Dennis "Dainty Series" Games
Back toIndex Click For evolution of Dennis published and printed PPCs (1900 to 1907 approx)
The year dates and illustrations of "Dainty" Party Games, published by Dennis, are given here. Starting in the 1920's, party games and card games became very popular. Dennis produced a large number of these games using the "Dainty Series" trade mark, later (about 1959) changed to "Dennis Productions".
In about the early 1920s, Dennis Games were issued with a "G" prefix followed by a number. This "G" series continued into the 1960s
Enough Dennis /"Dainty" Games have survived where the year of issue can be dated approximately, with some years exactly. This allows a schedule to be compiled of the "G" number dating, by the year of issue; this is given in the Table below. The number of games introduced in any one year changed over time, it started with about 10 games per year in the 1920/30s. In WW2 paper and card allocations were very much in force, allowing about 40% of the paper/card used pre WW2 . WW2 production was about 4 games a year. After the war, production was about 8 games per year Obviously by the 1950s, there were many more entertainments competing in the home, Radio, TV etc.
N.B The Illustration style of the Game cannot be used to date a Game. The Illustrations design style typically look back to prior design styles that were in vogue 30 years previously. A good example of this is G848, published in the 1960s, with a strong 1930s "elegant cruising" illustration style. Again, games of the 1950s used 1920s Art Deco Styles.
Another problem with dating arises when a date occurs in a quiz, it is rarely contemporaneous. Typically it refers to an event 10 to 20 years prior. For example, a 1936 florin (coin) is mentioned in one quiz game, but the game was published about 15 years later. This "always looking back" ten years or more, is typical of these Dennis games. Everything is very "retro", designs looking back 30 years and quiz questions looking back at least a decade.
G Nos 1940 on
|G numbers 1920 to 1939|
|Year||"G" From||"G" To|
g7g7366 g839 587
This Game uses cards with Statesmen names jumbled up e.g Asquith. Also jumbled up was John Burns. G number was 517. .The wording "Patent Applied For" is used. Full identification of "E.T.W.Dennis Ltd ,London & Scarborough" is made, as well as the "Dainty" Series. Have seen G555A in similar envelope, the G number was on the results card
|"Party Game" Cards. No G number|
|Title||Series||Numbering & other||Notes|
|Nursery Rhymes en Casserole||Second||Only seen a single card||Agnes Richardson|
|Nursery Rhymes en Casserole||Third||No14 on envelope||Game in an envelope. Hilda Cowham|
|Lost in the Jumble||Single card only seen||Illustrated by Hilda Cowham|
|An Intelligence Test||No14 on envelope||Game in an envelope. Hilda Cowham|
|History Alphabet No1||No14 on envelope||Game in an Envelope. Agnes Richardson did a lot of cards with Dutch children|
Further Information sought on above , no G number, "Party Game" cards
Nursery Rhymes en Casserole.
This game had 12 folded cards, each with the boy and girl coloured design, by Hilda Cowham, on the front of the cards (I also show a 1913 Faulkner postcard "The only boy in the room" by Hilda Cowham, in a very similar style). Inside each card there was room for questions on one side and space for answers in the space opposite. The game featured unusually described nursery rhymes The Game was in an envelope and was labelled No 14 on the envelope .The 12 cards were also labelled "Third Series, Nursery Rhymes en Casserole" . (Note: All Party Games that used colour in the design and were in envelopes, have No 14 on them)
(Note: This envelope version was sold at half the price of the box version, 7.5 pence , compared to the full price of 1s.3d=15 pence
Also seen in an "Envelope 14" were two more games, "An Intelligence Test" and also "History: Alphabet No1"
The artist for "Intelligence Test" was Hilda Cowham, black cats were "lucky" in her drawings! Probably the Dutch illustration was by Agnes Richardson, who did a lot of postcards featuring Dutch children. Two of her postcards, with Dutch children and a goose , (Both Celesque, Photchrom circa 1910) illustrated.
Agnes Richardson designed the "Nursery Rhymes in Casserole", Second Series
Hilda Cowham designed "Lost in the Jumble"
Series Number& Title only (No "G")
Each Box contained 24 cards. Working back to Series 1 gives a start date of Puzzled'Em as 1930.
