Lot #627. Vegetable Ivory Travel Chess Set
Vegetable Ivory Travel Chess Set.
A late Victorian Travel Chess Set. The 1/2″ pegged chessmen are natural and red-stained. The accompanying folding box/chessboard is Mahogany with Rosewood and Satinwood squares, Ebony and satinwood delimiters. It measures 6″ square with a removable piece that mounts into the chessboard to prevent the chessmen from falling out when the pieces are stored and the board/box is folded. The set is missing one White Pawn and one Red Pawn, otherwise the chessmen are in very good condition. The case is scuffed, but in otherwise very good condition for its age.
Vegetable ivory or tagua nut is a product made from the very hard white endosperm of the seeds of certain palm trees. It is named for its resemblance to elephant ivory. Species in the genus Phytelephas, native to South America, are the most important sources of this material.