A possible French Staunton chess set- late19th/early 20th century

This set – a recent purchase from Bamfords Auction House-, raises more than a few questions. Unfelted, unweighted, king 8cms high. Also I have not seen too many identical looking sets before . This set had no original box. For research purposes I like to simply state if the box is original, as there are a host of sets being placed in old boxes where the makers are claimed to be all because of a label – I am very sceptical about this business these days plus note the price of the item all because of the box label. This set with French-looking knights has slender-looking shanks/ columns on both the kings and queens. The pawns have a distinct point on the ball knop which I don’t think features on British chess sets. Our current knowledge of genuine antique French Stauntons is wanting. As the claim that Lardy was founded in 1890, yet how often do we see a Lardy set dating from the 1890’s with its original box ? The question that I keep asking is whether the turned point on the pawn a trait of a French  maker, however we don’t know yet? The Chess Museum offers us a little information on some three makers -Chavet, Roz and Lardy – who knows what their earliest sets looked like?! The most interesting avenue to research is via our American friends as is the dealer and importer Will H Lyons from Newport K Y in the late 19th century. Perhaps some inspired research will offer us some evidence and kill off the ‘MIU’ (Making It Up) approach from other sellers out there, inspired seller guesswork with some evidence surfacing in the near future….




Posted on

November 9, 2021

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