Antiquii Anglicus (Ye Olde English); Standard English Club Set, Bone, London, c.1850s
Ye Olde English (Antiquii Anglicus): 32 chessmen without board, in their original sliding top wooden box padded with pages from an 1854 original copy of The London Times, bovine bone, white vs. red, restored, London, pre-Staunton, c.1850s
Height: King 3 1/2” or 8.8cm, wt 23g, base width 2.8cm; Queen 3” or 7.7cm, wt 20g, Bishop 4.5cm 7g. Knight 4.5cm 8g, Rook 5.3cm 9g,
Pawns 3.5cm 5g.
W: English Rose red felt pads, B: same
Having enjoyed the company of this old English bone set for a few years following its renovation, I’ve decided the time has come to let them go and fend for themselves in the world. A few of the pieces (white rook, red king) were the subject of our January 2020 Chessay SHIFT HAPPENS and have been one of my display/playsets ever since the renovation work was completed. The rook had a busted ball finial, the king a hairline fracture along the barrel. The red side had quite a few pieces that had lost almost all their colour, so they have been restained using my own concoction of methyl hydrate, natural dyes and a few specs of pigment powder, colour-matching to the original cochineal red. The addition of lush pads also makes them ‘feel’ more comfortable to play with – no more ‘clacking’ sounds of bone against board.
Speaking of which, over the board, they are an absolute eyeball-pleaser (especially on a black and white field with 1” squares) and are perfect for casual/correspondence games, but nothing too harebrained such as Blitz – they are 168 years of age after all!
All pieces can be dismantled into numerous parts, which may need tightening every now and then. Some are stuck firmly in place and I would advise leaving them like that as the loosening process may result in damage.
The box is in excellent condition and all pieces fit inside snuggly – even with The Times padding paper, the details of which are photographed on the SHIFT HAPPENS chessay. I have only unravelled the inner padding twice, once upon receipt and once again to document it for the January 2020 Chessay.
The pieces are ideal for display as well as casual play. Both kings carry our hand-painted, iridescent copper ‘Power’ signature of the artist on their bases marking our new listing for 2022.
Ye Olde English is also accompanied by our hand-drawn ‘Certificate of Artistry’ which will be posted out separately once we tally up how many ‘Copper Signature’ sets pass through our galleries in 2022 “… all good things …” as the old saying goes.
Etsy Set Price: $800.00
thechessschach.com Set Price: $650.00
Ref Code: AA22
**check out Chuck Grau’s recent blogs at chessdotcom which cover much
of the early history of the Soviet Grandmaster line of chessmen and much more to boot!
Visit our Gallery for more artistically restored vintage chess sets.