American Chess Company part chess set

Recently I purchased this part set of chessmen attributed to the Cambridge springs tournament of 1904 from Colleuk, a great eBay seller, and a charming gentleman from Madrid. Curious collectors please study this photo with care – why? As a collector I am starting to hate the sight of reproductions, and the extravagant claims made by this chess set maker make for bizarre reading :-

The seller states that the design, quality, and craftsmanship of these chess pieces are ‘comparable to original chess sets that are sold for $1500+ by other retailers’. In my opinion this price is unfounded – there is simply no evidence whatsoever that they are costing this much. Over the past two decades I have acquired three genuine antique sets plus these pieces for less than $250.00 made by the American Chess Company. I bought these chessmen not as a complete set and with damages because I like these pieces, and they are worth more to me as a collector than any repro item because my pieces have a genuine history – one can only speculate who has handled them, and their antique finish/patina is genuine, not distressed or created.  Perhaps you may get to understand why collectors who love history (like myself) feel nothing but dismay when then see this modern repro stuff. Both myself and CCI researcher Mick Deasey studied these American Chess Company sets but were unable to find any two identical ones. To view what American collectors think about these sets, here is a link worthy of study as an alternative to my rant re repros – at least this offers balance to my views:-


I have yet to see a quality photograph of any reproduced chessmen attributed to any famous chess tournament to back up these claims. Please note, I am in no way claiming that the collectors in this link share my views, however I make no apologies or ever will for my passionate hard hitting views.



Posted on

August 14, 2020

1 Comment

  1. Alan Buschmann


    Like you I’m fascinated by these early American chessmen and am grateful to both you and Mick Deasey for sharing your images and information in relation to these sets. I’m sure you’re aware of my friend Steve Etzel’s site dedicated to the Cambridge Springs 1904 tournament and the increased interest among collectors. If you would like to exchange thoughts or research, I would appreciate hearing from you privately.

    Best regards,


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