A 19th century Anglo Indian chess table

This recent ‘fresh meat’ purchase is from the extra excellent Klittich Auctions, a family owned German auction house that offers a superb all around service to buyers. They offer a lower rate of commission, a very competitive shipping service plus excellent packing – no misleading descriptions for lots on offer like ‘in the style of‘ etc. The catalogue description did not disappoint, I received exactly what I expected – a beautiful item indeed:-

Chess table. Asia. India. Small chess table made of wood. Produced around 1900. Size table 26 x 26 cm, 19 cm high; size chess board 16 x 16 cm. Around the chessboard (with white fields made of bone) are tendril – shaped decorations of bone. The octagonal plate stands on a baluster with three feet. With minor chips, damages, signs of age and use. One white field is missing. Beautiful decoration item.
Why appear to hype this fantastic auction house? Because they deserve to be praised, and they appear to appreciate what collectors desire by offering a reliable, and consistent service to buyers.
When I first started collecting, these wonderful chess collectables were rather costly, and always fancied one.
Although this is likely to be ivory, it is far from easy to confirm this – even with a pair of Specsavers glasses and the Hubble telescope one can easily doubt one’s view. This lovely table was damaged, with a central square missing, so I decided to use a good clean bone gaming chip to fix it up, this fiddly job was time consuming but rather rewarding.
These tables are often described as ‘Anglo Indian’, but were made for the British market, and some have survived that are not rare and ‘gettable’. The pictured ivory pieces were sold with these boards, but don’t let friends with big clumsy fingers handle the delicate pieces or else the dreaded snap sound is very likely! Even with the coming ivory ban, this table was bought for love, and I gave the miniature set a decent home at last – after all, it’s value is of minor importance plus a major bonus is that my Pauline loves it (happy wife=happy life!) – I have had the pleasure of meeting collectors who would never sell some of their favoured sets regardless of their value.

Posted on

July 9, 2020

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