|SERIES 5 KEYCARD
Cards numbered 97 to 120
121 to 144
|1938||Puzzled'Em||Series 9||Cards numbered to 216|
|217 to 240|
|1941||Puzzled'em||Series 12||Dainty Series|
Card Numbers had reached 336(14*24)
|Have a Series 14 box , posted on
5 November 1943,
fitting in with the idea of a Puzzled'Em Series start date of 1930,
with one Puzzled'em game per year
"DENNIS'S PARTY GAMES"
|1944||Puzzled'em||No 15||Dainty Series|
|1950||Puzzled'em||No 21||In V&A|
|1954||Puzzled'em||No 25||Pz25||Shadowgraphs Household objects|
|1957||Puzzled'em||No 28||Drawn B&W /Household items|
|1958||Puzzled'em||Pz 29||Pz 29 on envelope|| Shadowgraphs B&W/Household Items
"Dainty Series" in envelope
|1960||Puzzled'em||Series31||Household Objects/B&W photos. Dainty Series|
|1961||Puzzled'em||No 32`||Pz32||Dennis Productions. Photographs of everyday things. It also exists in an envelope labelled ETW Dennis of Scarborough. Probably 1961|
|1962||Puzzledem||G2402||Household Items. Probably 1962|
|1962||Puzzledem||G2404||"Sports" Puzzles/Text only front|
|1962||Puzzled'Em||G2409||Used in home|
|1962||Puzzledem||G2408||"Hardware" Puzzle. Figure bent right on box|
The usual Puzzled'em box illustration (left) is shown, this design lasted until 1960.
1961 had a design change of the box (right) ,but still used the "Series" designation (which was 32).
"Series" designation was dropped and a "G" numbering was used in 1962.
This Pz 29 was in an envelope and not a box. The terms "Series" and "Pz" seem to be used interchangeably? Pz29 on the envelope and "Series 29" on the cards.
This Puzzled'em Series was issued at the rate of one a year from 1930 to 1962
The V&A Museum has "Puzzledem", Dainty Series No 21. No "G" number
Pz 32 is attributed to "Dennis Productions" Series No 32. This would make it post 1960
The original "Puzzled'Em" drab styling is above (Left). The box heading was "DENNIS'S PARTY GAME" for this old style
Pz 32 Puzzled'Em was the last use of the old "Series" numbering in 1961 (Pz 32). In 1962 G numbering was used for "Puzzled'Em
Dennis took Party Games production seriously from about 1930 onwards and introduced some new ideas for games. This Puzzled'em Series does not have any G number, until 1962.
Puzzled'em Series 32 was from "Dennis Productions" and this would place it in 1961, followed by the 1962 Puzzled'ems labelled G24xx.
A good fit for year of issue is by dating Series 1 to 1930, followed by one Puzzled'em a year, getting to Series 32 in 1961. This is confirmed with Series 5 having cards numbered 97 to 120. Working back with 24 cards per Series gives 1930 as the start date
The 1962 versions, dropped the "Series" designation and have G numbers instead. 1962 had the last Puzzled'ems and suggests a clearing out of old stock and winding up.
"Animal Puzzled'em". Does not belong with the usual Puzzled'ems, but was a G numbered game with Box No, G706.
*G707 was another Animal Puzled'em, but for children
G711 was a Bird Puzzled'em
G549 G556A(English Towns&Cities)
1925 Games had drab colours on a grey background
1926 introduced brighter colours and designs, This continued until 1929
G580 (circa 1928). Wilkie Collins's "Woman in White" is drawn in high 1920s fashion. Two of the other book titles in G580 are "Eight Strokes of the Clock" and "Middle of Things", both published in 1922. This would fit well with a date of about 1928 for this game given their strong "retro" propensity.
"DAINTY" DENNIS, "G" NUMBERED GAMES
Very small selection of "G" numbered "Dainty" Games follows......
DAINTY SERIES: G549 'Enry's Experiment, Jumble Girls Names G588 , NuZoo G633, Bridge Wedding G676, Aviarieties G684, Birds & Animals G794, Find the Fault G803 ,G833 Find the Fault
DENNIS PRODUCTIONS: SpellIt G849, [ Jumbles (TV Personalities) G850 AND Jumbl
es (Radio Stars) G851]. G4001 and G4002, presumably published in 1964, seem to be the last??
The two games, G850 and G851 are obviously from the very late 1950's/early 60s , David Nixon, Jack Warner etc mentioned for TV and Semprini, etc for Radio. TV really got going with the Queen's coronation in 1953 and was well established by 1960. 1961 is a probable date for G850 and G851
Illustrations of Dennis "Dainty" Games
Through the Decades
Early examples seen of this "3 card player powdered wigs" design are Boxed G588 ,"77 Varieties" Jumbled Girls Names (Late 1920s/1930?). This design was issued as soon as Dennis passed the "77" Party Games mark. ALSO Boxed G596 (Irish Songs) in the late 1920s/1930?
