English Type II Playing Chessmen.
This offering is a fine example of an English Type II Playing Chessmen, often incorrectly characterized as a Barleycorn-style chess set. True Barleycorn style chessmen have broad barrel-bodied Kings and Queens, and are normally fabricated from bone, rarely ivory. The chessmen here are natural and red-stained ivory. The King stands an impressive 3-7/8″ tall with a 1-1/4” diameter base. The chessmen fall in to the ubiquitous English Playing Set category, referred as Type II Playing Sets. The Kings and Queens feature well-turned narrow barrel bodies typical of the Type II design, mounted atop baluster-shaped pedestals. The King’s coronet is surmounted by a simpler cross finial, very typical for the Type II chessmen. The Queen’s headpiece is represented by a simple sphere. The Rooks are represented as pedestal-mounted reticulated towers surmounted with a tapered flagless staff. The Bishops, Knights and Pawns resemble styles seen on typical Barleycorn chess sets. The chessmen were produced in the early 1840s.