1870 c L'Oiseau Bleu. Jeu Magnétique. Fortune telling game from Saussine
The blue bird finds the answer to eight questions in a magical and magnetic way!! - Complete with six lithographed answers each in eight round cardboard boxes.
Mid-to-late 19th century magnetic divination game consisting of magnetic dials printed with various questions, a glass tray with chromolithographed ground and central chromolithographed floral roundel where the question dial is to be placed, the roundel surrounded by alternating answers to questions corresponding to one dial, and eight small pill boxes, the boxes containing sheets of paper with printed fortunes corresponding to questions on the second dial, with a magnetic blue bird which moves underneath the glass and points to an answer or box.
4to. Box approximately 8-1/2 x 10-1/2 x 2-3/8 inches with some soiling and wear.
Game housed in original wood and cardboard box with decorative paper covering and chromolithographed image by H. Jannin to lid depicting a young well-dressed couple listening to a wizard or mage, with a large blue bird above them, after a drawing by B. Coudert, and with printed rules in French affixed to underside of box lid.
Overall good condition internally, some fading, minor toning, minor soiling.
Paris (Saussine) n.d. (circa 1865-1875).
A printed label affixed to the underside of the box lid gives instructions for how to play this divination game:
"Pour consulter l'Oiseau Bleu il suffit de placer la palette bien au centre du disque, la question posée sur le petit hibou. Aussitôt l'Oiseau Bleu viendra s'arrêter devant une boite [sic] contenant la réponse. La seconde palette répond entre les petites boîtes. Nota - Lorsque l'on aura pris connaissance de la réponse on la replacera dans la boîte sous les autres réponses."
The Paris publishing house of Saussine operated for a century, from 1860 to 1960, producing during this time a wide range of games and puzzles. Some of the types of games they published include Jeu du Cheval Blanc, magnetic games, educational and geographical games, question-and-answer games, atlas and map puzzles, assorted "course" games, alphabet cubes, the game of the goose, Chinese shadow theaters, shooting games, and many other various board games. This game is one of several magnetic games of this type that they published. As of June 2019, WorldCat locates only a single holding of this game in a North American institution.