Other European

This Belgian "Staunton" set was bought in Anvers. Of course this does not mean that the set must have been made in Belgium. In fact I don't know, as I don't know the exact age.

366 01
« 1 of 2 »
  • Belgium, Anvers
  • Mid 20th century
  • Boxwood K 7.4; p 3.6
  • Box 16.8×11.3×7.0

These Czech (or Czechoslovakian) sets have different designs and origin.
The first set has similarities with "Selenus" sets and is from Sudetenland. The second is a typical "Coffeehouse" set, not from Vienna this time, but from Fidet, a Czech company.

The other 2 are called "Czech design" or "Czech Tournament" sets, which are made from early/mid 20th century to the present day. These are also found in Austria and Hungary, but I do not think they were made there. One of these sets has full wooden knights, but the other has knights with plastic heads. Full plastic sets do exist as well. The full wooden knights are almost equal to the knights of the Fidet "Coffeehouse" set, an indication that Fidet could have made that particular "Czech Tournament" set.

315 01
« 1 of 4 »
  • Czech, Sudetenland
  • ca. 1900
  • Wood K 10.0; p 5.0
  • Rollboard
158 02
« 1 of 3 »
  • Czech, by Fidet, "coffeehouse"
  • ca. 1900-1910
  • Maple K 7.7; p 3.7
  • Box 18.7×13.7×5.1
166 02
« 1 of 2 »
  • Czech, by Fidet, Czech design
  • Early 20th century
  • Maple K 10.2; p 4.8
  • Box/board 36.3×36.0×6.7
399 02
« 1 of 7 »
  • Czech or Austria, Czech design
  • Mid 20th century
  • Maple K 10.7; p 6.2
  • Knights with plastic heads

Danish sets from around 1800 are delicate. The 1st set is a nice example of an early Danish set. Very often you see finials in oposite colors, but not in this set.

The 2nd set here was indicated as Danish, but it could easily have been made in Germany. I have seen similar Rooks in a Geislingen bust set. I'm not sure of the date either.

332 01
« 1 of 4 »
  • Denmark
  • ca. 1800
  • Bone K 6.2; p 3.6
  • Box 41.3×12.1×6.2
385 01
« 1 of 3 »
  • Denmark or Germany?
  • ca. 1860
  • Bone K 6.7; p 3.1

This Hungarian set is made in war time or soon after, and resides in an adapted box of the American Red Cross food distribution for "ömlesztett sajt", cheese spread. Once it did belong to Michael from class 3b. In fact it is more a curiosity, but it has some history.

272 01
« 1 of 6 »
  • Hungary, war set
  • 1945
  • Triplex K 4.4; p 3.4
  • Box 15.8×6.5×4.1

Antique Italian chess sets are extremely hard to find. This "Italian" design has characteristic knights. Nevertheless, it is not always recognized as antique Italian by collectors. I was lucky with this Ebay find. Although Rooks are not all equal, one Bishop's base shortened and one pawn's finial replaced, it is in very good condition. That can't be said of the box, but that's not a chess box anyway. The base shortening of the bishop is probably done for stability. In those days the pieces were broken off of the lathe turnings, leaving a kind of knot behind. I guess that could stand out a bit causing some instability.

Next 2 sets, of metal, are made by Italfama, Florence, Italy. Although I could not find the smaller set exactly so in the catalog, I'm pretty sure it is of Italfama and it is a so called "Mignon" set.

The abstract travertin set could have been made elsewhere, I'm not sure about the origin. I bought the set in 1997 in a second hand shop in the Netherlands, so it is probably a bit older. It was one of the first sets I bought for my collection.

The last 2 metal sets are made by Italfama, Florence, Italy as well. Although I could not find the small set in the catalog, I'm pretty sure it is of Italfama.

350 01
« 1 of 4 »
  • Italy
  • ca. 1800
  • Wood K 6.6; p 2.4
469 01
« 1 of 3 »
  • Italy, probably by Italfama, "Mignon set"?
  • 1987
  • Solid Brass K 5.5; p 2.5
470 01
« 1 of 3 »
  • Italy, by Italfama, "art. 15B" ("Contemporary set")
  • 1988
  • Solid Brass K 7.0; p 3.9
012 01
« 1 of 3 »
  • Italy
  • 1997
  • Travertin K 5.0; p 2.2
  • Board 41.5×41.5
045 01
« 1 of 4 »
  • Italy, by Italfama, "art. 94B"
    ("little classic oriental set")
  • 2000
  • Brass K 7.4; p 4.0
  • Cassette 34.8×33.3×3.6
338 01
« 1 of 6 »
  • Italy, probably by Italfama, "Staunton"
  • 20th century
  • Metal K 2.6; p 1.5
  • Cassette 17.8×17.8×2.1
  • Board 13.0×13.0×0.7

This Polish chess set was bought in Berlin and, in spite of the famous Polish chest, could be German. The blue knights were absent, but it was promised to send them after. Only 1 came, so we (me, a friend and an experienced restorer) did make a copy. I did some smaller restaurations as well. Note that some pictures show the imperfections before restauration. This set is not unique, I have seen another on Ebay. Actually it is more a decorative set as a set to play with.
If someone knows what the shields and characters on the Rooks mean, please tell me...

