Lot #341. Antique Calvert Petal and Pistil Chessmen by William Lund


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Antique Lund Calvert Chessmen, Petal and Pistil Style.

Signed Calvert Antique Ivory Petal and Pistil chessmen
Calvert Ivory Petal and Pistil Chessmen

A superb set of Antique Lund Calvert Chessmen, Petal and Pistil style, natural and red stained, circa 1840. The King stands 3-3/8″ tall with a 1-1/2″ diameter base. The chessmen are in excellent condition with original cochineal red stain color still strong. Although this design is attributed to John Calvert, this set was made by several manufacturers. Aside from John Calvert, this style was also produced by Thomas and William Lund, John Jaques and Fischer, among others. This particular set was produced by William Lund, 24 Fleet Street. Although the King is stamped Calvert Makers 189 Fleet STRt, London,  the unmistakable Lund Knight and pedestal-mounter Rooks clearly marks this as a product of William Lund.

Signed Calvert Antique Ivory Petal and Pistil chessmen

The image on the right shows the correct configuration for a Calvert Petal and Pistil set made set made by John Calvert. Note the full tower Rooks. The true Calvert stamp, shown here on the left,  is engraved on the bottoms of the Rooks (sometimes also found on their summits), not under the Kings and not in the circular pattern exhibited on the King in this set. Apparently, some unscrupulous dealer or restorer, unfamiliar with these sets, tried to pass this off as a John Calvert set. The irony is that the set offered here is a true Lund. It didn’t need to have counterfeit lettering engraved under the King’s base. These chessmen play and display best on a chessboard with 2″ squares. The chessboard shown is not included, but a suitable chessboard can be found elsewhere on this site. See: https://chessantiques.com/product-category/chessboards-chess-clocks-game-timers/

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.

Some Background.

This English Floral Selenus-Style (“Petal and Pistil”) design is an evolution of the older Selenus designs which were popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. A page from the 1860 Jaques Pattern Book, which was lost when their factory was destroyed during a WWII German V2 attack, shows similar sets produced by Jaques during that period. The pattern book was discovered later during a site excavation where the Jaques factory previously stood. These Calvert Petal and Pistil chessmen are classified as English Playing Chess Sets. The design is attributed to John Calvert who worked out of his shop at 189 Fleet St, London. John Calvert was a Master of the Worshipful Company of Turners (1819), and a leading chess maker in England from 1791 until his death in 1822, after which his widow Dorothy ran Calvert business until her death in 1840.


Additional information

Weight6 lbs
Dimensions12 × 12 × 10 in