A really nice collection of rare Russian Export chessmen from Kholomogory. Four of the chessmen have prettily decorated 'penwork' bases depicting flowers and birds- typical of Russian work of the 18th century, but unusual to find on chess sets of this type. The rook is especially well-carved- and has charm: showing a sea-monster, or whale holding a galleon or wooden ship up on its tail. The Russian name for the rook (ladya) means a sailing boat or longship of Northern cultures such as the Vikings.
The pieces are hand-carved from walrus ivory (again, typical of Kholomogory), so they will require a CITES export licence if shipped to a destination outside the European Union.