Luke Honey | Decorative Antiques, Chess, Backgammon & Games

Nuremberg 'Toy Selenus' Chess Set, 1830s

  • Antique Selenus Chess Set
  • Nuremberg 'Toy Selenus' Chess Set, 1830s
  • Nuremberg 'Toy Selenus' Chess Set, 1830s
  • Nuremberg 'Toy Selenus' Chess Set, 1830s

A Good Biedermeier 'Toy Selenus' Chess Set, Nuremberg, circa 1830

in carved boxwood or pearwood, stained chocolate brown and left natural, with painted 'facial' highlights, kings with multi knopped galleries and painted faces, queens similar, but of smaller size and with spiked finials, bishops with cut rectangular knops and wearing caps with 'feathers', knights as arched horses' heads, rooks as raised turrets with ball finials and chequer-board brickwork, pawns with baluster knops

King: 9.5cm high

Pawn: 5cm high

Provenance: Gareth Williams Chess Collection

Stock Reference: VW 1839




Natural Side:

Painted faces on King, Queen and Bishop, slight rubbing and surface dirt, slight variation in height and size of pawns due to turning.

Stained Side:

Painted faces on King, Queen and Bishop- less visible than on the Natural Side. Surface slightly worn, but with an attractive aged patina.

Slight lean to some of the chessmen. 

A Note From Luke

A good example of an antique Nuremberg 'toy' set from the collection of chess historian, Gareth Williams. 'Toy' sets (with painted faces) were a variation on the traditional "Selenus" pattern, popular in Germany and Central Europe during the Biedermeier period (1815-1848). The deliberately 'cut' knops on the bishops are very typical of the Selenus style.

Nuremberg was- and is- known for its traditional crafts, including wood-carving and toy making.

A really attractive antique set with a good provenance. Recommended.


How We Ship

Within the Mainland UK: Free of Charge

Shipping by courier to Mainland UK destinations is free, and included within the price, so please feel free to push the "buy it now" button.

International Shipping

If you live outside the UK, please contact me to arrange payment, and I can give you a competitive shipping quote to your destination.

All items are sent fully insured. Please be aware that there may be customs duties to pay if you live outside the European Union.


Under the distance selling regulations you have a right to return your order for any item purchased on a fixed priced sale for a full refund within fourteen days after receipt. However, you must take reasonable care of the item/s. You will be responsible for the shipping costs both to and from your address. Thank you.


Sorry, you missed this item. If you are interested in something similar please make an enquiry.

All prices are inclusive of packing and delivery charges to Mainland UK destinations. Please allow approximately 7-10 working days for delivery.

For shipping to destinations outside the UK, please ask us for an individual shipping quote.

We aim to ship at competitive prices. Our shipper offers a 15% discount on their standard shipping prices on any item bought through this website. All items are shipped fully insured. You may find our Frequently Asked Questions page helpful.