Late19th century English Staunton chess set

This set was a recent purchase from Warrington Auctions, my second purchase from this decent auction house. I am hoping that fellow collectors can benefit from my satisfactory transactions via The Saleroom, and don’t forget to triple check the images and request condition reports using the ‘ask a question’ option or a few more images to be on the safe side:-

With a 9cms king this unweighted set has more than a few pluses – the pawns are a delight, the bishops have a nice squat looking shape, and no overall damage including the impressive looking queen crowns and the intact kings’ crosses. At present buying these scarce looking wooden sets for peanuts is getting difficult – my advice is to ‘talk to the monkeys’ and be extra polite! – perhaps this is being caused by the coming ivory ban? Weighted sets are purse emptying, and if greed takes over the collector can end up in a debtors’ prison, hence me keeping a Cyclops eye on many unweighted sets out there – bank robbery is a hazardous business and not recommended!

The set came with a non standard box that does not look like its original one, with wing shaped wire acting as hinges for the lid – a new one for me. There are quite a few odd looking homemade jobs out there so a study of chess boxes is useful knowledge to have rather than risk forking out a fortune for an overpriced box. I have no idea who the maker was, and  I assume it is English, but I am pretty sure that the set is none too common. A delight to own regardless of the correct box issue. Regarding the origin of a set, on many occasions it can be down to inspired guesswork as sadly we collectors don’t know everything.



Posted on

December 1, 2021

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