location Note

Ephemera: Card Games: Box 1



You can find this within


This is card 29 in the game, Characteristics, an Original and Amusing Game by a Lady, published by the firm W. & S. B. Ives of Salem, Massachusetts in 1843. The goal of the game was to collect cards by identifying famous personages by their personality traits. When a player failed to match the person to their characteristics, she or he had to read a pair of admonitory epigrams on the back of the card. The question on the front is: "England, died A.D. 901. He was distinguished for: genius for government and for war; learning; taste for poetry and music; beauty; energy, prudence; ingenuity; punctuality; piety." The answer is Alfred the Great, King of England, who died in 901. The epigrams on the back are: "O, foolish youth! Thou seek'st the greatness that will overwhelm thee" and "If human woes her soft attention claim, a tender sympathy pervades her frame." A pattern of palmettes decorates the edge of the card. W. & S. B. Ives, one of the firms of William and Stephen Bradshaw Ives, was bought out by Parker Brothers in 1887.


Descriptive Terms

palmette (motif)
borders (ornament areas)
kings (people)
card games (game sets)
educational games
printed ephemera
playing cards

Additional Identification Number

DigitalID 000347
AccessID 637
Other identifier HNEDID-000347

Physical Description

1 playing card

Collection Code


Collection Name

Ephemera collection

Reference Code


Date Notes



Salem (Essex county, Massachusetts)
Wessex (England, United Kingdom) [general region]

Record Details


W. & S.B. Ives (Firm) (publisher)

Material Type

playing cards

Other People

Alfred, King of England, 849-899
Ives, Stephen Bradshaw, 1801-1883
Ives, William, 1794-1874
Abbott, Beverly

Accruals Note

Front of 000449

Description Level


Location Note

Ephemera: Card Games: Box 1