B&Co. chess set with incorrect knights – late 19th century

Here is a B & Co. set I recently purchased with anomalies since these sets are well sought after by collectors and don’t come cheap. My recent purchase was made rather quickly perhaps in too much haste, with no fault to the seller, so I was delighted with this buy.

For a start the kings’ crosses are wrong for sets of this maker, and the knights are not correct for the set – as long as the collector is happy everything works out fine.
In my personal opinion the hand carved knights were a weakness for these sets and might explain why there are none too many out there. Not too much is known about B & Co., with both Jon Crumiller and Frank Camarrata admitting publicly that intensive research has been fruitless.

Excluding the replaced king’s cross my king is 8cms high from base to head.

Just about the worst type of set the collector can buy is a ‘FRANKENSTEIN’ set which is made up of body parts from old sets – in chess clubs pieces were tossed into boxes, with pieces from newer sets with chessmen so these monsters might arrive in antique shops and be sold for a tasty profit.

I believe as a collector that we are the true custodians of chess research, so claiming via websites incorrect and poorly researched information in the guise of being an expert is spreading a misinformation disease, which today thanks to the internet spreads like bush fires. Never be afraid to question a claim as some quality antique sets are not cheap, and if the vendor takes offence – tough!!!

I have in my collection 5 examples of these sets, and both myself & a fellow CCI member spent over an hour examining my sets plus his genuine one. I cannot stress the importance of having fellow collector friends, and sometimes we can have dogfights over desired sets as trying to get everything you desire is far from easy, and better to be a good loser!


Posted on

March 6, 2020

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