Asia

China. I don't know why this type of set is called "Burmese". To my knowledge are these sets made in China and not Burma (today's Myanmar). Actually it is more a decorative set as a set to play with, although the latter is well possible.

The 2 "Staunton" sets are recognizable by the knights which are typical Chinese. The big set has its original box, which is typical Chinese as well. The small set has a nice box of glass which is, of course, not original to the set. It isn't a chess box at all.

The 4th set is a "Staunton inspired" set made of soapstone. These sets are often offered as Jade, but that is incorrect.

The travel set is "Staunton" too.

That small "pocket travel game", made in China, was meant for the German market.

The modern compendium with chess set in "Staunton" style was a gift of my company.

Chinese "disc" sets for both International chess and Chinese chess ("XiangQi") as they are named in China, are described at the Symbols and figurines page.

301 01
  • China, "Burmese"
  • 1830
  • Ivory K 9.2; p 5.5
237 01
« 1 of 2 »
  • China, Canton, "Staunton"
  • ca. 1860
  • Ivory K 11.3; p 5.2
  • Box 17.3×13.8×12.3
244 01
« 1 of 2 »
  • China, Canton, "Staunton"
  • Late 19th to early 20th century
  • Ivory K 7.0; p 2.8
  • Box 16.0×10.0×6.4
451 01
« 1 of 3 »
  • China
  • 1978
  • Soapstone (Jade?) K 6.9; p 4.3
154 01
  • China, "Staunton"
  • ca. 1880
  • Ivory K 3.6; p 1.6
  • Board 15.9×15.9×1.0 (open)
414 01
« 1 of 3 »
  • China
  • Late 20th century
  • Plastic K 1.8; p 1.1
  • Box/Board 8.9×5.3×2.0
075 01
  • China, "Staunton"
  • 2000
  • Abachi K 6.6; p 3.0
  • Box/board 29.5×29.5×7.2

India. The 1st "Vizagapatam" set is actually a decorative set. I doubt if it really was meant for play. The 2nd "Vizagapatam" set was normally sold in a big Sedeli-work box acting as board and containing several (mostly 3) smaller boxes for the chess and the checkers pieces. Shakers and dices could also be part of the game set. I do have only the chess pieces.

The "Muslim" or "Hindu" set is completely abstract, because in Islam it is not allowed to use humans or animals for display or figures. It is not clear what Bishops and Knights are, and Indian people told me that it depends on the area in India. Sometimes the taller piece is used as Bishop and sometimes as Knight. The board of cloth is probably younger. These boards are not only used for chess but I don't know the other game(s). The set here does have a beautiful patina and is one of my favourite sets I own.

So called "Mughal" sets are made in wood, bone or stone (mostly) for the tourists and made in large quantities. But they have a nice form and decoration. Well suited for play as well. The bone set here is sometimes called "Lotus" set as well, I believe.

The last set is a modern "Staunton" set. I'm not 100% sure it is Indian, but the material and way of turning and cutting looks modern Indian to me. The bud rosewood is a loved material in Indian sets nowadays, and the wood has a nice colour and grain indeed. In this case are the pieces weighted which makes it a great set to play with.

251 01
  • India, "Vizagapatam"
  • Early 19th century
  • Ivory K 11.5; p 6.2
101 02
« 1 of 2 »
  • India, "Vizagapatam"
  • 1st half 19th century
  • Ivory + horn Kw 11.1; Kz 10.4; p 4.9
304 02
« 1 of 2 »
  • India, "Muslim" or "Hindu"
  • 1910 or older
  • Wood K 5.0; p 3.0
  • Board of cloth 47.0×46.0
132 02
« 1 of 2 »
  • India, "Mughal"
  • 1980
  • Sandelwood + ebony K 10.8; p 4.2
064 02
« 1 of 2 »
  • India, "Mughal"
  • Late 20th century
  • Bone K 7.6; p 4.4
150 02
« 1 of 2 »
  • India, Varanasi, "Mughal"
  • 1999
  • Soapstone K 7.8; p 3.2
409 02
« 1 of 2 »
  • India, "Mughal"
  • ca. 2000
  • Soapstone K 5.6; p 3.1
  • Cassette/board 25.6×25.6×4.2
400 01
« 1 of 11 »
  • India, "Staunton"
  • ca. 2000
  • Wood K 10.0; p 5.7
  • Box/board 50.1×25.2×5.7
  • Set is in a case

India ~ replicas. Some years ago you could buy these Indian replica sets for not too much money. Most of these sets are still available today, but prices have gone up tremendously. On the other hand are these sets very well made using good materials. Especially the wooden sets are made of first class wood. The bud rosewood is stunning! The classic patterns are all based on antique sets and not exactly Chinese copies. The "Old English" set is based on several examples, including my own "Old English" set. See 18th century (England) page.

