Lot #R168. War of the Castilian Succession Chess Set


Offered here is Spanish Portuguese 1475 War Chess Set, Chessmen are pewter on Red and Blue Enameled Pedestals. Chess Board measures 16′ square”.

In stock



War of the Castilian Succession Chess Set (Spanish Portuguese War of 1475).

Isabela of Castile and Eleanor of Viseu

Offered here is the very elaborate War of the Castilian Succession Chess Set. The chess set contains 32 masterfully executed Pewter portrait sculptures mounted atop Red and Blue enameled and cushioned pedestals. The dark wood storage case is lined in red velvet and measures 17″ square with fitted compartments for each of the chess pieces. The storage case serves as the playing surface which it topped with a mottled marble chessboard when closed. The chess board hinges upward to reveal separate storage compartments for each of the thirty-two pewter chess pieces. The Chess Board Measures 16″ square with 1-3/4″ marble squares. The chess pieces are complete and in excellent condition as is the wooden storage case and chessboard.




The Spanish Army consists of the following Historical Figures:

  • The King: King Ferdinand II of Aragon
  • The Queen: Queen Isabella of Castile
  • The Bishops: Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan
  • The Knights: Francisco Pizarro and Hernán Cortés
  • The Rooks: The Tower of La Giralda
  • The Pawns: Spanish Navy Man-of-War

The Portuguese army consist of these Historical characters:

  • The King: King John II of Portugal
  • The Queen: Eleanor of Viseu
  • The Bishops: Vasco da Gama and Pedro Álvares Cabral
  • The Knights: Dom Francisco de Almeida and Afonso de Albuquerque
  • The Rooks: The Tower de Saint Vicenta de Belém
  • The Pawns, Portuguese Navy Man-of-War


The War of the Castilian Succession Chess Set (The Spanish Portuguese War of 1475) was the military conflict contested from 1475 to 1479 for the succession of the Crown of Castile fought between the supporters of Joanna ‘la Beltraneja’, reputed daughter of the late monarch Henry IV of Castile, and those of Henry’s half-sister, Isabella, who was ultimately successful.

The war had a marked international character, as Isabella was married to Ferdinand, heir apparent to the Crown of Aragon, while Joanna was strategically married to King Afonso V of Portugal, her uncle, after the suggestion of her supporters. France intervened in support of Portugal, as they were rivals with Aragon for territory in Italy and Roussillon.

Despite a few initial successes by the supporters of Joanna, a lack of military aggressiveness by Afonso V and the stalemate in the Battle of Toro (1476) led to the disintegration of Joanna’s alliance and the recognition of Isabella in the Courts of Madrigal-Segovia (April–October 1476): “In 1476, immediately after the indecisive battle of Peleagonzalo [near Toro], Ferdinand and Isabella hailed the result as a great victory and called Courts at Madrigal. The newly gained prestige was used to win municipal support from their allies …”.

The war between Castile and Portugal alone continued. This included naval warfare in the Atlantic, which became more important: a struggle for maritime access to the wealth of Guinea (gold and slaves). In 1478, the Portuguese navy defeated the Castilians in the decisive Battle of Guinea.

The war concluded in 1479 with the Treaty of Alcáçovas, which recognized Isabella and Ferdinand as sovereigns of Castile and granted Portugal hegemony in the Atlantic, with the exception of the Canary Islands. Joanna lost her right to the throne of Castile and remained in Portugal until her death.

This conflict has also been called the Second Castilian Civil War, but this name may lead to confusion with the other civil wars that involved Castile in the 14th and 15th centuries. Some authors refer to it as the War of Portugal; however, this name clearly represents a Castilian point of view and implicitly denies Joanna’s claim. At other times the term Peninsular War has been used, but it is easily confused with the Peninsular War of 1808–1814, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Some authors prefer the neutral expression War of 1475–1479.

Six years later, in 1486, Christopher Columbus presented his plan to the Spanish crown, when King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile were ruling over much of the land that has since become Spain. They helped finance his trip to the continent he believed to be Asia. Columbus brought back small amounts of gold as well as native birds and plants to show the richness of the continent2. When Columbus arrived back in Spain on March 15, 1493, he immediately wrote a letter announcing his discoveries to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. History Courtesy of Wikipedia

Additional information

Weight20 lbs
Dimensions24 × 24 × 10 in

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