The other abstract set was an early addition to my collection, bought from Johan van Mil and Erika Sziva in 1998. They could not tell other things about the set but it's Polish origin.

You may say that these 2 sets are more decorative as to play with. Maybe I should move them to section "To look at" ?

171 02
« 1 of 9 »
  • Poland or Germany?
  • Early 20th century
  • Beech K 9.8+9.3; p 6.7
  • Box 21.5×12.5×11.8
028 01
« 1 of 2 »
  • Poland
  • 20th century
  • Bolletrie K 8.0; p 3.0

This is a well known Rumenian travel chess set with an ingenious system to fold the board, while keeping the pieces on it, when you close the box. There are some small variations in the sets I have seen. Although I do have only one, I could make a compilation picture of 3 different ones. It is the last picture in the gallery.

322 01
« 1 of 5 »
  • Rumania
  • 20th century
  • Wood K 2.0; p 1.6 (including pins)
  • Box 22.3×12.2×4.0 (closed)
  • Board 16.7×16.5

I have listed these Russian sets in order of age, more or less. The list starts with a lesser known Carbolite chess set from a factory that used to make Carbolite (kind of Bakelite). The company still exists today. The set has hollow pieces, which are filled with sand (or so) to make them heavier. Note that the pictures of the box are copied from the internet.

The small travel set is most likely a tourist souvenir from Leningrad. Cannot say much about it, but it is from Russian Federation of about 1970.

Next you see three "Russian tournament" sets. One is a pre WW2 set and the 2nd a cheap recent version. The 3rd is an amusing version with political motives. Just look at the pawns and try to identify them all!

The "Russian tournament" set is characterized by the finials in the opposite color on the Kings and Queens, which are also very similar in shape, and by the Bishops without incision.

The "Carved" set is made by hand, but I can't tell which wood it is. The older sets were made of hardwood and carved by hand. The more recent versions are of softwood and machine cut. I cannot date this set well. 1980 is just a lucky guess. But this handmade set is rather older than younger.

I have added the "Matrioska" set, although you may argue it is more a decorative set. But you can play very well with it. The shape is not only based on the so called Matrioska dolls, but the set is actually named that way as the pamphlet tells us. Sorry, I have no picture of that pamphlet (yet).

The last in this list is a "Barleycorn" based set by the Chess Sets Gallery, Moscow. The design is by Oleg Rakis, who was inspired by the Barleycorn sets.

257 01
« 1 of 6 »
  • Russia, by Carbolite company
  • 1940-1950
  • Carbolite (russian bakelite) K 6.8; p 4.0
418 03
« 1 of 4 »
  • Russia, Leningrad
  • ca. 1970
  • Plastic K 1.4; p 1.1
  • Box 12.5×10.1×2.9
  • Board 8.7×8.9
337 01
« 1 of 3 »
  • Russia, "Russian tournament"
  • ca. 1940
  • Wood K 10.0; p 5.1
406 02
« 1 of 7 »
  • Russia, "Russian tournament"
  • Mid to late 20th century
  • Wood K 6.6; p 3.6
  • Box/Board 34.0×17.2×4.9
482 01
« 1 of 4 »
  • Russia, "Russian tournament", politic faces
  • 1987
  • Wood K 7.4; p 4.4
408 02
« 1 of 4 »
  • Russia, "Carved"
  • ca. 1980
  • Wood K 10.5-11.0; p 6.0-6.6
283 01
« 1 of 3 »
  • Russia, "Matrioska"
  • 1997
  • Birch K 10.8; p 5.8
157 02
« 1 of 3 »
  • Russia, Moscow, by Chess Sets Gallery, "Barleycorn"
  • 2005
  • Pear K 13.0; p 5.2
  • Cassette/board 45.5×45.5×7.3
  • Design by Oleg Raikis, inspired by the Barleycorn type

The 1st Spanish travel set in this list is one of my favourites. I love the simple form of the pieces and think it is a real beauty. The board is less impressive and has the clasp replaced, but does it's job well.

The 2nd travel set does have neat pieces in Staunton style. The lacquer has been unaffected, so I think it was never played with. I bought both travel sets in the same antique shop in Barcelona.

The typical Spanish design of the playing set does have some Régence and Staunton influences, but stands completely on its own. I bought the set on a flew market in Barcelona for little money. Probably the set has never been used, considering the condition.

The tiny chess set was a gift of a friend, who had bought it in Spain long ago. Most likely this set is a doll house set. Too small to play with. It is the smallest in my collection.

