Mid 19th century English ivory chess set

This lovely little set was a private purchase from a CCI member around 2009. This unstamped cutie has a king base width of 3cms and a height of just about 6cms, inclusive of the ball finial, with no evidence of a broken piece like a cross??- no original box came with the set. The maker being unknown, I wanted this to be attributable to Calvert, which is rather dubious to say the least. A well informed CCI member suggested that this set might be attributed to John Barr?? Jon Crumiller’s research via the London Directories offers his dating from 1851-1857, and states he is a less well known maker – thanks Jon! This dubious business of desiring a loved set to be from one of the more highly valued makers is a pile of garbage, as more evidence might need to be offered to any future buyer if an incorrect attribution is made. This lovely set with its wide bases has a wonderful stability, with cracking bishops having wide mitres, and lovely carved knights. When I was offered this I agreed to buy with the speed of a Black Mamba snake. When handling these chessmen one quickly accepts the view that the quality of the set in hand should be of prime importance rather than having a maker’s stamp.

Skills

Posted on

April 20, 2021

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