Antique Richard Whitty Chessboard and Backgammon Box.
This offering features an Antique Chessboard and Backgammon Box by Richard Whitty and Son. The chess board squares are 2-1/8″ Sycamore and Mahogany veneer. The Backgammon points are sycamore and Ebony with Mahogany veneer and decorative inlays. The frame is solid Mahogany. The Richard Whitty Chessboard and Backgammon box measures 22-1/2″ x 18-1/2″. The frame bears a label marked “Richard Whitty & Son, Bassett Street, Liverpool”. An unusual feature of this chessboard is the presence of small drilled holes at the center of each square. This was normally done to accommodate chessmen with pegs to facilitate play while traveling. The condition and finish of the chessboard is very good and Backgammon finish is excellent. The chessboard and Backgammon box appears to have been produced around 1880. The Richard Whitty Chessboard is designed to accommodate chessmen with a base diameter between 1-5/8″” and 1-3/4″ and checkers with a 1-1/2″ to 1-3/4″ diameter. A suitable set of antique chessmen can be found in our Antique and Vintage Chess Set Folder. Suitable Draughtsmen and Backgammon Checkers can be found here.
These Chessboard and Backgammon boxes were in common use until around 1900. Similar chessboard and Backgammon boxes can be found bearing the the Jaques of London and British Chess Company labels and were all most likely produced by the same factory in the UK.
Richard Whitty was a carver in the John Jaques factory in London. He operated his business from a shop located at 14 Tithebarn Street, Liverpool and later at Bassett Street in Liverpool. Whitty manufactured other games and chess pieces as well as Chess and Backgammon boards. Richard Whitty appears to have been running his own business since around 1870 or so.