133 02
« 1 of 2 »
  • India, "Muslim" or "Hindu" replica
  • Late 20th century
  • Bone K 8.3; p 3.0
164 02
« 1 of 2 »
  • India, "Pepys" replica
  • 2005
  • Bone K 18.2; p 9.4
227 02
« 1 of 2 »
  • India, 18th century "Old English" replica
  • 2009
  • Boxwood + rosewood K 10.6; p 5.6
234 01
  • India, "Grand Divan" replica
  • 2009
  • Boxwood + bud rosewood K 10.8; p 6.0
248 01
  • India, "Biedermeier coffeehouse" replica
  • 2010
  • Boxwood + ebony K 14.0; p 7.3

Iraq. This board was brought from Iraq to the Netherlands by my father in law long ago. He worked there a long time for his company and got it from his Iraqi friends. It is a real old board, according to my father in law around 1900, but it may be a bit younger I think. But it has real mother of Pearl inlaid. Later boards, say after 1950, mostly have plastic looking like real mother of Pearl inlaid.

005 01
« 1 of 2 »
  • Iraq, Bagdad
  • ca. 1900
  • Wood and mother of pearl 49.7×25.0×8.0 (closed)

Israel. I cannot tell much about this nice olive wood set from Israel.

373 02
« 1 of 2 »
  • Israel
  • 1976
  • Olive wood K 8.6; p 4.6

Mongolia. Three nice examples of Mongolian chess sets. Although figural, these sets are made for play indeed. The Mongolian play chess with some different rules. They also do have their own names for the pieces: Noyon (King), Bers (Queen), Teme (Bishop), Mori (Knight), Tereg (Rook) en Fu (Pawn).

230 02
« 1 of 4 »
  • Mongolia
  • 19th century
  • Wood K1 5.1; p1 2.3; K2 4.1; p2 1.8-2.1
  • Box 15.2×9.8×8.0
  • Board of recent date 29.8×29.0×1.2
232 02
« 1 of 2 »
  • Mongolia
  • 19th century
  • Wood K1 3.9; p1 2.2-2.9; K2 4.1; p2 1.8-2.5
  • Board of recent date 23.8×24.3×0.5
  • Cups of recent date Ø 8.3 by 12.5 high
235 02
« 1 of 3 »
  • Mongolia
  • 19th-20th century
  • Wood K 4.4; p 1.7-2.0
  • Box 17.4×9.1×7.4
  • Each side has, traditionally, a male and a female camel and horse

Myanmar. In Myanmar chess has its own rules and initial position. I'm not sure whether all pieces move like our chess. The figures here are the traditional figures used to play Myanmar chess. I do have several other sets listed in Myanmar at the "To look at" menu.

306 01
  • Myanmar
  • ca. 1980
  • Wood K 7.4; p 4.9

Philippines. This is a typical Philippine "Staunton" set, very recognizable by the elongated cross on the kings and the bulging bases. The older sets, as this one, are made of hardwood. The newer sets are made of lesser quality wood. There exist also Indian replicas. There was a time you could see the old sets at eBay at regular basis, but nowadays they are seldom offered.

The 2nd set is a nice example of a so called "Moro" set. With the characteristic very ornate knights are these sets easy recognizable. Every set has a different carved knight, but the okir carvings are very specific.

466 01
« 1 of 3 »
  • Philippines, Quezon, "Staunton"
  • 1980
  • Wood K 11.5; p 5.8
183 02
« 1 of 5 »
  • Philippines, Mindanao, "Moro"
  • 2000
  • Banati (wood) + carabao (horn) K 6.9; p 8.0; p 1.8

Vietnam. This is a horn "Régence" and a horn "Staunton" set, both very common sets from Vietnam.

221 02
« 1 of 2 »
  • Vietnam, "Régence"
  • 1970?
  • Horn with bone finials K 7.2; p 3.3
195 02
« 1 of 2 »
  • Vietnam, "Staunton"
  • 2007
  • Horn K 7.8; p 3.9
  • Box/board 37.0×38.0×2.8 (open)