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

India  (Asia)

India. The 1st "Vizagapatam" set is actually a decorative set. I doubt if it really was meant for play. Unfortunately it misses 2 pawns and flags and has some damages as well. 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/backgammon 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.

  • 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

India. This "Berhampore" set is actually also a more decorative set as a playing set. 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.

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  • India, "Berhampore"
  • ca. 1830
  • Ivory K 10.0; p 4.4

India. The "Anglo-Indian Monobloc" set is meant for the English market and intended for actual play. It is called "Monobloc", because the chessmen are made of one piece of ivory. However in this set it is not true for the King's cross, the Knight and probably some other pieces. Not sure if that is an exception.

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  • India, "Anglo-Indian Monobloc"
  • 1850
  • Ivory K 8.8; p 4.2

India. This "Delhi" 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.

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  • India, "Delhi"
  • 1880
  • Ivory K 8.0; p 4.7
  • Box 15.4×10.2×4.1

India. These sets are generally referred to as "Muslim" or "Hindu". The story is that they are completely abstract because in Islam it is not allowed to use humans or animals for display or figures. However, it is unlikely that these sets, which come in many variations, are only made by Muslim craftsmen. 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.

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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

India. So called "Mughal" sets are made in wood, bone or stone (mostly) for the tourists 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.

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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

India. The last set is a large 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.

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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