Sometimes a collector like myself can overestimate the importance of a favoured set, however this delightful small Ayres vegetable ivory set with 4.5cms king – recently purchased on Ebay is a quality set:-
I made an offer for the set which was promptly declined – the number of times I have seen a set sold by accepting an offer, appearing for sale at 3- 5 times the accepted offer price must on occasion madden the original seller. I did however eventually win this set at auction fair and square, and when it arrived I was delighted with this proper upgrade – I eventually contacted the seller stating that he was wise to decline my offer. Compared to my similar looking ‘pet’ set, this beauty has minimal ‘turner’s licence’ or piece size variation, and is in superb condition including the original box and label. With the forthcoming ivory selling ban these lovely sets may well be far harder to get, as due to the lovely aged colours some sellers have in error described these chessmen as ‘Bakelite‘ probably due to the nice tactile feel of the pieces. This small set is a keeper, and having looked at multitudes of these antique sets, I believe this one is rather scarce. Had I ever received such a quality set as a prize for past chess achievements, I would have gone utterly bonkers with delight, but sadly today getting such a lovely treasure is a rarity, and in my opinion puts a winner’s cheque as a second rate prize award.