Luke Honey | Decorative Antiques, Chess, Backgammon & Games



October 07, 2023

The classic English chess pattern. Used throughout the Victorian period as an alternative to the Staunton pattern (invented in 1849).


October 06, 2023

The “Edinburgh” or “Northern” Upright pattern is always popular with collectors and players. According to Howard Staunton the pattern was designed by Lord John Hay in the 1840s.


October 03, 2023

Interesting and unusual 19th century English chess pattern. Similar to the ‘Calvert' pattern, or perhaps, a variation on the 'St George' or 'Old English' patterns. The rosewood side features attractive stratifactions and patination. A lovely antique chess set. Recommended.


September 25, 2023

Nice example of a classic Victorian boxwood and ebony chess set. The ‘Calvert Pattern’ was one of the alternative patterns used in England during the 19th century, alongside the ‘St George’, the ‘Old English’ and the ‘Staunton’ patterns. The pattern is based on the work of John Calvert of 189, Fleet Street- the chess turner and maker of chess sets in wood and ivory, between 1791 and 1822.


July 26, 2023

Splendid Jaques board of Tournament size. The chess squares are 6.7cm wide. It dates from the Pre-War period (the Jaques factory and office, based in Hatton Garden, London, was destroyed in the Blitz in 1941). The board is mounted with ‘silver-coloured metal’ plaques. For the British Chess Correspondance Association (BCCA) Trophy: County Junior Chess Corresponance Championship, with further shields for the English counties of Warwickshire (1952), Lancashire (1955) and Sussex (1953).


July 10, 2023

Lovely vintage  English Staunton chess set, with a decent weight. Comes in the original mahogany box, with key.


July 04, 2023

Lovely Jaques set, with the desirable 4 inch king. Antique Jaques sets, within the last year or so, are becoming scarce. Sets with the 4 inch and 4.5 inch kings are especially saught after. This set features the Jaques Green Label (with coiled border) dating from 1915-20.


June 23, 2023

The English ‘Staunton’ pattern was designed in 1849. This set is, most likely, a late 19th century colonial variant, made for export to the United Kingdom. The useful box dates from the mid 20th century.


June 15, 2023

Reference: See Sir Alan Fersht: Jaques & British Chess Company Chess Sets, Kaissia Publications, figure 8 page 27 for an identical label dated to 1927, from a set used in the London Chess Congress.

Nice example of a 4.5 inch Jaques. Jaques sets are becoming increasingly hard to source.


June 08, 2023

Compact two-drawer version of the classic 1920s Shanghai Mahjong Set. The tiles are kept in one drawer.


May 09, 2023

Good, above average Mahjong set- typical of the Shanghai workshops. Good size. Nice, chunky bamboo and bone tiles of decent quality and shiny patination. A few minor hairline cracks and scuffs to box.


April 05, 2023


February 08, 2023

Nice example of the classic English ‘Barleycorn’ pattern, popular in the 19th centry. Especially nice larger size with the King coming in at just over 13cm. The box dates from the 1930s.


October 26, 2022

The Insurance Chess Club was founded in 1893.


October 24, 2022

Bookbinder’s folding leather chess board, cloth hinge. Tooled around the edge with foliate gilt decoration, and blind-stamped decoration in the Greek Key pattern. Very similar to the leather boards sold by Jaques.


October 19, 2022

Increasingly scarce fine 4.4 inch Jaques Staunton Boxwood & Ebony chess set from circa 1855-60. In the original Jaques mahogany box with green label. Interesting owner’s heraldic crest and Victorian retailer’s stamp an added attraction.

Please feel free to contact me for price and further details. Thank you.


October 05, 2022

A nice Staunton boxwood and ebony chess set, probaby made in Germany, or at least, Central Europe. The knight heads are made from stained boxwood.

Attractive shiny patina. Excellent player’s chess set. Recommended.


October 04, 2022

Unusual South German chess compendium, including two Nuremberg wooden ‘toy’ sets, 1886. ‘Toy’ sets, typically, have painted faces on the King, Queen and Bishop. The box also includes a folding Campaign chess board and a set of boxwood and ebony counters.


August 30, 2022

Classic English set, turned from boxwod and ebony. In a pattern popular during the early to mid 19th century.


July 05, 2022

During the 19th century ornamental turning on a lathe became a fashionable pastime for the upper class gentlemen. John Jacob Holtzapffel (bn. Alsace 1768) had established a workshop in London at the beginning of the 19th century, and built up a reputation as a maker of quality lathes and tools. His customers included monarchs and the nobility of Europe, and London became the world centre for the hobby of ornamental turning. 

The Holtzapffel firm continued to make lathes until 1927 by which time they had produced a total of 2557 lathes, serially numbered, many of which were equipped for ornamental turning. Other engineers copied or varied his designs but none were so prolific in their manufacture.

The hobby of ornamental turning declined rapidly following the invention of the motor-car which, by the end of the First World War, had become the fashionable pastime for the mechanically-minded amateur.