Lot #27. Richard Whitty Antique Chess Set


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Richard Whitty Antique Chess Set.

An Early Richard Whitty Antique Chess Set with green baize base pads. These vintage chessmen are Boxwood and Ebony, and unweighted. The King stands 3-5/8″ tall with a 1-5/8″ diameter base. All the chessmen still have their original green baize base pads. The Kingside Knights and Rooks are differentiated by small alternate Black and White colored buttons implanted in their

Whitty Knight

       Whitty Knight

Jaques Steinitz Knight

Jaques Steinitz Knight, circa 1865

summits. The Knights very closely resemble those found in sets by the Jaques firm in the mid 1860s. Compare the two attached images. As well as his trademark aggressive Knights, this set also shown signs emerging of the unique angular miter cut on the Bishops which was unique to him. The chessmen are housed in their original hinge-top antiqued curly-maple box, lined in green baize. These particular chessmen were produced around 1865. The chessmen are in excellent condition for their age and have developed a very pleasing honey patina.  One each Boxwood and Ebony Pawn has a chipped collar and the Boxwood Queen has a small chip missing from her crenellations.  There are no replacements.

Richard Whitty was a carver in the John Jaques factory in London.  This is a significant set because it comes in its original box. Richard Whitty operated his business from a shop located at 14 Tithebarn Street, Liverpool. From this set we can confirm many of the characteristics of sets that are referred to as Whitty sets. Later in his career, Whitty manufactured other games and chessboards as well as chess sets. Whitty  appears to have been running his own business since around 1870 or so.