Calvert Tournament Chessmen.
An unusual set of Calvert Style Library Chessmen crafted from Boxwood and Ebony. The King stands 3-0″ tall with a 1-0″ diameter base, which is equivalent to a small tournament-size Staunton. The English Boxwood pieces have a very attractive deep patina. A unique feature of these Calvert Style Library Chessmen is the designation of the Kingside Rooks and Knights by affixing a black or white button to their summits. The chessmen are in excellent condition and are housed in what is likely their original Mahogany slide-top box. These Calvert Style Library chessmen fall into the ubiquitous category often referred to as English Playing sets, which also included the Saint George pattern. This style of chessmen was common in the Victorian Period and probably dates to the 1880s. The English Playing sets were ultimately supplanted by the Staunton chessmen which were introduced to the public in September of 1849. The antique chessboard and Tanner Reliable Chess Timer shown in the images are not included in this offering but can be purchased separately elsewhere on this website.
Richard Whitty was a carver in the John Jaques factory in London. Richard Whitty operated his business from a shop located at 14 Tithebarn Street, Liverpool. From this set we can confirm many of the characteristics of sets that are referred to as Whitty sets. Later in his career, Whitty manufactured other games and chessboards as well as chess sets. Whitty appears to have been running his own business since around 1870 or so. Similar sets of chessmen were made by Thomas and William Lund as well as George Merrifield and John Jaques, among others. This particular set was produced by John Calvert 189 Fleet Street.