Luke Honey | Decorative Antiques, Chess, Backgammon & Games


June 01, 2016

Rare pocket chess set by Peter Mark Roget (1779-1869), the industrious compiler  of Roget’s Thesaurus. The chess historian, Michael Mark, has written on these early pocket chess sets:

“The earliest English pocket chess set of which I have found any record is the Economic Chess-Board designed by Dr. P. M. Roget, the compiler of Roget’s Thesaurus. It was first marketed in April 1846 by De La Rue.”

By October 1846, Dr. Roget appears to have parted company with De La Rue and taken back control of his own invention. De La Rue carried on selling their rival pocket set.