Large Antique Rajasthan Polychrome Chess Set.
Offered here is a very large, Magnificent, Antique Rajasthan Polychrome Chess Set 5-5/8″ tall with a 2-7/8″ Base. Incredible in both composition and history, this significant Polychrome Indian figural chess set is composed of 32 pieces, crafted with meticulous attention to detail. The red army represents the forces of the maharajah of Jaipur, the principal city of Rajasthan, against the forces of the East India Company, which are depicted in cream. Poised for battle in howdahs mounted atop elephants, horses, camels, and on foot, the soldiers stand ready, carrying rockets, spears and war drums. Amazing sets such as this rarely survive intact and in such fine condition. The chessmen date to around 1840.
Created in Rajasthan, India, this remarkable chess set was made for the British export market during a time when the influence of the East India Company was at its peak. The company began in 1600 as a monopolistic trading entity to take advantage of the booming spice trade. Over time, the company became involved in politics and acted as an agent of British imperialism from the early 18th to the mid-19th centuries. As in these sense of nationalism and political autonomy grew, the East India company lost its grip both commercially and politically and, by 1873, it’s cease to exist.
The Ernst Boehlen Collection
Bellerieve Museum, Zurich, 1982
Le Pointe Gallery, Zurich 1984
Dresdner Bank 1988 to 1991