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

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  1. Helfried Puhr

    Hello Joost,
    my congratulations for your collection and many thanks for showing it here!
    As an amateur woodturner I have repaired the Biedermeier Set in the picture, noticing the human faces in profile shown by K, Q and B.
    Two of your sets show the same feature.
    Is there a special name for these sets? Do the profiled faces hint at a certain maker or workshop?

    Kind Regards


    1. jvreij

      Hello Helfried
      Your set is a so called “Biedermeier Coffeehouse” set.
      Although they exist in some different forms, there is no special name for those.
      Remarkable you see profiled faces in this specific form, which is a new idea to me.
      Unfortunately I cannot say if that form comes from a specific maker or workshop.
      There is hardly anything known about the makers of the “Biedermeier Coffeehouse” sets.

      1. Helfried

        Thank you! For woodturners it is quite natural to observe the profile of any figure, of any chessmen. But only with these Biedermeier Coffeehouse men I could detect human faces in profile, and I assumed that this fact makes them very special.
        My best wishes for you and your collection!

  2. Hi, just fyi
    In your german chess sets there is a description of a Coffee House (which honestly looks very Austrian), however the point is that there is a Box matched to this set, described as most probably original.
    This box is really original, however from the Chess Clock ‘Fichter’ from ca 1970th.
    You could put in a Google ‘chess clock fichter’ and assure it 🙂
    And delete my comment afterwards 🙂

    1. jvreij

      Hello Igor
      Thank you very much for this information.
      I’m always happy to learn new things and did not knew the Fichter clock.
      However, I have googled the Fichter clock and, although similar, the box is not equal.
      The pattern outside as well as the inner side are different. Maybe size as well.

      The set itself could be Austrian indeed, but I was told it is German.
      One remarkable difference with Austrian sets I have is the way the pieces are felted and finished.
      Also wood is different from the large Vienna coffee-house set (I guess boxwood and maple respectively, but not sure).
      But that is not proof.

  3. Nelly Smeding

    Thank you for your quick reply. I would like to send you more photos, but I guess only one at the time is possible?
    Or is there an emailaddress, so I can send more together?
    Thank you!

  4. Nelly Smeding

    Good day to you!
    I wonder if you can help me identify this chess set. I recently bought.
    It is a complete set, nothing missing. in a wooden box
    On the wooden box is part of an oval label which says …….francais (and underneath it the word) Amsterdam.
    I tried to figure out where it comes from on your wonderful site, but helas…. I could not find it.
    I think it is bone and very beautiful carved pieces.
    Hope to hear from you if you have time for my questions.
    I thank you already, greetings Nelly

    1. jvreij

      See the 5th and 6th set on https://www.schaak-museum.nl/germany/ger-nuremberg/
      Further I like to have close pictures of the box and label because it sounds very interesting.
      Note that some say that these sets are Dutch… and I’m wrong about Germany/Nuremberg !?
      At 2nd thought: the label is most likely of a retailer in Amsterdam and manufactured as said above.
      Also the box looks like a sideways opening box, which are typical German chess set boxes from hat period.

      PS: You have switched rooks and bishops in your picture!
      Further are the rooks in your set uncommon for the type (but more Selenus type alike)
      At 2nd thought: I think the rooks have been replaced. The base and stem does not match the other pieces

  5. Nelly Smeding

    I came luckily on your beautiful site. Very glad!
    I do not have an idea of what time this beautiful set has been made.
    I hope you will be so helpful to tell me anything about is.
    It is a complete set in a wooden box, with part of an oval label on it which says …..Francais (and underneath it) Amsterdam.

    Thank you so much, Nelly Smeding

  6. igor


    It would be appreciated if you support me with my curiosity:
    1) set attached: German Toy ? Geometry fully corresponds, however no ‚faces‘
    2) Knights are missing. If by chance you have exactly the same set, knights photo would be appreciated (actual only for exactly identical set).

    1. jvreij

      Indeed Toy alike. I do not have exactly the same set, unfortunately.
      Your set has most similarities with my 4th set which has faces, but to be true, I’m not 100% convinced now that they are original.
      Knights for your set could have been similar to those in the 4th set I suppose.

  7. Mark Richli

    Today a JAQUES barleycorn set, no. 24 in the Pattern Book, has arrived here (bought on ebay, believe it or not!). They are very rare: only yours and mine (and a reference to Christie’s in Fersht 2010, p. 44, fig. 70) seem to be known as extant …

      1. Mark Richli

        the variations are marginal only. Christie’s/Fersht is closest to Jaques Pattern Book: stems of royals, bishops, knights and pawns have pearling on their lower collars and double ringed upper collars (single on royals); in addition to the horizontal grooves there are diagonal and rolling grooves on crowns/heads of kings and queens; rooks don’t have cogging on their bases.
        yours has no pearling on the stems, no diagonal grooves on royal’s crowns/heads and no cogging on the rooks.
        mine has pearling on both collars of stems (except on royals), no diagonal grooves on royal’s crowns/heads, but cogging on the rook’s bases.
        otherwise the sets seem to be almost identical.

