Luke Honey | Decorative Antiques, Chess, Backgammon & Games


February 16, 2017

The so-called “Washington Pattern”” chess set is named after a similar set held in the collection of George Washington’s house, Mount Vernon, which can reasonably dated to around 1770. 

Gareth Williams writes: 

“The Washington set- as this set is now known- was a relatively new design when Washington obtained it. Red and white sets are the colours of St George, England’s patron saint. Turned from ivory, with one side stained red, this was a popular style of set in England and among the gentry of the British Empire during the late part of the eighteenth century. The king and queen continue in the abstract tradition, the queen represented by a traditional sphere, the king with an added geometrical finial suggesting a hat.”