Hezekiah Dixon Saint George Travel Chess Set

Item #485. Hezekiah Dixon Saint George Travel Chess Set

Hezekiah Dixon Saint George Travel Chess Set.

Offered here is a fine quality Hezekiah Dixon Saint George Travel Chess Set in Boxwood and Ebony. The King is 1.8″ tall”.  The Mahogany chessboard/box measures 8″ square and has 7/8″ Rosewood and Sycamore squares. The chessmen, storage box and playing field are in excellent condition. The chess set is early Victorian period, around 1840. These chessmen were most likely produced and sold by Hezekiah Dixon from his workshop at 172 Fenchurch Street. Dixon Saint George Chessmen are quite rare and very few of these sets have appeared in the marketplace. There is some debate surrounding who actually made the Knights for the Jaques Saint George Chessmen. Based on similar chess pieces produced by Hezekiah Dixon, it is entirely possible that Dixon also made the Knights for the Jaques chess sets.


Some History.

The Saint George (or St. George) pattern chessmen are a variation of the ubiquitous English Playing sets designed with minor modifications, among which was the replacing of the cross finial with a simpler ball or plume, for the Saint George Chess Club. The St. George Chess Sets were designed for the Saint George Chess Club and first appeared around 1840. This is a very practical chess set design and was in common use through the early 20th Century. Aside from Jaques , chessmen of this type were produced by John Calvert, William and Thomas Lund, F. A. Ayres, British Company, George Merrifield, and John Jaques, among others (see Jaques 1860 Pattern Book Image). 

About Hezekiah Dixon.

Hezekiah Dixon was located at 172 Fenchurch Street from 1848 through 1853 according to the London Directories. The family also had several businesses at that address.

About the Saint George Chess Club.

The Saint George Chess Club was formed soon after the dissolution of the Westminster Club (of which Staunton had been the Secretary) in 22nd December 1839 and reported on that date by George Walker in the newspaper Bell Life in London and Sporting News.  The formation of the St George’s Chess Club was reported by Walker in the same newspaper on 29th December 1839. It would appear that the membership of the Westminster Club was encouraged to leave the Club and to join the newly formed Saint George’s Club that Walker had apparently already organised.  So, the Saint George Chess Club was in existence since December, 1840 and not 1842 as has been previously reported.


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