Antique English Barleycorn Chessmen, Type II
This offering is a fine example of a set of very early English Barleycorn Chessmen, Type II, with broad, heavily adorned, bodies and carved acanthus leaves on the Royal Pieces. The chessmen are all mounted atop smooth baluster stems with “cogged” circular bases. The chessmen are fabricated from natural and red-stained bone. The King stands 3-5/8″ tall with a 1-1/4″ diameter base. The Rooks are massive, reticulated towers, extremely intricately carved, with a reticulated body and a staff finial. The Bishops, Knights and Pawns are baluster mounted headpieces with cogged bases. The chessmen are in excellent condition with a few minor stable hairline cracks typical of 200-year-old bone chessmen. One Bishop is a closely matching replacement. True Barleycorn style chessmen have broad barrel-bodied Kings and Queens, and are normally fabricated from bone, rarely ivory. The set was probably produced between 1820 and 1840. The antique storage box shown appears to be original to the set. The antique chessboard shown is not part of this auction but may be purchased elsewhere on this site.