Lot #177. Antique Ivory Draughts Checkers



Antique Ivory Draughts Checkers.

Here is a complete set of 24 Antique Ivory Draughts or Checkers, red stained (Cochineal) and natural. The individual checkers measure 1.2″ in diameter by 0.4″ thick. These English-made Draughts date to around 1875. The antique folding chessboard shown is not included, but this and several other suitable boards are available elsewhere on this web site or upon request. The ivory game pieces are in excellent condition. The counters are housed in a Mahogany slide-top box. There have been no repairs or replacements and the red stain is still vivid. This set does not include dice, shakers or a doubling cube.

Cochineal Dye. To create the red dye, Carminic acid is extracted from the female cochineal insects and is treated to produce carmine, which can yield shades of red such as crimson and scarlet. The body of the insect is 19–22% carminic acid. The insects are processed by immersion in hot water or exposure to sunlight, steam, or the heat of an oven. Each method produces a different color that results in the varied appearance of commercial cochineal. It takes about 80,000 to 100,000 insects to make one kilogram of cochineal dye.

Draughts or checkers is a group of strategy board games for two players which involve diagonal moves of uniform game pieces and mandatory captures by jumping over opponent pieces. Draughts developed from alquerque. The name derives from the verb to draw or to move.

The most popular forms are English Draughts, also called American Checkers, employs 12 stones and is played on an 8×8 checkerboard; Russian Draughts, also played on an 8×8. Continental Draughts (Also known as Polish Checkers) utilizes 20 stones and is played on a 10×10 board. There are many other variants played on an 8×8 board. Canadian checkers is played on a 12×12 board.

For a more detailed discourse on the history and rules for Draughts or Checkers, check out: and