Lot #656. Antique Vizagapatam Chess Pieces


A large, elaborately carved antique Vizagapatam Chess Pieces, Natural and Red-stained. The King stands 5-1/2″ tall. Like New. India, circa 1800 – 1840.

Out of stock. Many of these items on this site are one-of-a-kind Antiques. Once they are gone, that’s it!


Antique Vizagapatam Chess Pieces.

A large, elaborately carved, set of Antique Vizagapatam Chess Pieces, Natural and red-stained, made by the East Indian John Company. The King stands and impressive 5-1/2” tall with a 1-5/8″ diameter base. The chessmen are in like new condition, which is astounding for a set of chessmen this old. These pieces date to around 1800 – 1830. A wide selection of suitable antique and modern chessboards for these exquisite chess pieces can be found here.

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.

Antique Vizagapatam Chess Pieces

The chessmen are accompanied by the original, hand-typed and signed letter from famed British dealer and author, Mackett-Beeson, dated 30th of January. 1960, transferring ownership of the Antique Vizagapatam Chess Pierces to the new owner, Claude D. Olin, Esq. for the princely sum of £35! Of particular note is Mackett-Beeson’s claim that the chessmen were of Spanish origin and produced around 1760. Obviously, he was mistaken. Some very interesting antique chessmen can be found in Mackett-Beeson’s very popular book, Chessmen, is copyright 1967.

Some History.

The East India Company was established in Vizagapatam around 1670. In the early 18th Century, a furniture manufacturing industry developed in the region. Specialties included inlay, carving and turning work with ivory, Sandalwood, rosewood and Tortoise shell. By the early 19th century, Buffalo and Elk horn were added to the artisan materials. By the beginning of the 19th century, elaborately carved and turned ivory chess sets such as this on, were being produced for sale on the very lucrative European market.

Visakhapatnam (or, phonetically, Vizagapatam) is the largest city, both in terms of area and population in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.The city is nestled between the Eastern Ghats mountain range and the Bay of Bengal, and is often known as The Jewel of the East Coast, The City of Destiny and the Goa of the East Coast. 

Visakhapatnam’s history stretches back to the 6th century BC. Archaeological records suggest that the present city was built around the 11th and 12th centuries. Conquered by the Mughals in the 16th century, European powers eventually set up trading interests in the city, and by the end of the 18th century it had come under French rule. Control passed to the British in 1804 and it remained under British colonial rule until India’s independence in 1947.

Additional information

Weight6 lbs
Dimensions14 × 14 × 12 in