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


Netherlands. There is very little, if anything at all, known of Dutch chess set makers in the 18th century. The 5 sets below are examples of the so called "Dutch" chess set, made from the 18th till early 19th century. It is believed that they were made in the Netherlands (or Flemings), but there is no actual proof. The last set from this series could very well be from Erbach in Germany, made early 19th century. Similar design, but with figural Kings en Queens, is known as well.

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  • Netherlands
  • 18th century
  • Bone K 9.2; p 5.0
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  • Netherlands
  • 18th century
  • Bone K 8.5; p 5.0
  • Board 27.5×27.5×2.5
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  • Netherlands
  • 18th century
  • Fruitwood K 9.7; p 5.4
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  • Netherlands
  • 18th-19th century
  • Boxwood + ebony K 11.1; p 6.6
  • Board 39.2×39.7
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  • Netherlands or Germany (Erbach)
  • 18th-19th century
  • Ivory K 9.0; p 4.3
  • Board 33.0×33.5×2.2 (not pictured)

Netherlands. We don't know much of Dutch chess set makers in the 19th century either. In the description below you find a set which had been sold in Groningen, ca. 1850, but probably had been made in Germany (Nuremberg or Augsburg). Same is true for the Nuremberg set I got from my neighbour. Sets of those types are found regularly in the Netherlands, which can not be said of the first set listed here.

This set is sometimes called a "Pedestal" set. The date 1832 and origin Netherlands has been addressed to those sets. However I'm not sure. Looking at the knights, it seems of later date and we see these knights also on German sets. I think it is a very attractive set. Quite rare as well. It is one of my favourites.

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  • Netherlands
  • 1832
  • Bone K 7.0; p 3.1

Netherlands. This set has been sold in the Netherlands by A.Kampen. Abel Kampen (1836-1871) did most likely start the shop “GALANTERIEN&KINDERSPEELGOED A.KAMPEN Heerenstraat Groningen”. He was married in 1864 with Jantje Johanna de Young (1840-?), who in 1875 married with his half brother Marcus (1845-1917). Marcus had taken the shop as well and ran it until about 1895 on the Heerenstraat. I got this history from the grand-?-grandson of Marcus. Of course A.Kampen was a retailer and I assume that the set was actually made in Germany (Nuremberg). According Strouhal a “Selenus” type, but "Nuremberg" is used too, because the type appears on a Nuremberg pattern sheet of 1840/1850. This type is, in the English world, sometimes called "Spindle" set. More of these sets can be found on the “Selenus” (Germany) page.

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  • Netherlands, retailer A.Kampen in Groningen, "Selenus" or "Nuremberg" (Eng: "spindle")
  • ca. 1850
  • Bone K 8.6; p 3.0
  • Box labeled 11.8×8.4×6.0

Netherlands. This "Nuremberg" set is a gift of my neighbour. The set was in his family for a long time. These sets were in use, and probably also sold, in the Netherlands, but most likely they were made in Germany, Nuremberg. My father in law did have a similar set, which was also a long time in the family. More of these sets can be found on the “Nuremberg” (Germany) page.

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  • Netherlands or Germany, "Nuremberg"
  • Mid to late 19th century
  • Bone K 7.3; p 2.5

Netherlands. Also bone "Staunton" sets are found in the Netherlands. This is such an example, which could have been made by Uhlig in Germany. However, the knights are different from the usual Uhlig sets, as are the rooks.

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  • Netherlands or Germany, by Uhlig? "Staunton"
  • ca. 1900
  • Bone K 5.6; p 3.1

Netherlands. This "Staunton" set is from the same Dutch chess player as the plastic set of Escardibul in Barcelona. Therefore I assume it is of about the same age. However it could be older as well. younger too. Also not sure it has been made in the Netherlands (probably not).

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  • Netherlands?
  • 1960?
  • Wood K 8.6; p 4.4
  • Box 20.9×14.0×6.8

Netherlands. This "Staunton" set by Homas is a gift of my daughter. It is a common set in the Lardy pattern which was also made by Hempfling, Bohemia and others. Homas is well known from their "sjoelbakken" (a kind of shuffleboard). They were in production from 1923 till 1983 in Assen, Netherlands.

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  • Netherlands, by Homas, "Nr. 2 Staunton"
  • ca. 1980
  • Wood K 6.9; p 3.3
  • Box 20.6×10.6×9.0
  • Lardy pattern also made by Hempfling, Bohemia and others

Netherlands. Two "Bolts and nuts" sets. I still have to make a white pawn for the 1st set.

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  • Netherlands, "bolts and nuts"
  • 1977
  • Metal K 6.0; p 3.7


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  • Netherlands, "bolts and nuts"
  • 1985
  • Metal K 6.6; p 3.5

Netherlands. Abstract game consisting of plexiglass beams with white and red print.The board is made of plexiglass mounted on a piece of marble. The white fields are, I think, stickers with imprint of cities such as Amsterdam. The sign says Pierson, Heldring & Pierson, a bank formed on January 1, 1958 from a merger. In 1993 Bank Mees & Hope and Pierson, Heldring & Pierson merged to form MeesPierson (part of ABN AMRO now). The set is most likely a promotional gift.

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  • Netherlands, Pierson, Heldring & Pierson
  • 1975-1991
  • Plexiglass K 3.0; p 1.5
  • Board marmer/plexiglass 27.1×27.1×1.9

Netherlands. This "profile" chess set was a relation gift of MIFA Aluminium B.V. at the moment they opened a new factory with CNC ("Computer Numerical Control") machinery in Blerick, Netherlands in 1986. The King was send with the invitation and people, who attended the opening, got the whole chess set.

