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

“Lyon”/”Phrygien”  (France)

France. "Lyon" sets are called after the city Lyon, but it is not known whether the sets actually were made there. They have been produced in same period as "Directoire": from beginning 18th century till the end of it.

The "Phrygien" variation is sometimes seen as separate type and sometimes as a variation of the "Lyon" type. The type is named after the Knight's characteristic helmet, which would be in use at end of Louis XIV period (1715). I cannot proof that and Bishop's shape seems a bit later. The Phrygian helmet, also known as the Thracian helmet, was a type of helmet that originated in ancient Greece and was widely used in Thrace, Dacia, Magna Graecia and the Hellenistic world until well into the Roman Empire. The names given to this type of helmet are derived from its shape, in particular the high and forward inclined apex, in which it resembles the caps (usually of leather) habitually worn by Phrygian and Thracian peoples. The "bonnet phrygien", in French Revolution the symbol for liberty, equality and fraternity, is still a symbol of France. The sets are very rare.

You see "Lyon" sets which are all bone, one side bone and other wood, or all wood sets with bone decorations. I do not know of ivory "Lyon" sets.

One typical pattern is the so called "Inverted Lyon" pattern, where bodies seem upside down and Kings and Queens have bone skirts to their bellies. I think the term "Inverted Lyon" was coined by our old friend Garrick Coleman. He certainly claimed it and thought he would at least be remembered for this if nothing else.

« of 6 »
  • France, "Lyon"/"Phrygien"
  • Early to mid 18th century
  • Bone + wood K 7.2; p 3.7
  • Box 26.8×10.6×6.5
« of 4 »
  • France, "Lyon"
  • 18th century
  • Bone K 8.1; p 4.0
  • Box 27.8×16.1×6.7
  • France, "Lyon"
  • 18th century
  • Wood/bone K 8.0; p 4.4
« of 3 »
  • France, "inverted Lyon"
  • 18th century
  • Wood/bone K 7.9; p 4.4