Antique Washington Style English Chessmen

Lot #86. Antique Washington Style English Chessmen

Antique Washington Style English Chessmen.

Antique Washington Style English Chessmen
Washington Chessmen

This offering is an example of Antique Washington Style English Chessmen. The chessmen are natural and brown-stained ivory. The King stands 3-0″ tall with a 1-3/8″ diameter base. The Royal chessmen are basically bone Barleycorn in design. The Kings and Queens feature  full, slightly tapered barrel bodies mounted atop baluster pedestals. The Rooks are pedestal-mounted rusticated towers with staffs. The Bishops and Pawns have self-similar baluster pedestals. These Antique Washington Style English Chessmen are the style as you would see on sets made during the latter half of the 18th century and early 19th century, often referred to “Washington” style chess sets due to their resemblance to chessmen used by George Washington See image ).  These are authentic antique chessmen that will make a fine display. The chessmen are in excellent condition. The brown stain is worn in areas and gives a very pleasant “antique” appearance. The chessmen are housed in a replacement wooden box, not shown.

Note: Several States have either enacted or have pending legislation restricting the sale or purchase of antique Ivory artifacts. Please check with your State Government before placing an order for any antique ivory from this website. International Trade in all forms of Elephant Ivory is strictly prohibited.


The term Barleycorn, when applied to chessmen, is widely used for a range of English Playing chess sets made primarily, but not uniquely, in England during the 19th and early 20th centuriesThis ubiquitous chess set design is supposedly derived from the shape of foliate decorations on the Kings and Queens. Many Barleycorn sets have decorations resembling the leaves of barley or other similar embellishments. However, many more lack these decorative embellishments, but still retain the Barleycorn moniker. Barleycorn pattern Chess Sets first appeared at the beginning of the 19th century and were in common use through the early 20th Century.

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