I was told that only 2 batches of 500 have been made by MIFA. I have them seen in a red cassette with "MIFA" and "Alufa'" on it too. The last also on blue cassette. And there was a production after 2000, packed in silver-grey box with down right the text "made by Mifa". Another small (100?) batch has been made by Hydro Aluminium Century Limited in Sanquhar. That sets came with a board.

  • Netherlands, by Mifa, a factory making profiles for windows and so
  • 1986
  • Anoded aluminium K 6.4; p 3.7
  • Cassette 26.3 × 23.6
  • Mifa made 2 batches of 500 in 80ies and a batch in 2000. A small (100?) batch by Hydro Aluminium Century Limited in Sanquhar

Netherlands. This set has been designed and made by my daughter. She made the set in the 90ties and kept it secret until she finished it in 2000 in order to give it to me as Saint Nicholas present. Note that she switched Bishop and Rook in the final design (see pictures)!

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  • Netherlands, by my daughter
  • 2000
  • Modelling plaster K 6.9; p 3.1

Netherlands. This is my own design made in 2002. I did had some pieces made by a furniture maker to check sizes and feasibility. Did not let make him the differences in Knight, Bishop and Rook, which all are designed in same size. However, after that I never continued the project. Maybe it is time to pick it up again and create the complete set.

  • Netherlands, my own design
  • 2000
  • Beech K 13.6; p 8.2

Netherlands. This set was made by my own as a gift for my friend Jules Welling. Sadly my friend passed away. I keep the set as a memory to him.
The origami design is by Everdien Tiggelaar.

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  • Netherlands, by myself, origami design by Everdien Tiggelaar
  • 2000
  • Paper K 10.8; p 4.7

Netherlands. These "glass" chess sets in Staunton style are an easy gift to a chess collector. They were given with love and got so a place in my collection. A larger version of these glass sets can be found on the "Staunton" (Germany) page.

  • Netherlands
  • 2000
  • Glass K 4.6; p 2.6
  • Box 22.4×22.0×5.1
  • Board 19.8×19.8

Netherlands. This "abstract" set was made by pupils of Exempla, a commercial organization of training courses, or CVT ("Centrum Vakopleiding Techniek"), a training centre of the Employment Office. My friend got the set from a teacher metal works of Exempla. It's an examination piece of  a student or a class of students. The set is not unique, because the design is used more often at the training.

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  • Netherlands, an examination piece
  • 2000
  • Plain + painted aluminium K 4.5 and Ø 2.0 high; p 3.0 and Ø 1.6
  • Board 24.0×24.0×1.0
  • Board has logo of employment office (2 small at front, 1 large at back)

Netherlands. This "medieval" replica by Hans Rooijers has pieces formed exactly as pieces in use in Europe from the 9th to 12th century. Original pieces are made of frit, rock crystal, bone or some kind of ivory (like walrus). The use of pumice stone is remarkable and I don't know another chess set made with that material. Also the size is much bigger than originals.

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  • Netherlands, by Hans Rooijers
  • 1974
  • Pumice stone K 9.9; p 6.9

Netherlands. This "Leeuwarder Koning" is a replica of the king found in Leeuwarden in 1938. Only 12 replicas have been made and all were used at the drawing of lots for the 1976 Dutch Chess Championship in Leeuwarden. Originally the found piece was dated ca. 1250. However, investigations established that they date from the 10th or 11th century and were abandoned in Friesland by the Norsemen. The Norwegian origin is evident from the style of carving and material, moose antlers, used. Together with a queen found earlier, belongs it to the oldest pieces found in the Netherlands so far. Both are in the Frisian Museum in Leeuwarden.

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  • Netherlands, replica of oldest piece
    (at time it was found in 1938)
  • 1976
  • Resin K 5.6

Netherlands. This "firecracker" set by Jelle Saris was made for my friend Jules Welling. Sadly my friend passed away.

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  • Netherlands, by Jelle Saris
  • 2004
  • Firecrackers 6.1 Ø 1.2 with symbols attached
  • Cassette/board 26.2×26.2×7.1

Netherlands. Sets with "glasses" to drink from are a nice gesture for a mad evening. Fill it with some alcoholic and drink every taken piece. Wonder if people do it that way? I didn't. Actually. I'm not sure the set is from Netherlands, but I got it from a colleague.

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  • Netherlands
  • 2004
  • Drinking glasses H 4.6; Ø 3.1-3.7 with symbols
  • Board 35.0×35.0
  • Includes 12 discs to play checkers

Netherlands. This small "Chess and draughts" set was a gift of a member of my chess club. He had bought it in the Netherlands in 1948. Recently I bought a travel set of unknown origin with exact the same pieces. See my Unknown-travel (Othereurope) page. Jaques did sell travel chess sets in a leather case with exactly the same pieces. The pieces must have been made by the same manufacturer, but unclear is who that is.

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  • Netherlands, chess and draughts (10x10)
  • 1948
  • Plastic pieces 1.4 (2.0 with pin); checkerdisk 0.8 (1.3 with pin) and Ø 1.0
  • Box/board 16.6×16.6×2.8 (closed)

Netherlands. This can with chess motives containing a little travel set was a gift.

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  • Netherlands, by HEMA
  • 2021
  • Wood K 3.8; p 1.9
  • Board cardboard 18.3×18.3
  • Can 19.8×12.4×4.1

Netherlands. Throughout my life as collector I got a  bunch of travel chess sets. Here you see a number of them. All are cheap plastic sets, except for the last, which is a small multiple games set in wood. Of the 2nd I do have a set from Austria as well. See Travel (Austria) page.