Late19th century illustrated or transfer printed Regence chess box

A curious thing I have noted over my years of chess collecting is that the illustrated piece designs on many chess boxes bear a minimal resemblance to the housed chessmen inside. This rather cute little box is 6 inches x 3 inches and houses a small Regence wooden set of basic quality – getting any other sets inside is none too easy.

In my communications with fellow collectors we were in agreement that such boxes appear to have been a sales tool. I purchased this likeable small box on eBay last year for a few pounds more than I wished to fork out, however that’s life – tough -, as creating a ‘hate list’ on other bidders is pointless. One example was in a collectors’ group discussion re a bidder at a Bloomsbury auction. A friend of mine was savaged by a collector who was irate over his bidding for a collectable set, so I reminded this gentleman that the bidder was a good friend of mine. We cant win everything we want, and this can make the hunt for ‘fresh meat’ all the more exciting and rewarding. Boxes with labels ‘J J & SON‘  have an illustrated knight on the label, but I have often seen a carved horse head worthy of being sent straight to the glue factory!


Posted on

May 15, 2020

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