Lot #842. Large John Company Vizagapatam Chess Set


Here is a large, elaborately carved John Company Vizagapatam chess Set, Natural and Green-stained. The King stands 5-3/8” tall. East Indian John Company. Circa 1800.

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Large John Company Vizagapatam Chess Set.

A large, elaborately carved John Company Vizagapatam Chess set, Natural and green-stained, made by the East Indian John Company. The King stands and impressive 5-3/8” tall with a 1-3/4″ diameter base. The chessmen are in excellent condition. Circa 1790 – 1800.

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.

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