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Vintage and Antique Cribbage Board Collecting

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I Like to Collect Cribbage Boards

Maybe I can't call myself an antique cribbage board collector, but I'm a vintage collector for sure. If I see a cribbage board for sale at a garage sale, an auction or a swap meet I am compelled to purchase it, regardless of what it looks like.

It may sound odd, and although I'll purchase almost any style of cribbage board I find at a garage sale or swap meet, unused or totally worn out, my favorite finds are still simple and ugly homemade cribbage boards. My favorite examples of these boards are poorly made with inconsistently drilled holes and unevenly aligned pegging tracks. To me these are true examples of arts and craft or folk art.

Currently my collection is around one hundred boards and probably not worth much more than that in dollars, yet I love, owning each and every one of them. I have a couple of Gems made by Drueke back in the 1950s, but most of my collection consists of homemade finds, or newer cribbage boards manufactured by Bicyle, Pressman, Lowe's and others.

Image Credit: Author: winlin


New Style of Drueke From The Carrom Company

Vintage Drueke cribbage styling, contemporary pastel coloring, and a solid Walnut board. This is one of the most innovative ideas the Carrom Company, current owners of the Drueke Brand, have come up with since they took over the Dueke name in "1990". I'm not sure what that means for the future of Drueke, but these boards are pleasant to look at it.

One way to start a cribbage board collection is to purchase a newer model from an older established company such as Drueke and then begin looking for additional boards to add to your collection. Finding collectible boards at resale shops isn't nearly as easy as it used to be. These days I get most of my nicer boards through e-Bay auctions. You can find some current e-bay listings here:

Antique Cribbage Boards For Sale On e-Bay

Vintage Cribbage Boards For Sale On e-Bay

Image Credit and Current Amazon Information: Drueke Deluxe Walnut Cribbage : 2 TRACK


Cribbage and Apple Pies

Possibly, my passion for collecting these cribbage boards fills the void of not being able to play as often as I would like. It's seemingly harder to find someone who knows how to play cribbage or simply has the time for it. I know my busy schedule doesn't always allow time for game night and the impromptu game just doesn't happen like it did when I was younger.

One of my best friends and I do however make it a habit to get together every year sometime in the fall to have a few games of cribbage, during which we bake apple pies. It's a ritual that begins with a cocktail... A Martini for my pal and Scotch on the rocks for me. It seems God gave me the gift of peeling and coring apples quickly, and those early years as a Pantry Chef didn't hurt either.

As I recall, this all began on one of those rare cribbage nights. When I showed up for the games, he was peeling and coring apples for his pie. He has many talents, but I'll politely say; "Quickly peeling and coring apples is not one of them". So I asked if I could help and he gladly handed me the paring knife. Once he saw me go at it he realize he could make two pies in less time then it used to take to make one pie, if I were to help in the production... and that's the origination of "Cribbage and Apple Pie Night"

Once the apple pies are ready to bake, we slip them into the oven, set the timer and begin to play cribbage... best out of three usually does it before the pies are done. Sometimes we'll have a slice while they are still warm (with ice cream of course), or we'll just split them up and I'll take one home to share with my wife.

Image Credit: Apple Pie, by: joebone Downloaded from

Facts About the Game of Cribbage

  • Cribbage boards are really cool but you can easily play cribbage without a board by writing down the scores on a piece of paper instead.
  • To play cribbage you use a standard "52" card deck of playing cards.
  • Cribbage is the only game that can be legally played for money in English pubs.
  • The score of "29" is the highest scoring hand that can be made in the game of cribbage.
  • You cannot score a "19" point hand in cribbage. If someone states they have a nineteen hand, they are generally telling you they actually scored nothing with the hand.
  • Whoever deals first in a game of cribbage will have a statistical advantage to win that game.
  • There are variations of the game of cribbage that allows for two, three or four player, play.
  • Although there is no documentation other than that of his biographer, the invention of the game of cribbage is generally attributed to the poet Sir John Suckling (1609 - 1642) .