Not every design featured "77 Varieties", G589 (The Garden") illustrated here does not have it. "Hidden Birds" has illustrations copied from G589 but with different colours used
"77 Varieties" mentioned. (Presumably to outdo Heinz 57 !).
Note: a G628 had handwritten "Sefton Park YPC (Young Peoples Club) 2/10/1933" on it. The title was "Find'Em" , an early ,probably the first, version of the "Find the Fault" series.
Bright modern highly coloured design introduced by Dennis "Dainty", in the LATE 1930s. see G666 and G676 (also G669 "The Golfers Game", same design as G676)
and G684 also G659 "A Dickensian Hour"
G694 "The City" is particularly colourful. (Illustrated below)
Note: G684 Aviarieties was also supplied in a drab grey/green "Party Game" envelope, instead of a box
G718 The old "3 card players, powdered wigs" design was brought back for WW2 use, with wartime economical limited colours. Also G716 in monochrome green for wartime use. (both illustrated).
Three card player design seen forWW2
703 Nursery Toys
705 London Streets
718 Choir Concert (illustrated)
Drab limited wartime colours introduced in the 1940s by Dennis "Dainty". I Have seen the 3 card player design reprinted in drab green, as well as the colours of G718:Choir Concert (illustrated)
Possibly the usual artist/illustrator was called up for war service.
G717:"Soapstone Dragons" Story is also in this drab green/grey cover envelope . In the wartime 1940s it seems that games were mainly either in a box with "3 card player design" or in the drab grey/green envelope.
This use of limited muted colours on an off- white background was typical of the late 1940s designs. See G732 "Trios" and G750 "Ants"
Post WW2, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, there was good demand for Party Games.
Dennis "Dainty" designers used bright colours on a white ground during this period. The illustration styles suggest "Art Deco", although issued in the 1950s
I show G767 "Can You" and G782 "Sons" .(G781 was same design as G782 but for "Caged Animals")
G801 "Hidden Flowers" (not shown) was the same design type
G811 (Illustrated) Design in a 1930s style
Highest "Dainty Series" Game seen is G833
Last "Dainty Series" Game I have seen is G833 ,a game called "Find the Fault", see below
(Note: The Dennis lists included with the games are not that reliable. This G833 is misnamed "Park your Car" , "Find the Fault" is listed as G831)
G833, Last "Dainty Series" seen G833 (Incidentally, G832 was a very similar "Find the Fault")
G835, First "Dennis Productions" seen is G835, with artist designed logo. G837 is a "Dennis Production" Jumbles "Towns & Cities", with an artist designed logo.
To G834, Title of "Dainty Series" still used
Price rise to 2 shillings a game, starting with G829
Dennis was down from 10 games per year in the 1920s, to about 8 games per year in the 1950s)
1959 was G829 toG836 (Seen "Dainty" use on G833 ,G835 was the, first use I have seen of "Dennis Productions". both artist designed and non artist typography).G836 was the artist designed "Dennis Productions" logo)
1960 was G837 to 842. 1961 was G843 to G 850 (Have seen G850 and G851, see below)
The new "Dennis Production" Games Series
Probably, G835 was the first "Dennis Production" in 1959 (there was a non artist designed version of Dennis Productions logo).
=Post 1958. The new artist designed logo, first appeared on G835 in 1959.
1960 (G837 to G 844)
G841 was used on 2 games :"Write the Word, Cricket" and also "Screen & Stage stars".
G842=,"Tally Ho" and G844= "A Canny Game",( design style shown for G848 in 1961), look like 1930s high end cruising fashion illustrations. (They still used the "Dainty" designation on the result cards, even though they were "Dennis Productions") .
"Stick a Pin" =G843?.
G844 was used again for Sportsmen Jumbles, as usual the "retro"Sportsmen named were from about 10 years back in 1950s
Jumbles G840 =Rhyme a Tag. G837= Jumbles "Towns&Cities"
1961 (G843 to G850)
G848 "Find the Pro" Elegant "Cruising" 1930's design style, although published in 1961. Also 1920s styles were used in the late 1950s.
G850 and G851 (TV & RADIO STARS) , issued about the year date of 1960/1961 ??,
I have never seen any 1xxx Dennis games. I do not think they exist.
