Mexico  (Americas)

Mexico. The "Pulpit" sets from Mexico are rather common. Here are 2 examples of the "Classic Pulpit" style. They are composed of several pieces, often connected with a wooden pin. Mostly they are in bone, but 100% wooden sets are also known. The bone sets are almost always in white and black, but I have seen white and red ones too. There exist also a Pulpit faces variation. I do have difficulties to date these sets. I assume they are beginning 20th century, because I was told so. The 1st from an chess auction at Bonhams and the 2nd from ebay. But I'm not sure about that age and I have seen one dated in the 60ies. Not sure if production did last that long. In meantime has the 2nd set lost a white rook and base of a white pawn and I have no idea where they are gone.

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  • Mexico, "Pulpit"
  • ca. 1920?
  • Bone K 11.4; p 5.1
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  • Mexico, "Pulpit"
  • 1920?
  • Bone K 11.9; p 5.0

Mexico. Simple set of the "Tarascan" cut - so called because made principally by Tarascan Indians in central Mexico. These sets are assembled from turned wooden bases, and bone toppings.


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  • Mexico, "Tarascan"
  • 1960-1980
  • Wood with bone K 8.0; p 4.1

Mexico. This Onyx "Aztec" chess set is very common and appears in several sizes and colours. Normally there is a matching board, but not this time. There is a stone board with unknown origin (not pictured).

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  • Mexico, Guadalajara, "Aztec"
  • 1975
  • Onyx K 8.7; p 3.7

Mexico. The "Upright", or "Bone Upright" sets are another well known Mexican type. They are made of wood with bone decorations, similar as the "Tarascan" types, which permits to speculate that all wood/bone sets might be made in the same workshops, in the Tarascan area or beyond. That may be true for the "Pulpit" sets as well, as the Knights are very similar.

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  • Mexico, "Upright" & "Tarascan"
  • 1985
  • Wood with bone K 15.2; p 8.1