Drueke 5020 2-Track Continuous Cribbage Board

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Are you ready to play a bit of cribbage, maybe bake an apple pie?

Bob Zau (author) on July 31, 2014:

@bkasmauski: If I'm correct the #26 is a fairly straight forward up and down to 60 points game board. In good condition with a box. In my opinion you could comfortably ask $25-$30 for it.

bkasmauski on July 31, 2014:

I have a Drueke no 26 cribbage board. I believe that it is the inlaid model due to shrinkage in the wood around the inlays. It is in its original black box that is in rough condition. The board itself is in very nice condition though. It does not have the instructions or pegs. What would a current day ball-park value of the board be?

anonymous on July 01, 2013:

@anonymous: Is there a number stamped on it? Milton Bradley made boards from 1860 to 1984, Hasbro bought them out that year. Older boards have Milton Bradley Company stamped on bottom

Value between $15 to $30

anonymous on July 01, 2013:

@wendy-huber-54: Drueke #26 can be Stenciled or inlaid, value $35 don't know the type of wood

wendy-huber-54 on June 25, 2013:

Does anyone know what year the Drueke #26 cribbage board is and possible what kind of wood it is made of?

anonymous on June 25, 2013:

does anyone know what year a #26 board is? or what kind of wood it maybe?

getmoreinfo on February 14, 2013:

This is really nice Vintage and Antique Cribbage Board Collecting

anonymous on January 27, 2013:

HI! I found a boxed cribbage board, by Aarco playing card company, Chicago. It is the most beautiful wood inlay and very unique. In good condition. Do you know anything about this? THANKYOU

Bob Zau (author) on November 25, 2012:

@anonymous: I say their always worth keeping : ) . I'm not sure but I believe the no 7 folding board is a newer version. If I'm correct Current Market Price for a new board less any wear and tear would be good indication of value.

Bob Zau (author) on November 25, 2012:

@anonymous: Probably more like early to middle 1900s . This page has reference to a Coca-Cola board that was made by MB. The earlier MB boards should have the Milton Bradley name and the number stamped underneath. 4624, 4625, and 4626 were made around the time of the coca cola board referenced at - value: probably $20-$40 if it is one of those boards listed above..

anonymous on November 25, 2012:

I have an old Milton Bradley board that I need help identifying. I can't seem to find anything like the board on ebay or any collectors site. Did they make them as early as 1880?

anonymous on October 30, 2012:

I have come across a unique cribbage board, not sure if it is antique or not.. thinking it is. it is a drueke pocket cribbage board. NO 7. still in the leather case inside the original box casing. it came with the playing instructions. Wondering how I would find out the age of this board. I am not a crib player so wondering if it is worth keeping or selling..

Bob Zau (author) on August 08, 2012:

@christine616: Your comments make me think of a time gone by. One that I believe is similar to yours. (((smiling))) I remember back in the day my Mom would have been the one to proudly carpet the bottom of, well, anything.

Sometimes the passing of the torch is what is missed in today's culture. Maybe we can continue our memories of those who are gone, by finding someone new to share a game of cribbage and slice of pie with - Thanks for sharing, Winlin

christine616 on August 08, 2012:

I really miss playing cards (including cribbage) with the older family who are all gone now. For many years now, I've kept my dads nice cribbage board that he had carpeted the bottom of! And I also kept my grandmothers plastic 29 board. =) I miss her apple pies, too!

Bob Zau (author) on July 27, 2012:

@anonymous: Sounds like an interesting find. You probably have as you thought; an imprinted promotional or gift item. There were a handful of companies that made these leather folding cribbage boards around the World War II era. They were popular with the troops since they could fold them up and fit them in a pocket. It could be older, but I'd guess more likely around the 1930s or 40's. Depending on quality, condition I've seen these sell generally for between $10 and $30 dollars.

anonymous on July 26, 2012:

I am looking for information on an antique Furniture City cribbage board set. The board is bound in black leather and the size of a deck of cards, which are packed inside the board along with 6 metal pegs. The binding folds flat to remove the cards, pegs and also becomes the board. The card deck was printed with the logo, Furniture City, as advertisement, a promotional item for furniture salesman or just as a traveling cribbage board. On the back of the cards, besides the Furniture City logo, are several triangles with the letters GRM, for Grand Rapids Michigan. Also on the back of the cards, in small print, is printed Dickinson Bros. The face of the entire deck of cards shows different buildings and places in and around Grand Rapids Michigan. I estimate the cribbage set was produced around the late 19th to early 20th century.

