A 1940’s B H Wood Persimmon Staunton chess set

A fairly recent purchase from auction house Morley’s via the Saleroom, with minimal damage and the original box lid missing  – a not uncommon occurrence – so I ended up making one from scrap vintage material. Never throw out old stuff, as on occasion it can come to be most useful! As this original box looked similar to the my Coldfield set’s box,  I made an attempt to copy the lid as it is far better to have a Frankenstein one than no lid at all. CCI member Mick Deasey did some mighty useful research into these sets, and he confirmed to me that these sets were used in chess clubs. Chess club sets can have a a selection of pieces from differing sets, so in fact finding out that this Persimmon set came after the Coldfield set both in the 1940’s which have a similar look to the Coldfield sets. This one was purchased for just over £30.00, this being due to the very reasonable shipping costs. Using the recommended shippers can be DK (Deal Killers) as should the shipper be a distance away from the auction house then the price quoted becomes rather more costly. With a 9.5 cms king this set – with strange looking ” Spartan knights” – has superb piece stability, and there have been a few for sale recently with one set on eBay at present.

I saw a daft claim by a prominent eBay seller that Chess Sutton Coldfield was a manufacturer of chess sets??! This made up ‘mince’ (Scottish term meaning rubbish) would mean that Sutton Coldfield was in fact Mutton Coldfield, a huge refrigeration plant  with B H Wood getting his lumber from ” SHarewood” Forest! One can choose to believe some of these fairy tales, all for inflated prices. Recently one of these sets was sold on eBay for £60.00, and during the auction I politely asked the seller for some information on the set, however the reply was so curt and dismissive that I withdrew my bid. Not something I like doing, and this action had a puzzling outcome. Bid retraction is only allowable by the eBay system for a very limited number of reasons, and as my reason was that the seller failed to give the required information, there was no option on the system for this scenario so I had to effectively ‘force’ my bid retraction through the eBay system by stating a blatant untruth, i.e. that I had entered wrong amount. This nonsense imposed by eBay undermines the whole Feedback system. So as an exercise, every time I lose an auction I check the feedback comments, and in a large number of instances there is no feedback stated – more than a tad strange in my opinion. Where I feel the seller might have offered a more upfront and honest disclosure in their listing then I won’t leave any via feedback whatsoever as that’s just how I roll.


Posted on

September 25, 2021

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