The "G" series then proceeds in a "gapped number" fashion, for 2xxx and 3xxx and 4xxx
All G2xxx are "Dennis Productions" =Post 1958
G2401 Puzzledem : Household Series G2402 Puzzledem: Household Items
G2403 Puzzledem: Things to Eat G2404 Puzzledem : Sports Series
G2406 WHOZOO A to M G2407 WHOZOO N to Z 1962
G2408/2409 Puzzledem "Hardware"/"Used in the home"
G2410 &G2411 Tell Tale Tracks,
All G3xxx are "Dennis Productions" and must be post 1960. =Post 1959
G3001 Find the Fault (Country)
Find the Fault G3002(Towns)
G3003(Transport) Find the Fault
G3004 What's Wrong (Sports) G3005 What's Wrong
G3006 Tricky Trades
G3010 Spot the Town
[G4001 and G4002]. 3 party games in each box, (illustrated here) 1964
After 1960, TV became the main home entertainment and this lead to a reduction in the number of Games issued per year. These Dennis games finished by the mid 1960's, probably in 1964 with these "Dennis Productions" G4001 and G4002?
I think that the last "Dainty Series" Games was G834, after that , starting late 1959, "DENNIS PRODUCTIONS" was used
1962 was 2404 to 2411
1963 was 3002 to 3010 and 1964 was 4001, 4002 (6 games)
Dennis produced score cards for card games. I show the front of a Progressive Contract Bridge score card for "Dennis Productions"=post 1958
In addition to Games, I have seen a set of Dominoes in a case with "Dainty" on the case. Also seen a "Dainty" set of playing cards in a box with score sheets, for playing Bridge.
I show a "Dainty" graphic logo used on the box of a 1930s card game of bridge set, that was produced by the firm of Dennis. This is probably based on a drawing of Mr Pickwick. (Dennis gave readings from Dickens and his father knew Dickens himself)
About 1932 Dennis/Dainty introduced a card game called "Trio". It was patented as 24947/32. It was based on bidding for sets of cards, apples, oranges etc. I do not think many were sold as they are very hard to find today. (This should not be confused with G732 "Trios" , which was a question and answer game)
E.T.W.Dennis also produced a "Nursery Rhymes Novelty Card", probably 1937. Only two seen, as Xmas cards.
End of Dennis Party Games Section. Dennis Postcards follow.
Evolution of Dennis published and printed PPCs (1900 to 1907 approx)
"ETWD" initials in black in negative , in white in picture
Typical "full size card" 1900
Explicit ETWD initials in usual white in picture
U/B introduced late 1901 (Have one P/U Dec 1901).D/B
First attempt at a divided back. P/U Dec 25
1902.Space has been left below the picture for a message and also on the
|First attempt at a divided back. P/U Dec 25 1902 "THIS SPACE AS WELL AS THE BACK MAY NOW BE USED FOR COMMUNICATION". Post Office Regulations|
|The above Dec 1902 PPC marks two changes It is a very early version of a Dennis published divided back PPC, in addition it is the first known Dennis example of a subject PPC as opposed to a topographic (artist drawn or photographic) view card.||There is no mention of "Dainty" on this late 1902 PPC (above)|
Late 1903 D/B
"Dainty" in type only (down the dividing line)
Dainty not in graphic form Large lettering in "POST CARD"
Later, smaller size lettering "POST CARD"
D/B "Dainty" in type only, down
the centre dividing line, this lasted until the Spring of 1904 (Earliest known
is P/U June 18th 1904)
|First "Dainty" Series ,with artist drawn Trademark, seen is P/U June 18th 1904..Shown here is same artist drawn trademark card for Leeds with "eggshell blue" sky P/U Sept 1904|
Full photo, no vignetting.
|Note: The "Dainty" graphic form also exists with an ornamental centre dividing line. First seen P/U June 18th 1904. It. also has an explicit text box ,(below graphic) of "ETW Dennis,Scarborough). Possibly this was the first "Dainty" graphic form used??, (where Dennis has to "explain" what "Dainty" Series refers to).||
THE Final form of above "Dainty Graphic" type back has
omitted reference to "Post Office Regulations" in the text
By 1906 the rectangular graphic had a "foliage" border and added the full name of "ETW Dennis & Sons Ltd, London & Scarborough"
1906 to 1914 back
A more elaborate ornamental design of the logo was introduced about 1906 and continued to 1914.The full name of the firm was added, including "London & Scarborough"
|Post 1914 back|
|About 1914, when Dennis produced cards that were of Scarborough events, he used just the "Dainty Series" designation and no graphics. These cards were not for the UK in general but were just for Scarborough and nearby. Notification of further examples would be much appreciated|
Dennis continued to publish photographic prints. I show a Souvenir Booklet of Cornwall, with the prints (16*25 cms) signed Elmer Keene. (All are "Rough Seas"). Probably about 1910, when Dennis certainly published Elmer Keene monochrome postcards. I have seen a very similar booklet for Whitby with the 1906 to 1914 ETW Dennis logo stamped on the back
I show below P/U 1908 and 1911 Dennis postcards by Keene, in a similar style.