Sterling Chessmen by G.R. Dowel Works
Offered here is a set of very rare, Vintage, Sterling Chessmen by G.R. Dowel Works in its original compartmented faux alligator-skin covered box. The King stands 3-7/8” tall with a 1.4” diameter base. The natural and black lacquered wooden chess pieces are weighted and felted and are in excellent condition. The hand-made Frank Camaratta chessboard shown here is not included, but a suitable chessboard can be found elsewhere on this site.
The chessmen were manufactured by G.R. Dowel Works. A spokesman for the company verified that they took over producing chess sets from Drueke when the William F. Drueke Company went out of business in1928. These chessmen date to between 1928 and1931.
When G.R. Dowel Works took over producing chessmen for Drueke, they would print on their Label “Succeeding Wm F Drueke & Co.” They also produced chess sets for W.C. Horn Bro. & Co. under the “Sterling Furniture of Grand Rapids” name and produced and distributed these sets for Horn from 1926 – 1934. They also appear to have been the manufacturers of chess sets sold during that period by Hasbro Brothers and Milton Bradley, among others. The Drueke company restarted producing chess sets in 1932.
The Grand rapids Dowel Works company was founded in 1913 and is still operational today.