Antique Ivory Backgammon Checkers Red

Lot #173. Antique Ivory Backgammon Checkers, Red and Natural

Antique Ivory Backgammon Checkers Red

This offering is a complete set of 30 large English Antique ivory Backgammon checkers red stained (Cochineal) and natural. The individual checkers measure 1.45″ in diameter by 0.45″ thick. These English-made Backgammon checkers date to around 1820. 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 Backgammon stones are in excellent condition with no repairs or replacements. The set comes housed in a lovely domed-top and hinged Coromandel veneered box with Mother-of-pearl inlay. This set does not include dice, shakers or a doubling cube. These 30 Backgammon checkers can also be used for several other board games.

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.

Backgammon is one of the oldest board games known. It is a two player game where the units are moved according to the roll of dice. A player wins by removing (bearing-off) all of his pieces from the board before the opponent. Backgammon is a member of the “Tables” family, one of the World’s oldest classes of board games.

For the interested reader, a more detailed description of Backgammon and its history can be found at:

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.

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