116 01
« 1 of 6 »
  • Spain
  • ca. 1900
  • Boxwood K 5.0; p 2.6
  • Box/board 17.9×8.9×3.4 (closed)
117 01
  • Spain, "Staunton"
  • Mid 20th century
  • Boxwood K 3.1; p 1.8
  • Box/board 15.2×7.1×2.5 (closed)
115 01
« 1 of 3 »
  • Spain, Spanish design
  • 1980?
  • Boxwood K 5.9; p 3.6
  • Box 18.3×10.4×6.8
390 01
« 1 of 2 »
  • Spain, miniature
  • 1989
  • Boxwood K 1.6; p 0.9
  • Box 4.2×3.0×1.5
  • Board 6.2×6.0×0.5

This Turkish playing set has clear influence of Régence sets, not to say it is a Régence set. I bought this set in a post located antique shop in Istanbul. The elder shop owner told me that he used to play with it from the 50ies on, when he was a child. I love this set because of the primitive way it has been made and the history it has.

Turkey has a long tradition of making abstract onyx chess sets for the tourist market. I have 2 examples. The 1st was a gift of someone in my street, who had bought it on a holiday in Turkey long ago. He didn't know exactly when, but it could be in 1975. The 2nd one was a gift of a boyfriend of one of my daughters. He had just bought it for me in 2004. In almost 30 years not much has changed, except for the packaging.

135 01
« 1 of 3 »
  • Turkey, "Régence alike"
  • ca. 1950
  • Boxwood K 7.1; p 3.6-4.1
194 02
« 1 of 8 »
  • Turkey
  • 1975?
  • Onyx K 3.8; p 3.0
  • Box 26.3×26.4×3.7
  • Board 25.1×25.2×1.0
146 02
« 1 of 5 »
  • Turkey
  • 2004
  • Onyx K 3.9; p 3.0
  • Box 30.0×28.5×6.0
  • Board 25.0×25.0×0.8

Sets listed below are of Unknown origin and/or age.
If you know more, then please let me know...

This "Russian tournament" style chess set was bought in 2004 in Istanbul, just 1 year before Hippopotamus ivory was put on the CITES list. I have placed it under unknown, because I'm very uncertain where the set has been made. According seller it is a Russian set of the 1920s. Could well be in my opinion, but I'm not sure. Another theory is that in the 1940s these sets were brought to England from French North Africa by soldiers of the second world war. In England these sets would not be uncommon. However I have never seen another. Have to say that it is one of my favourites, not only because of the material, but also because of those beautiful Knights and the fact that they are very playable due to their stability and weight.

136 02
« 1 of 4 »
  • unknown origin (Russia?)
  • ca. 1920-1940
  • Hippopotamus ivory K 8.3; p 4.5
  • The set was sold to me as Russian, ca. 1920, sperm whale

Not much can be said about this plastic travel set in the Staunton style. This kind of sets were often used as advertisement items. There is some logo, with a chess motive, on the outer plastic shell, but I do not know the meaning of it.

416 04
« 1 of 4 »
  • unknown origin, "Staunton"
  • Mid 20th century
  • Plastic K 2.6; p 1.4
  • Box 14.5×7.7×2.4
  • Board 12.8×12.8

I can't tell anything about this wooden playing set. I don't think it has been made by an amateur, although it looks like that on first sight. Only thing I can say is that I bought it from a chess enthousiast in the Netherlands.

404 04
« 1 of 6 »
  • unknown orgin
  • 2nd half 20th century
  • Wood K 10.2; p 5.3
  • Box 34.8×34.0×7.9

This wooden playing set looks as made by an amateur. Only thing I can say is that I bought it from the same chess enthousiast as the other wooden playing set.

405 04
« 1 of 7 »
  • unknown orgin
  • 2nd half 20th century
  • Wood K 6.0; p 3.4
  • Box/Board 29.7×14.7×6.2

This metal "Burmese" set is more a curiosity. Further I would put an antique ivory "Burmese" set probably under "To look at". So I'm not sure I will keep it listed here.

289 01
« 1 of 3 »
  • unknown origin (England?), "Burmese"
  • unknown age (1960?)
  • Metal K 8.5; p 5.3

This abstract set of glass is beautiful and one of my favorites. People always ask if I have a glass chess set in my collection, thinking on those common (small) Staunton glass sets they mostly have. I do have some as well and you can find them elsewhere on my site. But a set like this is always impressive.

355 01
  • unknown orgin (Germany, Italy, England?)
  • ca. 1980
  • Glass K 12.7; p 6.1

Set listed below is of Unknown origin.
If you know more, then please let me know...

This "travel" set was bought recently with the main reason that I have a travel set with exact the same pieces, which was bought in the Netherlands in 1948. See my Travel (Netherlands) 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.

493 01
« 1 of 5 »
  • unknown origin (England or Germany?)
  • ca. 1950
  • Plastic 1.4 (2.1 with pin)
  • Box 20.1×13.6×3.2
  • Board 12.2×12.2