French Regence Antique Chessmen

Lot #416. French Regence Antique Chessmen

French Regence Antique Chessmen.

This is a later  French Regence Antique chessmen, natural and dark brown-stained Boxwood, circa 1900. The King stands 3-5/8″ tall with a 1-1/8″ diameter base. The unweighted and unfelted chess pieces are in excellent condition. There is no box included with the chessmen and the antique chessboard shown is not included in this sale. The French Regence-style chessmen cover a wide range of periods and style, dating back to before the days of Ben Franklin and André Philidor through the early  twentieth Century. Régence, Lyon and Directoire sets are fairly common, but still quite charming.

From a practical chess playing aspect, these chessmen have several shortcomings. The chess pieces are fairly unstable and easily overturned during play. Also, the Queens, Bishops,  and Pawns are sometimes confusing and difficult to tell apart. These design deficiencies were common to almost all pre-Staunton designs and were likely responsible for the huge success of the revolutionary new Staunton design, registered by Nathaniel Cooke and produced by the firm of John Jaques of London. The Staunton pattern chessmen first appeared on the English market in October of 1849 and soon displaced all other chessmen designs as the first choice of chess players for casual and tournament play.

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