Here is a recent tasty ‘fresh meat’ purchase from a good auction house, Nigel Ward & Co.** Why? How many of us out there HAM (have a moan) about auction houses?! Well, they unlike some others offer a first class shipping /packing service at a pretty fair cost, and their photos of items are good – I was well rewarded for doing business with them, as everything was excellent. With a buyers premium of 26% this is a healthy looking figure for buyers, and they earn their commission!
This delightful antique vegetable ivory set was made by F H Ayres in the late 19th century – the wonderful colours of these very tactile sets have been the reason why the material has been confused with early plastics. Thanks to CCI member Keith Middleton, we know that Ayres made these sets as he sourced a pricelist by this maker, or otherwise we collectors would have a devil of a job finding out who made these very collectable sets. The photo collage offers a rather silly piece of nonsense, so as a tester of the screw threads I managed to shrink the kings – best to avoid doing this, as without care one can easily damage the screw threads. With a 8.5 cms king which is quite large for these antique sets, but I have seen 20th century sets in bigger sizes. The set came with a nice box unlikely to be original, as Ayres used polished boxes for their sets. This is a quality set, and the Lyon had huge eyes and licked his lips as the bidding started, but with great relief as the price killed off the circling hyenas. I badly wanted this set as according to a well informed CCI member, there are few of them about. The previous owner deserves kudos for taking great care of this cracking set – he/ she can be rest assured it has a grand new home, and with the impending ivory sale ban coming, these sets are well worth looking at.
**PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM NOT PAID TO RECOMMEND OR PROMOTE ANY AUCTION HOUSES I MENTION ON THIS WEBSITE – I DO SO MERELY TO ASSIST ANY FELLOW COLLECTORS IN ORDER TO LET THEM KNOW WHAT COMPANIES OFFER A RELIABLE SERVICE/I HAVE HAD POSITIVE DEALINGS WITH**