Richard Whitty Antique Chessmen

Lot #27. Richard Whitty Antique Chessmen

Richard Whitty Antique Chessmen.

An set of Richard Whitty Antique Chessmen with green baize base pads. These vintage chessmen are Boxwood and Ebony, and unweighted. The King stands 3-1/2″ tall with a 1-1/2″ diameter base. All the chessmen still have their original green baize base pads. The Knights very closely resemble those found in sets by the Jaques firm in the mid 1860s.

As well as his trademark aggressive Knights, Whitty’s Rooks have his signature “domed” rook tops, a feature unique to Richard Whitty. the unique angular miter cut on the Bishops which was unique to him. The chessmen are housed in a  antique Birds-eye Maple box. There is no way to be certain whether the box is original to the chessmen.  These particular chessmen were produced around 1875. The chessmen are in excellent 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. The chessboard shown is not included, but a suitable chessboard can be found by clicking here.

Richard Whitty was a carver in the John Jaques factory in London.  This is a significant set because it comes in its original box. 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.

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