Lot #766. Antique Richard Whitty Tournament Chessmen


A set of Richard Whitty Tournament Chessmen, 3-3/8″ King with a 1-9/16″ dbase. The pieces are unweighted weighted and rest atop Whitty’s characteristic red felt base pads and housed in a replacement Mahogany box, possibly the original. Circa 1875.

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Richard Whitty Tournament Chessmen.

Offered here is a set of Richard Whitty Tournament Chessmen. These vintage chessmen are Boxwood and Ebony and are unweighted. The King stands 3-3/8″ tall with a 1-9/16″ diameter base. All the chessmen still have their original trademark Whitty red felt base pads.

As well as his enigmatic red felt base pads and those aggressive Knights, Whitty’s Rooks have his signature “domed” rook tops and the unique angular Bishop’s miter cut, features unique to Richard Whitty. The chessmen are housed in a period Mahogany slide-top box, possibly original to the chess set.  These particular chess pieces were produced around 1875. The chessmen are in superb condition for their age and have developed a very pleasing honey patina.  There are no replacements. These chessmen play and display best on a chessboard with between 2-0″ and 2-1/4″ squares. A chessboard shown is not included, but a suitable chessboard and game timer can be found by clicking here.

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.

Additional information

Weight6 lbs
Dimensions14 × 12 × 8 in