A century-old suffragette game unearthed at a free valuation day in Stratford surged to success at auction to sell for six times its original estimate.
The game, called Pank-a-Squith, did not include its playing board, only the dice, playing instructions and suffragette figures, but this failed to deter bidders at Derbyshire’s Hansons Auctioneers.
The game sold for £620 – six times its original estimate of £80-£120– at the firm’s saleroom in Etwall, near Derby, on March 27.
Jim Spencer, head of the books and manuscripts department at Hansons, said: “It was an exceptional result considering the playing board was not included. I am delighted for the vendor.
“To bring an item like this along to a free valuation day and see it do so well at auction goes to show what can be achieved if you dig out those forgotten items gathering dust at home.”
The timely discovery was made in the year Britain marks the 100th anniversary of some women winning the right to vote in 1918.
Pank-a-Squith was named after Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of the British Suffragette movement, and her adversary, Herbert Asquith, British prime minister from 1908-1916.
He advocated denying women the right to vote. As a result, his house became a target of the British suffragette movement’s mass window-breaking campaign in the early 20th century. Despite Asquith’s views, the Representation of the People Act 1918 finally gave women over 30 the right to vote. In 1928, all British women aged over 21 were granted the right to vote.
Hansons valuer John Keightley found the game at a monthly valuation event held by the firm at The Malt House, The Rookery, Alveston.
He said: “It was a wonderful find. It dates back to around 1909 and is probably German. I knew a complete game had sold in the past for £660 but, due to the missing board, thought this one might only make around £100.”
Pank-a-Squith was made to entertain supporters of the Suffragette Movement while raising funds and promoting their cause.
It is essentially a glorified version of snakes and ladders where Suffragette figures have to negotiate the board while avoiding arrest.
There are six Suffragette figures in the game and, depending on what square your suffragette figure falls on, you follow instructions such as: ‘Dodges the police and must go back to her home on square number 1’.
Mr Keightley said: “Object like this show how advanced the Suffragette movement was in terms of making merchandise to back their cause.”
Hansons will hold its next free antiques valuation day at The Malt House, The Rookery, Alveston, Stratford, Warwickshire, CV37 7QP, on April 27, 1-4pm. As well as a general valuations, famous face from TV Kate Bliss will be valuing jewellery and silver for free at the venue from 12.30-5.30pm. To find out more, call Carol Jones on 07802 839915.
The Suffragette game was sold at Hansons Auctioneers, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, on March 27. To find out more, visit www.hansonsauctioneers.co.uk or call 01283 733988.