Interestingly, the traditional British card game, Cribbage, is a fun and popular pastime amongst U.S. submariners. The playing pieces are nicely compact and easy to store. And the social and intellectual engagement required must help relieve the tension of living in cramped, submerged quarters. World War II era submariner, Rear Admiral Dick O'Kane, was a cribbage aficionado and, today, his personal cribbage board is kept in the "wardroom" (commissioned officers' mess) of the oldest submarine assigned to the Pacific Fleet. Should the oldest ship be decommissioned, the board is to be transferred to the next oldest ship.
The first known rules for cribbage were published in England in 1662, however, the game evolved from the older game, "Noddy," developed in the 1500's. Cribbage enjoyed a boost in popularity with the publication of Charles Dickens's The Old Curiosity Shop (released serially in 1840 and 1841).
I am unequipped to explain the rules succinctly. Apparently, those rules are few but the variations (and subtleties) of play make the game interesting and enduringly popular to this day. Perhaps this summer, while spending the family holiday at the beach, you might bring along a cribbage board (with its pegs and deck of cards) and start a family tradition (sans electronics).
The board shown here, made in England in the Thirties, folds-shut as a box which contains the deck of cards and the necessary pegs (included). The deck of cards, which were with the board when I acquired it, are from East Germany. Click on the photo above to learn more about it.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248