Vintage Fun and Games

Vintage Fun and Games

KNOCKING OFF GOOSE HEADS and other children’s games

Children’s games and humor were popular themes on the so called catchpenny prints or ‘centsprenten’ in Dutch. They have also been called children’s prints, ‘oortjes’ prints (in Dutch an oortje was a cent and a quarter), saints or ‘mannekesblaren’ (in Dutch: little fellows’ leaves). These cheap, sloppily colored low quality unfolded sheets were sold for one cent each by merchants going door to door and also given as reward by teachers to students. The mass-produced sheets were popular among the lower orders of society in the lowlands from the 18th century until the end of the 19th and were the cheapest illustrated printed material in the Netherlands.

Quack doctors, old spinsters, henpecked husbands and victims of swindle were ridiculed.

A popular subject was the history of Jan de Wasser, who swapped pants for apron cloth’, after which Jan did women’s work such as cooking and cleaning. With his wife Griet he sailed to an island with a baby tree to ‘have’ a baby and after this ‘childbirth’ Jan had to stay in bed instead of his wife. Jan was the typical example of a henpecked husband.

Bartele Gallery has rare catchpennies for sale. Visit or

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