India  (Asia)

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. Same could apply to the 3rd set, which is all ivory in stead of the more common ivory and horn ones.

The "Berhampore" set is actually a decorative set as well. I do not think it is intended for actual play. These sets are called "Berhampore", because they are said to be made in Baharampur, formerly known as Berhampore (also sometimes spelt Behrampore), a city of Murshidabad district, West Bengal, India. It should not be confused with Brahmapur, city in Odisha, India.

The "Dehli" set is a nice example of the kind, although it is not that big. Also for these sets can be said that they are more decorative than meant to play, I guess. But I'm  not 100% sure. The box it came in has a sideways sliding lid and is originally of a German set, I think.

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. I'm not sure the 3rd set is a real Mughal set, because it has Staunton alike features. Stone sets, like the 4th set here, do reside in a cassette with stone board mostly.

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. The box/board resides in a case to protect against damage.

  • India, "Vizagapatam"
  • Early 19th century
  • Ivory K 11.5; p 6.2
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  • India, "Vizagapatam"
  • 1st half 19th century
  • Ivory + horn Kw 11.1; Kz 10.4; p 4.9
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  • India, "Vizagapatam"
  • ca. 1830
  • Ivory K 10.0; p 4.8
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  • India, "Berhampore"
  • ca. 1830
  • Ivory K x.x; p y.y
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  • India, "Dehli"
  • 1880
  • Ivory K 8.0; p 4.7
  • Box 15.4×10.2×4.1
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  • India, "Muslim" or "Hindu"
  • 1910 or older
  • Wood K 5.0; p 3.0
  • Board of cloth 47.0×46.0
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  • India, "Mughal"
  • 1980
  • Sandelwood + ebony K 10.8; p 4.2
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  • India, "Mughal"
  • Late 20th century
  • Bone K 7.6; p 4.4
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  • India, Varanasi, "Mughal?"
  • 1999
  • Soapstone K 7.8; p 3.2
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  • India, "Mughal"
  • ca. 2000
  • Soapstone K 5.6; p 3.1
  • Cassette/board 25.6×25.6×4.2
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  • India, "Staunton"
  • ca. 2000
  • Wood K 10.0; p 5.7
  • Box/board 50.1×25.2×5.7
  • Set is in a case