Framed Pin The Tail On The Donkey Game Sheet c 1930s-40s AP1270
This is such a great example of a game that used to dominate children's birthday parties and that now, sadly, may be in eclipse. There is that sharp pin or thumb tack after all.
Here it is called "The Game of the Missing Tail" and rendered in a loose and witty style and printed in black and red ink. Two of the tails had been painstakingly cut out and we imagine the effort of actually playing it abandoned shortly afterwards. We're so glad it was so carefully preserved and so handsomely framed. We think the artist was pretty great too.
Measures 22" x 17" and its frame measures 28" x 25".
Pin the tail on the donkey is a game played by groups of children. The earliest version listed in a catalog of American games compiled by the American Game Collectors Association in 1998, is dated 1899, and attributed to Charles Zimmerling.
It is common at birthday parties and other gatherings. A picture of a donkey with a missing tail is tacked to a wall within easy reach of children. One at a time, each child is blindfolded and handed a paper "tail" with a push pin or thumbtack poked through it. The blindfolded child is then spun around until he or she is disoriented. The child gropes around and tries to pin the tail on the donkey. The player who pins their tail closest to the target, the donkey's rear, wins. The game, a group activity, is generally not competitive; "winning" is only of marginal importance. It is often seen as more entertaining, seeing the children stumble around and try to put their tail at the right place.