Glass-eyed French Regѐnce Antique Chessmen.
This is set of French Regѐnce Antique Chessmen, Boxwood and Ebony, circa 1890. The King stands 3-3/4″ tall with a 1-1/4″ diameter base. One very unique feature of this set is the glass-eyed Knights. The unweighted and unfelted chess pieces are in excellent condition and have developed a pleasing honey hue over time. There is no box and no chessboard included in this sale. These chess pieces play and display best on a chessboard with 2-0″ squares. For a complete selection of our finest new and antique chessboards, please click here. The French Regѐnce-style chessmen cover a wide range of periods and styles, dating to well before the days of Ben Franklin and André Philidor and are still being made today. Régѐnce, Lyon and Directoire sets are fairly common, but still quite charming.
From a practical chess playing aspect, French Régѐnce chessmen have several shortcomings. The chess pieces are fairly unstable and easily overturned during play. Also, the Queens, Bishops, and Pawns are sometimes confusing and difficult to tell apart. These design deficiencies were common to almost all pre-Staunton designs and were likely responsible for the huge success of the revolutionary new Staunton design, registered by Nathaniel Cooke in 1849 and produced by the firm of John Jaques of London. The Staunton pattern chessmen first appeared on the English market in October of 1849 and soon displaced all other chessmen designs as the first choice of chess players for casual and tournament play.