Box of playing cards manufactured in London by John Jaques & Son.

Happy Families is a traditional card game played in the UK, usually with a specially made set of picture cards, featuring illustrations of fictional families of four, most often based on occupation types. The idea of the game is to collect whole families. This is done by asking another player whether they have a certain card. If they don`t have it, it is their turn to ask. If they do, they have to pass it to the first player, who can ask again. Play continues until a player matches all of his or her cards into family groups. The game can adapted for use with an ordinary set of playing cards.

The game was devised by John Jaques II, who is also credited with inventing tiddlywinks, ludo and snakes and ladders, and was first published before the Great Exhibition of 1851. Cards following Jaques's original designs, with wonderfully grotesque illustrations possibly by Sir John Tenniel (there was no official credit), are still being made.

The game forms part of the Australian Children's Folklore Collection (ACFC). The ACFC is unique in Australia, documenting contemporary children's folklore across Australia and in other countries reaching back to the 1870s. The Collection has a strong component of research material relating to Victoria.

Physical Description

Orange cardboard box with pink cardbaord box inside, containing forty-eight printed colour cards. Each card is printed with a caricature.

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