"chess set", "chess sets", "chess pieces", "chess museum", "schaak"

Mexico  (Americas)

Mexico. The "Pulpit" sets from Mexico are rather common. Here are 3 examples of the "Classic Pulpit" style. The 1st from an chess auction at Bonhams, the 2nd from eBay and the 3rd from a fellow collector. 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 white and black, white and red or all white with one side having black bases. Actually the 1st set here did have red pieces once.There exist also a variation with faces.

I do have difficulties with the dating of the sets. The Bonham's set was dated 1920, as was the set from eBay. I have seen one dated in the 60ies. The 3rd set here was originally bought in 1996 in Tijuana, Mexico, at the workshop were the sets were being made. I do not believe that the production of these very similar sets goes that far, 1920, back in history. Another indication is the huge amount of sets that are offered. So, without actually proof, I do believe the sets were produced somewhere in the 2nd half of the 20th century.

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  • Mexico, "Pulpit"
  • 1920 said, but I think 2nd half 20th century
  • Bone K 11.4; p 5.1
« of 4 »
  • Mexico, "Pulpit"
  • 1920 said, but I think 2nd half 20th century
  • Bone K 11.9; p 5.0
« of 5 »
  • Mexico, Tijuana, "Pulpit"
  • 1996
  • Bone K 11.0; p 4,9

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. 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. 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