This moulded plastic set from West Germany is not bakelite as some half starved sellers try to claim with desperation, just like they are hanging off a cliff with their hands holding a blade of grass. The CCI member Duncan Pohl offers some info in his book, which was a great help, as since Google killed off the public Picasa albums I had forgotten much of the information written on my plastic sets album ‘Chess sets of United States companies’. Duncan mentions that this set was marketed by ARRCO/SAXONIN THE STATES. I remember purchasing this described as rare (which is nonsense ) from the well-known Glasgow auction house known as Great Western Auctions simply described as ‘a chess set’, which is a correct as you can get. Some sellers claim the pieces are hand painted which is correct, and as a test I used a small dab of metholated spirit, and some paint came off a piece so that was enough information for me.
The cost of this likeable set was less than £30.00, the use of the term ‘Bakelite?‘ is rather unethical as is ‘Bakelite type‘ which has been used in the past with hefty price tags – there is not a cat’s chance in hell of paying so little for a quality early plastic set. There is a smaller version of this set made in the 1950’s by the KOZIOL from Erbach in Germany – again these are not rare items and not bakelite. This information is taken from ‘miniatur schachspiele a CCI publication’, a very handy publication. By total chance/accident I noticed this set being handled by the past Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland:-
I have no knowledge if he was a competent chess player – perhaps a PR stunt to enhance his profile-, but I very much doubt this association with my set enhances its value considering what has been written about the man since he passed away in 2006. We collectors can have a bit of fun tho’ viewing well known public figures handling chess sets that they have in their collections.