          1. Mark Richli

            there is another (marginal) difference: king’s height. my white king has 136.5 mm, so very close to yours. my red king had only 135.5 when I got the set. I then realised that red queen had a wider base and a higher and wider barrel than red king. normally those hand made threads are absolutely not exchangeable. nevertheless I tried. no luck base/stem, no luck stem/barrel but surprisingly the threads barrel/upper part were exchangeable! red king now is 138 mm. – these differences are marginal and without any doubt due to the fact that they had been made completely by hand on an ordinary lathe (not on an ornamental lathe; alan dewey’s statements about that topic are convincing and supported by the irregularities of my set). – christie’s/fersht is only 5″ (127 mm) but I believe that is a mistake (by christie’s or by fersht).

  8. Hannie Peltzer

    Thanks, beautiful pictures with explanation!
    I have a set like your 13th selenus type, with the rolled board.
    The box is 28.5×10.5×6.5 cm. The kings length is 10.5 cm and has only 1 “crown”
    I don’t know weather it’s bone or ivory. It’s complete and undamaged, though the board needs to have a new cloth underneath.
    Do you have an idea of its origin, its date and a bit about its prize? I inherited it without information.
    Its meant for one of my grandsons, so I hope you can help me, also with advise about the repair ?
    Thanks for your nice site,

    1. jvreij

      Provided I cannot be 100% sure: it is an early 19th century German “Selenus” set made of bone. Very nice with box and rolling board.
      Unfortunately I do not know someone to repair the board. I wonder if replacement is necessary or the existing cloth can be re-attached?
      I find mentioning a price always difficult. What the hell gives for it. For these sets is condition decisive and I cannot see it in flesh.
      Probably the box has some inlay decoration on top?
      Provided pieces are undamaged/unrepaired/unreplaced and box is OK, then I would say at least €300,= for the combination.

  9. Ineke

    Hello Joost , it’s so nice to see your chess sets online! Thanks for pointing me to your site when we met today. I especially loved to see the unique set we created for your retirement , with me as the black queen.
    Best regards from Ineke.

  10. Rolf Buschmann

    The text doesn’t really help….

    Think first – then start
    Encouraging yourself – helps you well

    Great Internet Chess Museum !!!

    Thanks and best regards

  11. Rolf Buschmann

    I’m Rolf and I’m new here – hello!
    I stumbled upon a very rare game by accident.
    I want to keep it…!
    I just would like to know something about it.
    I saw it similar to SELENUS – not sure though.
    A replica of SELENUS is also similar – just different towers

    I would be happy about any shared knowledge


  12. DSF

    Hello – I have been visiting your website museum for the past year or so and I wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed it! You have a fine collection, and the images of your chess sets and chess boards are large and show much detail, allowing for the study and appreciation of the various items. Also, your background comments about the chess sets are very informing. Thank you very much for making your collection available. DSF

  13. Hello Joost,
    very nice Museum !
    For your African collection I found a Centrafrican set.

    P.S. regarding your question about Ghana and Ashanti chess set, I write a new version of my book on African chess sets in english. I send you this new version soon.

    1. jvreij

      Hallo Joop,
      Dank je voor je feedback.
      De site is intussen wel te ingewikkeld geworden.
      Als experiment heb ik een aantal keuzes weggelaten.
      Kijken of het bevalt…

  14. Marloes


    Is there literature on the Dutch 18th century pieces? I have a, probably Dutch, set and am looking for more information on similar pieces.

    Kind regards,

    1. jvreij

      All we have is examples in books, catalogues and the knowledge of collectors and so. And the internet of course. There is no specific literature on this subject to my knowledge. However there is the book of Kloprogge “Het schaakspel in Nederland”, but it describes much more than Dutch sets alone and is not always correct. You could post pictures of your set, if you want. Then I may be able to tell about your set.

    1. jvreij

      Hello Jurij
      Again thank you very much, I will change the origin to Moldova.
      But all text is in Russian I thought (I do not speak Russian).
      Or is it in another language?

      1. Jurij

        Hello Jvreij,
        Yes. All text is in Russian, as it was the main language in the Soviet Union, which also included Moldova. By the way, I think this set also comes from the 70s-80s.

  15. Jurij

    Hi. I just want to let you know that the wallet chess set which you identified as coming from Netherlands is actually from Czechoslovakia from 1970’s-1980’s.

    I have one 🙂

    1. jvreij

      Hello Jurij
      Thank you very much for you feed back which is highly appreciated!
      Actually I did not know the origin, but bought it in the Netherlands and listed it with a question mark.
      Will change it according the new information.

