Late 19th century English pattern chess set and Killarneyware box

This set and box was a wonderful surprise gift from my wife Pauline. The curious collectors will notice the little knops on both rooks and knights instead of crown stamps used to denote both king’s side pieces. A fellow collector believes these chessmen may have been made by Ayres, however no evidence has surfaced to prove this belief. The delightful box with inlaid decoration is known as Killarneyware, and Killarney chessmen with boards are highly sought after. KILLARNEY collectables should not be confused with ” Kill Arnie  Schwarzenegger”, but getting this box was a huge bonus – a quick Google search for ‘Killarneyware’ will give the curious a bucket full of information, all because I am far too lazy to offer much more. This box has nothing to do with the set, but the pieces were placed there to increase the chances of a profitable sale, and the seller was treated to a Dick Turpin job ( highway robbery ) by my wife all due to her charm. The boxwood/ ebony set with a 8 cms king was bought in great condition but these English pattern sets  are prone to having chipped pieces so I got lucky but obviously not as lucky as I did when I met my wife…

When buying chess collectable gifts care should be taken to check for damage or replacement pieces before emptying the purse, as the unwary can be well and truly shafted big time and the recipient can give the person bearing gifts an afternoon in the pillory of abuse if he or she get’s it wrong. Collector advice:  “JUST DON’T” – take care, and try to research into the collector’s taste before splashing the cash!


Posted on

August 27, 2020

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