Alternative Name(s): Jacks
Knucklebones, or Jacks, is an ancient game, dating back to prehistoric times. The first jacks were natural materials - animal bones, stones, seeds and shells. Sheep's knucklebones were the most common type of jacks in Australia during the first half of this century, and children would colour them by boiling them in water with ink or dye. During the 1950s, mass-produced plastic knucklebones became available.
The Australian Children's Folklore Collection is unique in Australia, documenting contemporary children's folklore across Australia and in other countries reaching back to the 1870s. The Collection has a strong component of research material relating to Victoria.
Eight sheeps' knucklebones in natural state. All have yellowed with age, and they appear to have been scraped, although there are still dried bits of animal tissue attached to the bones.
Cultural Gifts Donation from Dr June Factor, 18 May 1999
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
Type of item
34 mm (Length), 30 mm (Width), 20 mm (Height)
Measurement From Conservation. Dimensions are approximate as knucklebones are not identical