Luke Honey | Decorative Antiques, Chess, Backgammon & Games

Unusual Italian Olivewood Chess Set, 1865

  • Unusual Italian Olivewood Chess Set, 1865
  • Unusual Italian Olivewood Chess Set, 1865
  • Unusual Italian Olivewood Chess Set, 1865
  • Unusual Italian Olivewood Chess Set, 1865

An Interesting Italian Olivewood Chess Set, 1865

one side in a lighter coloured wood, kings of slender form with urn caps and five knops, queens similar but with four knops, bishops with chiselled clerical/bicorn caps and ball finials, knights as hand-carved flat horses’ heads, rooks as monobloc turrets with carved rustication, pawns of urn shape with ball finials in the original compartmented wooden box with a hinged lid, and chess instruction pamphlet, Livorno, 1865

King: 11.4cm high

Pawn: 6.9cm high

Box: 22.7cm wide

Stock Number: MM 1610

Provenance: Major British Chess Collection


Darker Side (olivewood):

Chip to rook battlements, miniscule chip to knops of king, small chip to cap of queen. One pawn with slight lean and hairline crack across stem.

Lighter Side:

Miniscule chip to battlement of rook.


Original to the set. Pencil scribbles and Scacchi in childish hand in pencil to lid. 


Grubby. Some staining and wear, especially to corners.

A Note From Luke

Fascinating antique chess set from Italy. Note the bishop’s caps. Comes in the original wooden box wtih a chess instruction pamphlet, presumably original to the box and set, published in Livorno and dating from 1864.

From the collection of a leading authority on the history of chess. Rare find.

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