Bob Zau (author) on June 20, 2012:

@anonymous: LOL - If I had ever been drafted to the army you can bet they would have wanted me on KP duty with this special talent. Thanks for the visit.

Bob Zau (author) on June 20, 2012:

@hntrssthmpsn: What are the odds? Glad to hear we're not the only kooks with this type of tradition.

Bob Zau (author) on June 20, 2012:

@microfarmproject: A family history of cribabage.. I love it!

Bob Zau (author) on June 20, 2012:

@KimGiancaterino: Thanks again for your visits and kind words. Keep the tradition alive. I truly enjoy hearing about families that play cribbage together.

Bob Zau (author) on June 20, 2012:

@alex89 lm: Think about teaching someone else how to play. It's a great way to spend quality time one on one with a friend or relative. Thanks for sharing.

anonymous on June 20, 2012:

This is just so darn sweet, I'm glad you discovered a God given gift...could say that it's a win/win for winlin!

alex89 lm on June 14, 2012:

I only learned how to play last Christmas, but its fun and a great game for rainy days and family gatherings!

KimGiancaterino on June 13, 2012:

My dad has several cribbage boards. His favorite is handmade, purchased from a craft fair. I like your apple pie tradition.

Bob Zau (author) on June 12, 2012:

@SheilaMilne: You know I once tried to teach my wife to play golf. Let's just say... it might not be your fault you're not understanding the game : )

Bob Zau (author) on June 12, 2012:

@ItayaLightbourne: I'll definitely be adding the recipe. I have to get it from my cribbage pal first, though... Thanks for the nice comments.

SheilaMilne from Kent, UK on June 12, 2012:

I can't start to understand the game. :) My husband tried to teach me many years ago but ....

biminibahamas on June 12, 2012:

I'm with "LindaW" ... scotch and apples for me! Learned something new ... thanks for sharing.

microfarmproject on June 11, 2012:

I learned to play cribbage at my grandfather's house when I was young. My uncle is a carpenter, and he made me a board.

hntrssthmpsn on June 11, 2012:

My best friend and I are cribbage nuts! I've another dear friend which whom I *do* bake pies while playing cards, but we play rummy :) Still a winning combo!

Bob Zau (author) on June 11, 2012:

@AcornOakForest: I checked out your cribbage lens, good job. You have to try it... I's a bonus to get a pie out the deal.

Bob Zau (author) on June 11, 2012:

@anonymous: Two out of three, ain't bad. : )

Bob Zau (author) on June 11, 2012:

@IMKZRNU2: We used to play Euchre at work... many years ago. My lips are sealed.

IMKZRNU2 from Pacific Northwest on June 11, 2012:

We play Cribbage at work....shhhhhh....and I have lots of apple trees to make some pies in the Fall...nice lens thanks for sharing!

anonymous on June 11, 2012:

Don't know how to play cribbage, but I'll take the apple pie and scotch.

Monica Lobenstein from Western Wisconsin on June 11, 2012:

I love cribbage. In fact, I made my About Me lens about cribbage too. I like the idea of combining cribbage and apple pie... hmm

Itaya Lightbourne from Topeka, KS on June 11, 2012:

Great article! Well done. It might be fun to add a recipe module and share one of your fantastic apple pie recipes with us all. I just happen to be a sucker for apple pies though. :)

chas65 on June 11, 2012:

Having owned an antique store for many years, we had many neat cribbage boards over the years. Most of our shopping was on buying trips to England, and they had some cool cribbage boards.

Bob Zau (author) on June 07, 2012:

I love Apple Pie and Cribbage and I really love them together.

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