Luke Honey | Decorative Antiques, Chess, Backgammon & Games


March 13, 2018

Magnificent “Burmese” pattern set of larger size. There was a time when these sets were thought to have come from Burma, but with improved knowlege and research it’s quite clear that they come from Canton- the style of ivory carving is distinctive. During the  mid 18th century and early 19th century, China was closed to Western trade with the exception of the ports of Canton and Macao. This was known as the Canton System. Following the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 which established a new British colony on the island of Hong Kong, the Canton trade fell into decline. From 1842 British subjects were also allowed to trade from Shanghai, Amoy, Ningpo and Foochow.

This particular set comes from a distinguished private collection and the flags on the rooks, unusually, depict painted Union Flags or “Jacks”. The set would have been made specifically for export to Great Britain during the early years of the nineteenth century. A stunning set up. Lovely condition and highly recommended.