Luke Honey | Decorative Antiques, Chess, Backgammon & Games


February 11, 2020

A good 'so-called 'Burmese Pattern' ivory chess set with a distinguished provenance dating the set to Canton, 1836. These sets were mistakenly identified as 'Burmese' by antique dealers and collectors in the 1960s. With better historical research, we now know that they were made for export in Canton, rather than Burma, during the first half of the 19th century. This set is particularly interesting as it proves this exact point. Hoaching was a premier silversmith concern in Canton that also produced exquisitely carved ivory. He was a prolific craftsman, and his shop was considered one of the most expensive in Canton.

This particular chess set belonged to William Taylor Copeland  (1797- 1868) and is being sold, on commission, by a direct descendants. Copeland, the son of William Copeland- the partner of Josiah Spode of pottery and porcelain fame, was a distinguished British businessmen, Member of Parliament and Lord Mayor of the City of London.