A late19th century F H Ayres pegged travel chess set

This lovely set with a 7cms king was very well described and recently purchased by me via Waltham Art & Antiques:-

Late 19th Early 20th Century Travelling Chess Set | 805184 | Sellingantiques.co.uk

The set more than lived up to its description, and the seller was more than happy to negotiate with me as this was something I rather wanted to have. Not too many out there so I decided to grab it whilst I could. I would recommend that the curious read the description of this very collectable item, if only to stress the quality of its content. These antique sites have some useful advantages over Ebay, as the waiting for auction action to end can be very frustrating, but the dreaded email saying the item is no longer available , at least does not happen too often – these dealers honour their agreements and thus are collector- friendly.

Why have I described it as an Ayres set? Well, back in around 2007 a small team of collectors including Keith Middleton, Peter Armit, Marco Dorland, Mick Deasey and myself researched Ayres after reading a Gareth Williams Chess Collector article but Keith sourced Ayres’s price lists which pretty much blew the opposition to our joint claims out of the water pretty much for good – the great advantage we had was owning sets we believed to be Ayres which clearly matched Jaques for quality in the late 19th/early 20th century. Yet no big hitters of the chess collecting world had the guts to take us on so wisely remained silent. If there is one thing I believe in, it is this:- selling thousands of eggs a week does not give the vendor the right to claim which came first – the chicken or the egg. This in a nutshell is why I am a supporter of researching for passion regardless of an item’s supposed value.







Posted on

September 2, 2021

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