The origin of the game.
Gnav is an old game that was known in Italy
already in the 14 th century. It was played with cards and
was a game
of trade with very simple rules. From Italy it spread north through Germany,
and only by the beginning of the 1600s did it reach Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia. We know the game as a pleasant family pastime,
but originally it was a game of chance, often played in pubs and inns.
The rules as well as the cards and symbols have varied through time.
Danish players increased the number of these, and much points to the
fact that Denmark is the country of origin of Gnav as a game with playing pieces.
In any case, it has not been possible to find traces of it in Italy and Germany.
We have found the oldest evidence for the existence of Gnav playing pieces in
a rule book for games from Copenhagen, dated in 1774 (Political Rules of Play
for permissible and most often used Games in Inns).
It states: "A pouch with the following playing pieces in it...... "
In Norway, people played Gnav enthusiastically by the end of the 1800s and up
to the Second World War. Playing pieces and cards were used side by side,
but there was never any doubt about which was preferred.
The comical wooden playing pieces with roman numerals and amusing
illustrations are classy both in terms of quality and entertainment value.
The game was handed down from one generation to another in families.
People still gather around it, especially during the Christmas holidays.
In many families, the festive playing of Gnav has become
part of the Christmas traditions.