Serpentine dice

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Saksen, Germany
18th century
Serpentine, gold paint, white chalk paint
3.8 cm

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This pair of serpentine dice has both eyes and letters; the 18 rectangular faces of the dice show the eye numbers 1 through 12 and the letters TA, SZ, NH, NG, ND, LS. The eyes of the dice are painted with white chalk paint, the letters are applied in gold paint. The playing stones can be used to play a game, in which the players deposited something in a pot; the letters on the dice are abbreviations that indicate what the players have to do and stand for:

  • TA: Trete ab
  • SZ: Setze zu
  • NH: Nimm halb
  • ND: Nimm deines
  • NG: Nimm ganzes
  • LS: Lass stehen 

The TA would also stand for "Trinks aus," which turns this German game into a drinking game. The shape of the dice is also called a rhombohedron cuboctahedron.  


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