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Advertising feature CHESS SETS T


he game of chess is believed to have originated in North East India around 2500 BC and spread via the


trade routes to China, Russia, the Middle East and finally reaching Europe in the 9th century. With numerous rule changes over the following centuries, the final game of chess or ‘International Chess’ as we know it appeared in the mid-19th century and the first modern chess tournament was organised by Howard Staunton and held in London in 1851. Needless to say, it was won by a German without the need for penalties. The market for chess pieces has boomed over the


Above: Staunton pattern chess set in natural and stained red ivory.


Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood Okehampton Street, Exeter. EX4 1DU Tel: 01392 413100 www.bhandl.co.uk


the bases to one side. Many of the Chinese chess sets


A Barleycorn pattern ivory chess set.


past forty years or so and it is the various patterns from around the world which makes these sets so interesting. With the game’s origins in India, Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood have sold several Indian chess sets; the first was a Vizagapatam set made from ivory where one side was stained brown and the other side left in its natural ivory colour. The second set was more in- teresting in that the pawns of the opposing sides were British Infantrymen and Sepoys reflecting the period of the Indian Mutiny. Another set consisted purely of various sized elephants as playing pieces with the only difference between the two sides being the staining of


were destined for the European market and were produced in Canton. Carved from ivory they were normally stained red to one side and left natural ivory colour to the other. The most important pattern was the Mandarin pattern with the pieces dressed in court robes. Sometimes the figures were mounted on puzzle- ball stands.


Two of the most popular patterns in Europe are the


Barleycorn pattern and, best known of all, the Staunton pattern. The Staunton pattern set is used for tourna- ment competitions and comes in various sizes. It is usually made from boxwood and ebony but occasion- ally in ivory. They have weighted bases and the best quality sets are normally by Jaques. The early sets came in pressed paper or carton-pierre boxes whilst later sets came in mahogany boxes with paper labels. The Barleycorn set is austere looking, usually with


ring turned decoration and was popular in both the UK and Northern Europe. Better quality sets from all around the world are normally included in our Fine Art auctions held every quarter.•


KINGSBRIDGE


ANTIQUES & JEWELLERY VALUATION DAY


37


Tuesday 5th May Harbour House The Promenade 10.00am - 1.00pm


All enquiries please call 01392 413100


St. Edmund’s Court, Okehampton Street, Exeter. EX4 1DU T: 01392 413100 W: www.bhandl.co.uk


E: enquiries@bhandl.co.uk


A Chinese anhua dragon bowl Sold for £5,000


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