  16. Benno Herschberg

    Goedemorgen Verzamelaar , Ik kan u naam niet vinden maar ik heb een set Schaakstukken van The Rose Chess patent No 546516 Het doosje is 11cm bij 7 cm roodbruin. De schaakstukken zijn van 5cm. ( de koning ) tot 2,8 cm. ( pion ) en plat o. p de voet na. Heeft u misschien interesse in deze set ? Wij zijn aan het opruimen , Ik hoor graag uw reactie, Met vriendelijke groet Benno Herschberg Bonenrank@ziggo,nl

  17. Laura

    Wat heeft u een ontzettend grote collectie!
    De Nederlandse schaakstukken uit de 18e eeuw, fruithout, met nr. 18902A vind ik ontzettend mooi. Weet u of een dergelijke set nog te koop zou zijn, in antiekzaken bijvoorbeeld? Of zijn er heel weinig van gemaakt? En als ze nog op de markt komen, hoe duur zouden ze dan zijn?

    Voor de zekerheid ook in het engels:
    You do have a wonderfull collection.
    Especially the Dutch Pieces from the 18th century catched my eye. The wooden ones (fruit?) nr. 18902A. Do you know whether they are for sale? Perhaps every now and then at antique-stores? Do you approx. know how many are manufactured ?
    And if they are on sale, what are they worth (in money…. for beauty I think it has no price)
    Thank you.

      1. jvreij

        Hallo Rob
        In feite is het ongeveer 2700 euro, want er komt nog commissie bovenop.
        Overigens was die set dus totaal verkeerd beschreven.
        Zie je heel vaak. Meeste veilinghuizen weten niets van schaakspellen.

    1. jvreij

      Which set do you mean by RMM set? Do you have a picture?
      I do not have a method to determine Galalith, so I rely on what others say and what I have seen in my life as collector.
      Sometimes it can be confusing because some plastics are designed to simulate bone or ivory.

  18. Malcolm Trundley

    I have recently brought. What I consider to be A very nice Rosewood Box chessboard The squares being made of Ebony and ivory And I would think it dates from the 1840s 1850s on Examining the board i came a cross a name PRETI Stamped on the inside edge At 1st I thought It was a maker’s name But on looking the name up On Google I now Believe it maybe Jean-louis- preti Personal board

  19. Leonardo

    I just want to thank you for sharing your own collection with such beautiful pictures and rich commentary. I’m studying chess sets and history to create my own wood chess sets, and I was so happy from the first time I found this website. Thank you very much.

    Leonardo Abreu – Brazil

  20. Robert

    Looking at your hand carved Russian set pictures, it seems they look very similar to a set I bought recently. Mine came in a wood box marked on the bottom Hen-ke, made in West Germany. I have seen another purported Henke set that looks similar, at least the bases look the same. Your set is the only set I have seen that matches mine and I am wondering why you believe they are Russian and not German. The oak leaves that appear carved on them, remind me of Germanic carvings I have seen on other items. Thank you very much for your fantastic website. It is a wonderful resource.

    1. jvreij

      Hello Robert
      Thank you very much for your response and information.
      I assume you refer to my set 408 (if you open a picture gallery then you see the number top right, possibly after activated “i” at mid-bottom).
      Actually I was not sure about the origin of that set but it was suggested to me.
      I’m happy to hear more about it now. I’m always eager to learn.
      If you can make and add some pictures of you set and the box (and the mark if possible) I would be very pleased

      1. Robert

        Yes. it is set 408. From what I can find, Henke made or distributed chess sets out of West Germany from about 1950 to 1970. Henke apparently provided some chess sets for the chess exhibition organised by Herbert Graetz on the occasion of the 1960 Chess Olympiad in Leipzig.

          1. jvreij

            Hello Robert
            Thank you for the pictures!
            In meantime I did some research and found a similar set (in a kind cassette) on ebay-kleinanzeigen, but without further information.

            Further I did encounter this:
            Probably your source of Henke?

            In the exhibition catalogue of Leipzig 1960 is Henke mentioned (as Henke & Co. Karlshafen,
            but it is not explicitly told which sets he had send in.

  21. Sanna


    I inherited these from my father in 2014. Do you know anything about them? I’m guessing they might be from Austria as he was. He sure loved his chess. 😊


  22. Frans

    I just picked up a game table including the exact same Austrian “coffeehouse” set you have in your compendium. And the 45 piece dominoes. Plus another few games and exchangeable boards for chess, checkers, backgammon and the “molen” game. Green felt top to play bridge and other card games. After seeing your set I know exactly what I found!

  23. jvreij

    Hello Dick
    Thank you very much for your information.
    And I’m happy that you added a picture of that bone set.
    Maybe you could add a picture of the wooden set as well?

  24. Dick Sherwin

    I have an Asser & Sherwin box with the same makers mark as yours. You wondered what sort of set the box would have contained. Mine contains a Staunton style bone set. I also have a wooden set which came within a compendium of games retailed by Asser and Sherwin – ‘The Guinea Cabinet of Games’, which is in the Barleycorn style.


    Dick Sherwin

    1. Edward

      I wonder if you would be interested in making a trade for your 19th-century Mongolian chess set with the bird and rabbit pawns (ref. 23002). I have a modern boxwood carved chu shogi set of pieces that I would offer in trade. I attach a photo of the pieces, and will consider also offering a modern shinkaya chu shogi board with it, if that will make this more attractive.

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