An Early 20thC Painted Papier-Mâché French Fairground Passé-Boules Ball Toss Game

Origin: French
Period: Early 20thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1910-35
Height: 25”
Width: 14.5”
Depth: 10”

The papier-mâché Passé-Boules toss game, as a Pierrot clown, wearing a blue rimmed pointed hat, with a gaping open mouth into which one tosses balls, showing the original painted features, and with unusual glass eyes, the whole on a pink painted hanging board showing related newspaper cuttings to the reverse, to a ball tray with chalked sections at 2, 5 and 8, the whole surviving from the first half of twentieth century France.

Evocative of the magic of the fairground, the mask and backboards paint has flaked and chipped off in places with some small cracks here due to the nature of it being a well-used amusement item, the chalk numbering is later and the ball tray is possibly a later replacement.

Historically, passé-boule (ball-toss) was a very popular fairground game in France from the 19th century onwards and the masks often depict figures to be ridiculed.

A particularly aesthetically pleasing example that adds an instant nostalgic charm to a room.