A late 19th century British Chess Company (BCC) stamped chessboard

Some time ago I purchased a stamped BCC travel chess board with pegged wooden pieces. The item had a rather annoying fault (one crude plastic knight replacement), yet the burning question I kept asking myself was this:- “are the pegged pieces BCC?” Since I had never seen such a pegged board with a BCC stamp proving this is therefore difficult – square size 1 inch, pegged king 0.5 inch high. The inner side of the lid has a rather curious looking drawing of two swans??

At present the descriptions of antique collectable chess items are just about the worst I can recall seeing since I first started collecting back in 2004. Such an item would be offered as a BCC one, with no provision for doubt. Why? Any travel set can be made up with a selection of pieces, and the only way a collector can create evidence is to examine a wide range of antique pegged sets over time, then and only then make a claim, rather than attempt a £££ rush by offering the item for sale with bugger all information to back it up. The very current misleading rubbish being offered by sellers is ” style “, with in some cases top dollar prices being charged. No such term can be seen in the host of chess collector books that I have read! When the dubious description states ‘Calvert pattern/style‘ etc then why not offer images of the real maker (stamped ones preferred) when at least a piece resembles a genuine one? Re the so-called ‘Jaques style‘ chessboards on offer, I  simply ignore these bogus looking claims.

As a collector I feel for the unwary or novice collector but these descriptions muddy the research waters. When I see the wording ‘style and pattern‘ , as an exercise I often compare the claim against the real thing, visible for all to see on Google photos with the information from chess collector books as a back up. Then if I doubt the claim I ‘dump’ the seller regardless of their feedback rating, ignore their listings and will not buy from them .


Posted on

September 13, 2023

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